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Beyond the Hype: Decoding the EV Revolution - Unveiling Hidden Realities and Solutions in Automotive Design and Environmental Impact

Updated: Mar 11


In the fervour surrounding the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution, there exists a compelling need to peel back the layers of glossy promises and explore the intricate tapestry of challenges and solutions shaping the automotive landscape. Welcome to our exploration, where we embark on a journey "Beyond the Hype: Decoding the EV Revolution." In this blog, we delve into the hidden realities and sustainable solutions that underpin the transformative shift in automotive design and environmental impact. Join us as we navigate the intricate web of complexities, from the soaring promises of EV adoption to the weighty concerns of the industry's blind spots. It's time to unravel the true narrative and chart a course toward a more informed and resilient automotive future.



Welcome to our exploration, where we embark on a journey "Beyond the Hype: Decoding the EV Revolution." In this blog, we delve into the hidden realities and sustainable solutions that underpin the transformative shift in automotive design and environmental impact. Join us as we navigate the intricate web of complexities, from the soaring promises of EV adoption to the weighty concerns of the industry's blind spots. It's time to unravel the true narrative and chart a course toward a more informed and resilient automotive future.




Electrifying Dilemma: Navigating the Costs of Going Green in the Age of EVs


In the not-so-distant future, the European Union will see a groundbreaking shift as it bids farewell to internal combustion engines in 2035. While this move towards cleaner transportation is commendable, the journey towards total electrification brings with it a complex web of challenges, especially in the realm of economics and engineering. In this comprehensive blog, we explore the surge in electric vehicle (EV) adoption, its economic implications, and a looming concern - the rising cost of recharging compared to traditional fueling.



The Electric Revolution


As we approach the foregone conclusion of internal combustion engine sales, an increasing number of motorists are already embracing the electric wave. The advantages of zero emissions, instant torque delivery, and silent operation have fueled the surge in sales of 100% electric cars since 2019. Lower running costs, financial incentives, and a growing concern over rising fuel prices have further propelled the shift towards battery-powered vehicles.



The Cost Efficiency Mirage


While the initial cost of purchasing an electric vehicle may be higher than its gasoline or diesel counterparts, the cost of ownership is often touted as more economical. Lower maintenance costs, government incentives, and, most notably, reduced energy bills have been key drivers of this narrative.


According to a Deloitte study from February 2023, the main motivation for buying a battery-powered vehicle for the majority of Europeans is lower energy bills than for combustion engines. For example, in May 2023, the diesel version of the Peugeot 208, called HDI, was given an average fuel consumption of 4.0 L / 100 km. The cost of the fuel needed to cover this distance was therefore 8 Euros. By comparison, its electric version, the e-208, when recharged at home, required just 3 Euros of energy to achieve the same result.



The Looming Challenge: Rising Recharging Costs


However, amidst the praise for electric vehicles, a surprising revelation emerges - the cost of recharging electric cars is on the brink of surpassing traditional fueling.


To understand this, let's take a journey back to the roots of automotive history and trace the development of electric and internal combustion engines.



The Historical Perspective


In the late 19th century, electric vehicles held promise with their clean, high-performance, and silent operation. However, limitations such as limited range and long recharge times hindered their widespread adoption. Fast forward to the present day, and these challenges persist, impacting the mass adoption of electric vehicles.


The year is 1888. In that year, the first automobile of all time, created by Carl Benz and unveiled by his wife, had established a type of motorization running on a fuel that was to revolutionize the following century: the internal combustion engine powered by petroleum.


And yet, over the following decade, more than 1/3 of all passenger cars sold at the beginning of the 20th century were equipped with a different type of engine: battery-powered electric motors.


Because, at least on paper, the electric motor had nothing but advantages: clean, high-performance, silent, safe and reliable, it was a solution for the future. For example, the first car to top 100 km/h was an electrically-powered "never satisfied" in 1899.


While electric traction offers numerous advantages, its advancement faces a significant hurdle – the primary challenge lies in the limited range of electric vehicles, often struggling to surpass 50 km. Compounding this issue are extended recharge times, which starkly contrast with the efficiency of their gasoline-powered counterparts.



Infrastructure Struggles


One critical oversight in the shift towards electrification is the inadequate infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, particularly in densely populated European countries. While some solutions exist for homeowners, those without dedicated parking spaces or garages face a significant hurdle when it comes to charging their electric vehicles.


This issue persists because, with the exception of sparsely populated nations like Luxembourg and the Netherlands, nearly all European countries grapple with an insufficient number of charging stations.


Now, one might argue: if the scarcity of public charging stations is undeniably problematic, why not encourage vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at home? This proposition comes with two viable solutions:


Firstly, recharging through a standard electrical socket. Most electric vehicles come equipped with a cable for convenient and straightforward recharging.


The second alternative involves installing a dedicated charger at home. Typically mounted on the wall, this device enhances charging intensity and significantly reduces overall charging times.


Anticipate costs ranging from 500 to 1,200 Euros, depending on the selected model.

While these solutions might be feasible for residents of standalone houses, individuals living in apartments may find themselves pondering how to apply these measures.


Despite the intriguing nature of these devices, they fall short of resolving the issue. Surprisingly, a final group of motorists appears to have been entirely disregarded by public authorities: those without a private garage or designated parking space. Predominantly found in urban settings, these drivers are compelled to park their vehicles on public roads overnight.


It might come as a surprise that, in such scenarios, there is no viable alternative to charging at public stations. And here lies the challenge.



The Cost Conundrum


Let's revisit the calculations: as it stands, covering a distance of 100 km in a Peugeot 208 Diesel amounts to an expense of 8 Euros.


As of May 2023, charging at public stations, even from major players like Ionity, Fastned, Electra, Allego, and Total, can negate the energy cost advantage seen in home recharging. In fact, using some of these charging stations can cost more than filling up a traditional diesel vehicle.


Fast-charging stations, positioned as a solution to reduce charging times, ironically contribute to a higher cost per kilometre compared to refuelling with diesel, regardless of the chosen supplier in Europe.


However, let's not overlook the primary reason internal combustion engines became prevalent a century ago – their unparalleled speed when it came to refuelling.


In contemporary times, this challenge is being addressed primarily through fast-charging stations. Yet, it cannot be denied: recharging your Peugeot e-208 at a fast-charging station will incur a higher cost per kilometre than refuelling with diesel, irrespective of the chosen supplier in Europe.


And the plot thickens. Surprisingly, a point seemingly overlooked by the media – pardon the redundancy – has the potential to send the energy bills of electric vehicle enthusiasts soaring.


Although it appears highly unlikely, a quick glance at Europe's macroeconomic indicators reveals the precarious state of public finances across the continent. No crystal ball is needed to forecast with certainty the inevitable evolution of kWh prices for battery-powered cars over the coming years.



The Taxation Tangle


Looking ahead, a concerning parallel emerges between the historical support for diesel and the potential taxation trajectory for electric power. Governments, in their quest to combat climate change, may shift the tax burden from fossil fuels to electric power. If the taxation on electricity for vehicles mirrors the historical trajectory of diesel, the cost of using electric cars could double compared to their diesel counterparts.


To unravel this, let's take another journey into the past. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 marked the official recognition of carbon dioxide as a major contributor to global warming. Capitalizing on its lower fuel consumption (l/100) compared to petrol engines, the diesel engine swiftly garnered favour from European public authorities. In response, many countries across the continent implemented tax systems favouring diesel-powered engines from the late 1990s onward.


Predictably, these tax incentives fueled a surge in diesel car sales. As diesel engines dominated the roads from the early 2000s, successive governments incrementally raised taxes on diesel until its pump price equalled or even surpassed that of gasoline.


In a scenario akin to a scalded cat fearing cold water, astute observers with memory have accurately foreseen the unfolding situation: just as diesel fuel enjoyed subsidies for many years, it's glaringly apparent that electric power for vehicles is likely to face taxation in the medium to long term.


While reaching the current level of taxation on petroleum products in the upcoming years seems unlikely without compelling justification, the prospect of the costs of using electric cars doubling compared to their diesel counterparts is a looming concern.



Unveiling the Hidden Costs of Electric Vehicles: Beyond the Green Dream


As the automotive landscape shifts towards electric vehicles (EVs), there's an underlying narrative of environmental benefits and technological advancements. However, beneath the surface of this green revolution lies a web of challenges that EV enthusiasts might not readily acknowledge. In this exploration, we delve into some of the less-discussed aspects of electric vehicles, from soaring tire bills to prohibitive repair costs, raising questions about the true sustainability of the electric dream.



Stratospheric Tire Bills


Recent studies, notably from Epyx, a British fleet management company, have shed light on a surprising aspect of electric vehicles – their propensity to wear out tires faster than their internal combustion counterparts. The weight of heavy batteries in EVs contributes to increased tire rolling resistance, resulting in quicker wear. Not only do electric cars demand a tire change sooner, but the replacement cost is also significantly higher, potentially leading to an extra expenditure of nearly 1,800 Euros over 100,000 km compared to traditional vehicles.


Source: Epyx Study


A few weeks back, Epyx released a study that has somewhat slipped under the radar. The findings unveiled a fact the company has been vocal about for several years now: electric cars exhibit more tire wear compared to their internal combustion counterparts. And it's not a minor difference:

  • The average mileage before the first tire change for electric cars is 28,900 km and 551 days.

  • Petrol and diesel cars, on the other hand, cover 39,163 km and 670 days before requiring a similar change.

  • Additionally, for petrol or diesel cars, the average cost of replacement stands at 150 Euros per tire.

  • In contrast, for electric vehicles, the bill rises to 240 Euros.



Let's break down the numbers:

  • According to the provided figures, covering a distance of 100,000 km results in a tire expense of 1,526 Euros for a combustion-powered vehicle.

  • Conversely, for its electric counterpart, the cost is almost 3,293 Euros.

That translates to a substantial difference of nearly 1,800 Euros.


These findings are far from unexpected. It's crucial to remember that 100% of electric vehicles bear the burden of heavy batteries, resulting in a systematic weight increase compared to their internal combustion counterparts.


A recent illustration is the Peugeot e-3008, particularly its recent long-range version, tipping the scales at a substantial 2.2 tonnes.


The immediate repercussion of this added weight is an elevation in tire rolling resistance, a factor directly proportional to the vehicle's weight. This, in turn, leads to increased tire wear.


But the story doesn't end there. It's worth noting that electric motors possess a specificity that, in this scenario, places them at an even greater disadvantage. Unlike internal combustion engines, synchronous or asynchronous electric motors can unleash nearly all their maximum torque at very low speeds. The application of maximum torque to the wheels each time the vehicle is set in motion systematically accelerates tire wear.



Prohibitive Repair Costs


This fact finds validation in multiple recently published studies, with one particularly notable study hailing from the official Italian bodywork cost calculator, Federcarrozzieri, leaving no room for uncertainty. Repairing electric vehicles comes with a hefty price tag, as confirmed by recent studies indicating that EV repairs can cost between 18% and 30% more than those for traditional combustion engine models. The complexity of electric systems, higher voltages, and the need for specialized tools contribute to longer repair times and, subsequently, inflated bills. This, coupled with the limited availability of independent repair shops with the necessary equipment, leaves electric vehicle owners facing a costly dilemma.


The first rationale stems from the fact that modern electric vehicles are equipped with electrical systems delivering between 400 and 800 volts. Any mishandling can have severe consequences. Consequently, technicians must adhere to specific procedures before and during any work on the vehicle. Due to the inherently time-consuming nature of these procedures, they naturally contribute to the overall service cost.


The second factor revolves around the tooling requirements. While electric vehicles have fewer parts compared to combustion engines, they necessitate a set of specialized tools for maintenance.


And finally, recent 100% electric cars boast 60% more electronic components than their traditional counterparts, as emphasized by experts. This translates into more intricate and costly intervention procedures, ranging from simple part replacements to the intricate programming of electronic systems.


As long as full electrification remains an exception, a scenario that may persist indefinitely, only a limited number of independent service providers have made investments in the specialized equipment required.


Consequently, repairs specific to powertrains and charging systems have predominantly been the domain of official brand representatives. This dynamic often leads to higher costs for work on electric vehicles compared to their combustion-powered counterparts.



Soaring Insurance Premiums


Surprisingly, the cost of insurance for electric vehicles is on the rise, and British drivers have felt the pinch. Since the summer of 2023, premiums for electric car owners have surged by an average of 72%. Some insurers even refuse to accept new electric vehicles, citing 14% longer repair times and potentially 25% higher claim costs than their traditional counterparts.


Source: The Guardian


In Europe, a parallel evolution in the insurance landscape may unfold, with additional repair costs for electric cars mirroring those observed in the UK. This is especially relevant as the exemption from TSCA (Special Tax on Insurance Agreements), currently applicable to electric vehicles and not applied to thermal vehicles, is slated to conclude on December 31, 2023. Representing 18% of the premium at best, the implementation of this tax is likely to be an additional factor contributing to the overall increase linked to the high costs of repairs.



Fire Risks


Yet another, and significantly graver, issue that frequently graces headlines seems oddly neglected by manufacturers.


While electric cars have demonstrated a safety record comparable to traditional vehicles, the consequences of a fire in an electric vehicle are notably severe. The high energy density of lithium-ion batteries, coupled with the challenges faced by firefighters in extinguishing electric vehicle fires, raises concerns about the potential risks associated with EVs catching fire.



The sole currently feasible solution on an industrial scale, designed to amass adequate energy for sustaining acceptable vehicle autonomy, is marked by its high onboard energy density. From a technical perspective, a lithium-ion battery comprises several hundred individual battery units interconnected and termed cells.


Within each cell, electrical energy is produced through a series of electrochemical reactions. Fundamentally, it's the movement of ions between electrodes that generates the electric current powering the electric motor(s). This ion migration transpires in a liquid medium known as an electrolyte, in which the electrodes are immersed. This electrolyte consists of lithium salt and organic solvents.


Under conditions of excessive heat resulting from internal short circuits caused by accidents, manufacturing defects, overheating due to elevated temperatures, or poorly managed charging cycles, the electrolyte's temperature may surpass permissible limits. At extreme temperatures, the positively charged electrode, or cathode, begins releasing oxygen.

The organic solvents in the overheated electrolyte, in the presence of oxygen from the cathode, then ignite.


Consequently, the fire propagates from one cell to another, resulting in a fierce blaze.


Firefighters tasked with extinguishing such fires face additional challenges because immediately spraying an electric vehicle with water is not feasible, as it would pose an electrocution risk. They must first locate and disconnect power sources before initiating water-based firefighting efforts. Yet, the complexities persist. Batteries comprise numerous cells, and even after the fire seems extinguished, intermittent short circuits within surviving cells persist due to high temperatures. These short circuits rekindle the incendiary cycle, prolonging the firefighting efforts for hours or even days after the initial apparent extinguishment.



Range Manipulation


The perception of electric vehicles having longer ranges may not align with reality, as highlighted by a Reuters investigation into Tesla's range claims. The study revealed that Tesla had exaggerated the range of its vehicles, leading to misleading projections and potential consumer dissatisfaction. This revelation underscores the importance of accurate information for consumers relying on the claimed range of their EVs.


While electric vehicles come with several merits, such as noiseless operation and exceptional performance, a well-known drawback today is their limited range.


Among electric vehicle manufacturers, Tesla, the American pioneer, has been in the spotlight for offering models with a seemingly superior range compared to their counterparts. However, a July 2023 survey by Reuters revealed that these figures often diverge from reality. "Several years ago, Tesla began inflating the range of its vehicles by manipulating the on-board range estimation software. Specific algorithms were devised to present optimistic projections of the distance a driver could cover with a fully charged battery. Below 50% battery charge, the algorithm shifts to more realistic range estimates." Consequently, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission imposed a fine of over $2 million on Tesla in early 2023, accusing the company of "exaggerating the range of its cars on a single charge, misrepresenting their fuel efficiency compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, and overstating the performance of its Superchargers on its official local website from August 2019 until recently." Tests conducted by the country's Ministry of the Environment demonstrated that Tesla cars could lose up to 50.5% of the claimed range in cold weather.


Korean regulators compelled Tesla to publicly acknowledge its misleading practices, which Elon Musk and two local executives did in a statement dated June 19, 2023, admitting to "false and exaggerated advertising."

Source: Reuters



Financial Scam


As governments globally incentivize electric vehicle adoption, there are signs that the electric dream might be facing headwinds. Major manufacturers, including Volkswagen and General Motors, have faced production slowdowns due to dropping consumer demand. In addition, second-hand markets are witnessing a surge in used EVs as concerns over frequent battery failures and associated costs loom large.


October 2023 marks a turning point. After an artificial surge in sales fueled primarily by global government subsidies, the reality of electric vehicles is unfolding—revealing itself as, at best, a hopeful vision and, at worst, a misguided venture. Dark clouds loom over vehicles with this powertrain worldwide.

Instances abound:

  • Volkswagen temporarily halts production of the ID.3 and Cupra Born due to lacklustre consumer demand. Source: Reuters

  • The launch of the Ford Explorer Electric faces postponement. Source: Carnow

  • In Germany, new electric vehicle sales plummet nearly 30% in September following the cessation of government incentives for corporate electric car purchases. Source: Energy World

  • General Motors indefinitely delayed the production of Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups equipped with electric engines. Source: Reuters

  • Tesla's stock took a nosedive after the release of its mixed financial results, exacerbated by Elon Musk's sobering forecasts about the imminent slowdown in the new electric vehicle market. Source: Yahoo! Finance


The second-hand market paints a grim picture for battery-powered cars.


In the United States, major used car sellers are rapidly divesting themselves of electric cars in bulk, driven by apprehensions arising from the expenses associated with frequent battery failures.


Source: Wards Auto




Rethinking the Electric Car Hype: Weak Signals and Uncharted Realities



In the cacophony of voices heralding the electric car as the undisputed future of transportation, it's imperative to scrutinize the narrative beyond the surface. Beyond the glossy promises, weak signals emerge, casting shadows on the seemingly inevitable rise of the electric vehicle (EV). Let's delve into some of these signals, challenging the prevailing notions and exploring alternative perspectives.



Negative Ecological Footprint


Contrary to the prevailing narrative of environmental friendliness, the electric car's journey begins with a negative ecological footprint from its inception. The manufacturing process, resource extraction, and disposal of electric vehicle components all contribute to an environmental impact that is often overlooked in the fervour for a greener future.



Energy Source Dependence


The electric car's functionality hinges on electricity, presenting a crucial dilemma. An exclusive reliance on renewable energy is an idealistic scenario, yet the current reality includes a mix of nuclear and carbon-based electricity sources. Achieving a transition to a purely renewable energy grid poses challenges, making the complete detachment from less eco-friendly sources a distant goal.



Autonomous Cars and Reduced Need


As the automotive industry hurtles towards autonomous vehicles, the paradigm of car ownership is undergoing a profound shift. The idea that we'll need a fleet of 100 million electric cars may be an overestimation. A future with 20 million autonomous cars, shared and efficient, is a more plausible scenario, challenging the urgency of the mass adoption of electric vehicles.



Alternative Solutions: Hydrogen Cars


Amidst the fervour for electric cars, alternative solutions like hydrogen-powered vehicles present themselves. Hydrogen cars offer a different approach to sustainable transportation, with potential advantages and challenges that warrant exploration. The insistence on electric vehicles as the sole solution may overshadow other viable options.



Unsustainable Urbanization


Projected global population growth and urbanization trends paint a daunting picture. The notion of an electric car-driven cityscape is at odds with the reality of burgeoning populations, expanding cities, and the associated challenges of urban living. As cities grow more extensive and less livable, the electric car may not be the panacea for the complex issues looming on the urban horizon.



Lithium Dependency and Global Dynamics


The electric car revolution is intricately tied to lithium, a key component of batteries. However, reliance on lithium comes with its own set of challenges. The majority of lithium processing occurs in China, raising concerns about dependency on a single nation for a critical resource. Additionally, the time-intensive process of discovering and exploiting new lithium mines poses obstacles to the scalability of electric vehicle production.



Economic Disparities


The advent of the electric car could exacerbate economic disparities, especially in Europe. The question arises: Who will withstand the allure of cars priced at 5,000 - 6,000 Euros when the existing options range from 20,000 - 100,000 Euros? The risk of European automakers struggling against cheaper alternatives looms large, potentially reshaping the automotive landscape.



The Rise of Tesla


While the automotive landscape shifts towards electrification, Tesla stands out as a singular Western success story. Its transformative approach to manufacturing, battery technology, and vehicle design positions it as a formidable player. Yet, the question remains: Can one company revolutionize an entire industry, or is there room for diverse approaches to sustainable transportation?




Unmasking Environmental Myths: The Unseen Culprits Behind Air Pollution


Governments across Europe have implemented speed restrictions, citing a surge in fine particle pollution. The measures include reduced speed limits and intensified anti-pollution checks on vehicles. However, the focus on diesel engines as the primary culprits of air pollution may be misguided. Let's delve into the less-explored contributors to pollution and question the efficacy of recent environmental reforms.



Particulate Filters and Diesel Woes


While diesel engines were singled out for emitting carcinogenic particles, the implementation of particulate filters in the 2000s did not address the core issue. These filters failed to prevent the spread of the finest particles, allowing them to freely enter the lungs. Consequently, both diesel residues and fuel have been classified as carcinogenic since the early 2010s.


In practice, law enforcement agencies are assigned the responsibility of inspecting vehicles on the road that they deem suspicious. The fine particle emission levels of these vehicles are then directly measured at the tailpipe using specialized equipment.


If the vehicle exceeds the maximum authorized pollution levels, a fine of 90 Euros will be imposed. The vehicle owner then has a maximum of 48 hours to bring the vehicle up to standard. Fine particles are produced by most internal combustion engines. Diesel, a major emitter of these highly carcinogenic pollutants, was specifically targeted in the 2000s. At that time, automakers introduced a device intended to permanently address the issue: the particulate filter.


Unfortunately, the widespread implementation of this system on diesel cars in the 2000s did not effectively solve the problem, as the operating mode of the system did not allow it to halt the dispersion of the finest particles.



Image: MDPI



Gasoline Engines and Direct Injection


Gasoline engines, once considered cleaner than diesel counterparts, faced a resurgence in particle emissions due to widespread direct injection systems. The shift in technology over the past decade has led to a notable increase in emissions from gasoline engines, challenging the perception of their environmental superiority.



Tire Emissions: A Neglected Source


The remedy proved more harmful than the ailment, as the finest, non-agglomerated particles had unrestricted access to the lungs.


Consequently, both these residues and diesel fuel itself have been classified as carcinogenic since the early 2010s.


Gasoline engines faced similar challenges. Historically, gasoline engines had an advantage over diesel engines in terms of particle emissions. However, the widespread adoption of direct injection systems over the last decade has led to a significant increase in emissions of these pollutants from gasoline engines.


As if that were not enough, a report published by Emissions Analytics in mid-2022 revealed that particulate emissions from the exhausts of modern vehicles were minuscule compared to another source: their tires.


The publication presented measurements conducted on a recent Mercedes C-Class, indicating that under normal driving conditions, the vehicle's tires produce 1,850 times more particulates than those emitted by exhaust gases.


Even more alarming, during aggressive driving, particulate emissions from tires surge to a staggering 300,000 times those attributed to the engine.


While this information doesn't question the relevance of traffic restriction measures, it raises a pertinent question: since tires constitute the primary source of particulate emissions from vehicles, what does this imply for the effectiveness of increased engine emission controls enforced by authorities? While some may highlight the potential fines collected, it appears that, in this matter as in others, decision-makers, detached from reality, may simply be creating a stir without addressing the core issue of air quality.






Wood Heating's Environmental Impact


Amidst the rush for environmental reforms, wood heating emerges as a deceptive contributor to air pollution. Contrary to popular belief, a study by the Centre interprofessionnel technique d'études de la pollution atmosphérique (Interprofessional Technical Center for the Study of Atmospheric Pollution) revealed that domestic wood heating in France emitted over twice the fine particles of all cars combined. The push for cleaner energy sources inadvertently overlooked the significant impact of wood-burning appliances.


Prepare yourself for an even more unsettling reality.


In the recent push for enhanced energy performance assessments for housing, restrictions on renting buildings with inadequate thermal insulation, prohibition of gas boilers, coal- or fuel-based heating in new constructions, and controlled expansion of wind turbines and solar power, seldom have public authorities initiated so many environmental reforms in such a condensed timeframe.


Yet, in this zealous pursuit of environmental rectitude, it appears that the aforementioned decision-makers have once again stumbled.

Contrary to popular belief, wood heating is far from being environmentally friendly. The findings of a study conducted by the Centre Interprofessionnel Technique d'Études de la Pollution Atmosphérique in 2018 paint a bleak picture of this heating method.


According to the organization, the 6.5 million wood-burning appliances used in France emitted more than twice the quantity of fine particles released into the air by all the cars on the country's roads. Over the past decade, domestic wood heating has accounted for half of the nation's fine-particle emissions, surpassing emissions from cars by a significant margin.


Source: CITEPA


Since then, there has been little change in the situation. In November of last year, the French daily La Tribune highlighted a study conducted by the AirParif organization, revealing that a year of wood heating with an outdated appliance—a common practice in France—emits as many fine particles as a diesel vehicle completing thirty laps around the Earth.



Garden Fires: A Silent Menace


Another overlooked source of pollution is the open-air burning of vegetation. The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) highlighted the toxic pollutants released during this practice, including particles, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. Burning 50 kg of vegetation emits as many particles as a 14,000 km journey in a recent petrol car.


Adding to the environmental challenges, another rural practice, common among rural dwellers, contributes to the complexities: garden fires.


In a 2021 report, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) highlighted, "Burning plants in the open air releases toxic pollutants for humans and the environment, such as particles, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds."


Air Breizh affirms this by stating, "Burning 50 kg of vegetation emits as many particles as a 14,000 km journey in a recent petrol car."


Nevertheless, it's noteworthy that the prefecture of the Pyrénées Atlantiques has taken proactive steps by banning the burning of wood and green waste, concurrently with the introduction of speed limit reductions as described above.


However, these measures, although commendable, are but a drop in the ocean when faced with a reality now definitively proven: private cars have become the target of policymakers from various quarters. While acknowledging the environmental impact of automobiles, it's evident that they are far from being the worst performers.


Recent stances taken by decision-makers, who are increasingly quick to cast blame on motorists, coupled with the unwarranted promotion of global electrification, the proposed ban on combustion-powered cars by 2035, and the introduction of various stringent measures, are part of a series of steps toward the ultimate goal: the eventual prohibition on ordinary citizens owning means of transportation that aren't electric.


This narrative contends that such measures aim to reduce reliance on critical metals like cobalt and lithium, essential components for the energy transition. The looming question is: in this scenario, what is the true intention of these policymakers? Many argue that it is nothing short of an attempt to erode individual freedom.




Rethinking Electric Vehicle Policies: Unveiling the Hidden Agenda



In 2020, the European government introduced an amendment setting the stage for a weight-based purchase tax on vehicles from January 1, 2022. While originally intended for all vehicles over 1,300 kg, it was selectively applied to those exceeding 1.8 tonnes. A closer inspection reveals an ideological bias, particularly evident in the exemption of 100% electric motor vehicles, raising questions about the underlying motives of these policies.



Unveiling Ideological Biases


As of May 2023, European headlines were ablaze with discussions about a potential expansion of the weight tax to include electric cars. In contrast, Belgium adopted a more sensible perspective, acknowledging the comprehensive environmental impact of vehicles across their lifecycle. Recognizing pollution at different stages, encompassing design, use, maintenance, and recycling, prompted the contemplation of weight-based taxation for all vehicles.


A legislative amendment proposed directly by the European government in 2020 established the implementation of a weight-based purchase tax for new and specific used vehicles from January 1, 2022. Initially intended for all vehicles weighing over 1,300 kg, the tax was eventually applied solely to vehicles surpassing 1.8 tonnes.


Upon closer examination, the ideological aspect of this approach becomes apparent. Notably, no vehicle with a 100% electric motor in Europe is affected by this tax, regardless of its mass.


Fast forward to May 2023, and a surprising shift occurred, with various European media outlets, both specialized and general, suddenly echoing the same sentiment: the European government was contemplating extending the vehicle weight tax to electric cars.

Belgium has been quick to follow suit in recent weeks. The Belgian government has affirmed its intention to introduce a weight tax on all vehicles, irrespective of their engine type. In a stark contrast to their French counterparts, Belgian authorities appear to have integrated these fundamental truths.


The key realization is that beyond tailpipe emissions, each stage in a vehicle's life contributes to varying degrees of pollution. Simplifying, we can identify the following four stages:

  1. The design, validation, and production phase

  2. The driver use phase

  3. Vehicle maintenance

  4. The recycling stage


Additionally, electric cars introduce an extra stage specific to their 100% electric powertrains: battery production.



Weight and Environmental Impact


A fundamental truth emerged – the heavier a vehicle, irrespective of its engine type, the more energy and raw materials it consumes during manufacturing and operation. This, in turn, amplifies its environmental footprint. Additionally, the increased weight contributes to more severe damages in the event of an impact, emphasizing the importance of considering weight as a factor in taxation.



Exemptions for Electric Vehicles


Contrary to logical concepts, the European government exempted heavy electric vehicles from the weight tax, choosing a threshold higher than the initial proposal to favor European manufacturers. This decision seemingly disregards technological advancements, such as the use of composite materials and simulation software, that can significantly reduce vehicle weight without compromising safety.



The Growing Weight Dilemma


Over the past four decades, vehicle mass has steadily increased, exemplified by models like Peugeot's 200 series. The shift is notable when comparing the 860 kg average weight of a Peugeot 205 in 1985 to the nearly 1.3 tons of the latest 208. The electric version, e-208, weighing 1,455 kg, raises concerns about the impact of this growing weight trend on the environment.


Moreover, the decision to set a weight threshold significantly higher than the initial proposal of 1300 kg appeared to serve a singular purpose: to shield European manufacturers from penalties.


Curiously, nearly all the vehicles they market manage to stay below this threshold.

Yet, a bit of logical reasoning reveals a different perspective: in an era marked by the widespread use of composite materials, extensive utilization of simulation software, and the deployment of various artificial intelligence tools, the act of mobilizing 1,300 kg of metal and plastic to transport sometimes no more than 50 kg is already a less-than-distinguished achievement.


This is underscored by the fact that, for over four decades now, the mass of vehicles has exhibited a steady upward trend.



Logical Alternatives: Ban Heavy Cars, Not Tax Buyers


Instead of burdening end customers with weight-based taxes, a more sensible approach would be legislative measures prohibiting manufacturers from selling excessively heavy cars. The argument that reducing vehicle mass compromises safety is debunked, citing examples like the BMW 3 Series, which experienced an increase in size and weight before standardized crash tests.


Consider this: if the weight tax were to be established and enforced at this considerably high threshold, a significant portion of combustion-powered vehicles, and nearly all electric cars available for sale in Europe, would fall under its purview.


Surprisingly, however, it was revealed that electric vehicles would remain exempt from this tax. This revelation serves as clear evidence that this decision is nothing short of a dark ideology and the fixation of a handful of officials, as it represents an unwarranted and baseless condemnation of combustion engines in favour of electric vehicles, which are far from being inherently more virtuous.


While endeavours to diminish the weight of vehicles on the road are commendable, the notion of imposing a weight tax on the end consumer, specifically those purchasing a combustion engine, lacks any logical foundation.


Moreover, making consumers pay a weight tax on electric vehicles would be even more absurd, considering these cars already benefit from multiple government subsidies for their purchase. Applying a tax to a product that is otherwise subsidized illuminates the absurdity of such an approach, even for those in power.


On the contrary, enacting legislation to prohibit manufacturers from selling heavy cars in Europe would unquestionably be a fairer and more sensible measure.

However, some may argue that reducing vehicle mass is unfeasible for safety reasons. Unfortunately, this unfounded argument only underscores the misguided application of the concept of reverse causality.


Consider the BMW 3 Series, for instance. Since 1975, there has been a continuous increase in the size and, consequently, the mass of the vehicle. Notably, this trend commenced long before crash tests were standardized in 1997, and hence, well before legal obligations were imposed to reinforce vehicles.



Achievable Paradigm Shift


Implementing a paradigm shift is crucial for reducing vehicle weight without compromising safety. This includes using lighter materials, reducing vehicle dimensions, eliminating unnecessary accessories, employing 3D printing for efficient manufacturing, and advocating for the return of sedans while imposing a permanent ban on SUVs.


It's worth noting that the milestone in 1998 did not witness a more significant increase in vehicle mass compared to other dates, rendering the causal link between vehicle size and the need for safety reinforcements entirely inaccurate.


Taking a closer look at the vehicle development cycle within automaker's development offices unveils the fallacy repeated by manufacturers. Here's the sequence: the increase in vehicle size and equipment results in an initial weight gain. Other components and equipment, resized accordingly, also contribute to increased mass. The safety aspect then imposes even heavier components. However, once the vehicle is weighed down, the cycle often restarts during development: the chassis may need to be stiffened again, the braking system increased, the suspension strengthened, the transmission weighed down, and safety components increased in size, number, and weight.


Adding to this cycle is a misguided decision that all automakers, without exception, have embraced for years—the invasion of the SUV. Regardless of their environmental impact and safety concerns, the lack of reaction from public authorities, or even their encouragement of SUV purchases, has perpetuated their success in the market. Simultaneously, the percentage of sales for lighter, more mass-market vehicles has plummeted.


Enacting legislation to ban the sale of heavy cars, irrespective of their engine type, would be a crucial step where the State finally plays its part. Contrary to urban legends, vehicle lightening is not only essential but also achievable. To achieve this, a paradigm shift is vital. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Employing lighter materials than traditional steel for structural components.

  2. Reducing the dimensions of all touring vehicles.

  3. Eliminating unnecessary accessories and equipment from vehicles.

  4. Utilizing manufacturing methods like 3D printing to reduce material usage.

  5. Encouraging the return to sedans and other low-slung cars while permanently banning all SUVs.


One might wonder why these measures aren't readily implemented by manufacturers. The answer lies in understanding the role of an automobile manufacturer. It operates as any business does, responding to customer preferences by offering goods and services in exchange for money. The role of the legislator, with the right and duty to set legal limits, including for companies, falls to the States.




Rethinking Mobility: Beyond Technological Fixations


The automotive landscape has transformed over the past decades, with a myriad of engine types dominating the market. From atmospheric gasoline to hydrogen-powered vehicles, the industry has faced challenges in balancing reliability, fuel efficiency, production costs, and pollution control. However, the current fixation on electric and hydrogen vehicles as the ultimate solution to environmental issues might be missing the point. This blog explores the root causes of the industry's blind spots and suggests a more reasoned approach to addressing mobility challenges.



The Rise of Technological Solutionism


The concept of technological solutionism, theorized by researcher Evgeny Morozov, has become pervasive in universities, companies, and political decision-making. This ideology contends that newer technologies always offer superior solutions to problems, even those stemming from older technologies. This belief, however, neglects the fundamental laws of physics that govern the design of vehicles, emphasizing the need for a paradigm shift in thinking.


The variety of engines that have taken over car engine compartments in recent decades is extensive. This proliferation stems not only from the creative explosion in design departments but also from the increasingly stringent challenges faced by automakers.


These challenges encompass maintaining a satisfactory level of reliability, achieving lower fuel consumption, reducing production costs, and enhancing engine torque at lower speeds. Another critical factor in this era is the significance attached to pollution control by the media and decision-making authorities.


The past decade has witnessed the emergence of two additional types of motorization: 100% electric and hydrogen. While these technologies don't entirely resolve all issues related to polluting emissions from automobiles and the predicted oil scarcity, they have swiftly become the favourites of public authorities. A recent example is the approved ban, effective after 2035, preventing any car manufacturer from selling new vehicles with thermal engines in Europe.


Even with recent exemptions like synthetic fuel, reserved for the fortunate few who can continue using their thermal engine vehicles, the majority will be left with no alternative but to transition to electric power. However, this shift to all-electric or hydrogen won't inherently solve the underlying problems.


The key lies not in technology but in rational thinking. The insightful observers might question the root cause of this widespread blindness and how so many decision-makers are misconstruing real solutions in terms of mobility.


Coined by Belarusian-American researcher Evgeny Morozov in 2014, the concept of technological solutionism, or techno solutionism, appears to be one of the most prevalent ideologies. This ideology is not only prevalent in university classrooms worldwide but also within numerous companies and among various political decision-makers.


According to proponents of techno solutionism, any problem, especially those arising from outdated technology, can and should find its solution in more recent and presumably superior technologies. While this conceptual approach may seem delusional, it does highlight the glaringly evident – a truth that's entirely demonstrable.


The early 21st century may be remembered as an era marked by widespread introspection and a penchant for magical thinking – a mirror image of the decline of the scientific approach and spirit. It's crucial to recognize that an engineer's role involves developing and manufacturing machines and systems, but they must acknowledge an immutable fact – they are bound by the laws of physics. No technology, device, or process can change or modify these fundamental laws.



Weight as the Primary Culprit


In the realm of vehicle design, one immutable law stands out – weight is the enemy. Kinetic energy, the energy released when a vehicle is set in motion, is directly proportional to its weight. The heavier the vehicle, the more energy it consumes, regardless of the energy source. This increased energy consumption has severe environmental consequences, from pollutant emissions to resource depletion.


When an object is set into motion, it releases energy. This energy, referred to as kinetic energy, is determined by the following formula:


It equals 0.5 times the vehicle's mass multiplied by the square of its speed. The kinetic energy acquired by an object, such as a vehicle, is thus directly proportional to its weight. For instance, at the same speed, a vehicle weighing twice as much as another will theoretically require twice as much energy to move forward. In simpler terms, the heavier the vehicle, the more energy it will consume, regardless of the source from which this energy is produced or stored. The higher the energy consumption for movement, the greater the environmental impact, be it in terms of pollutant emissions or fuel consumption.


Irrespective of the energy type employed, the production processes, transportation, and storage methods entail adverse consequences, not only in environmental pollution but also indirect impacts on the lives of millions of people.


Consider oil, for instance. Ignoring the crassest form of bad faith, it's impossible to overlook the numerous bloody conflicts throughout the 20th century, many fueled by the relentless pursuit and consumption of oil for vehicles. Furthermore, it is equally crucial to highlight the substantial damage caused to the planet and many of its inhabitants due to the extraction, transport, refining, and consumption of oil.



Environmental Impact of Current Technologies


The pursuit of clean energy alternatives, such as electric vehicles, is not without its environmental challenges. The production of heavy batteries for electric cars requires unreasonable quantities of materials, leading to ethical concerns. Cobalt, a critical component in these batteries, is often mined in conditions that exploit child labour and pose severe health risks. Similarly, lithium extraction raises water consumption issues, affecting local communities and ecosystems.


Nevertheless, the situation is no better for electric cars, often labelled as clean or zero-emission. The concern revolves around the utterly unreasonable quantities of materials necessary for manufacturing the hefty batteries essential to power these vehicles.



On this matter, a 2020 UN report brought attention to the fact that a significant portion of the cobalt used in electric vehicle battery production comes from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this country, around 20% of the mines were categorized as so-called artisanal, characterized by abysmal working conditions.


The statistics were alarming: it was estimated that by 2020, up to 40,000 children were engaged in extremely perilous work, lacking proper safety measures, and earning meagre wages. Additionally, child labourers faced various physical risks and endured psychological abuse. While the government pledged to eradicate child labour in the mines by 2025, there is no assurance that the working conditions for the adults replacing them will be any better.

Lithium, a key metal in batteries, also presents challenges. Excessive water consumption is a significant issue in lithium extraction. Nearly 2 million litres of water are required to extract one tonne of lithium. In Chile's Atacama region, lithium mining, coupled with other mining activities, has consumed 65% of the region's available water, exacerbating water shortages for farmers who are now struggling to maintain their herds and crops.


Regarding lithium, there are real health risks for individuals working in mining operations. Inhaling lithium dust and alkaline lithium compounds can irritate the respiratory tract. Prolonged exposure and the accumulation of this metal or its derivatives in the lungs may lead to the development of pulmonary edema in the medium term.


Lastly, addressing the risks associated with graphite, despite its small percentage in battery composition, is crucial for anode production, among other applications. In 2016, The Washington Post published a report detailing the consequences of graphite mining for local communities, including contamination of drinkable water, airborne pollution affecting skin and food, and damage to numerous trees and plants. This extensive pollution is suspected of causing various health problems, including heart attacks and severe respiratory ailments.


The 2020 UN report delves into the environmental repercussions of mining minerals for battery production. One major issue is acid mine drainage. With the surge in mining activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, numerous sites, whether abandoned or active, witness the uncontrolled exposure of sulphur minerals.


Upon contact with air, these sulphur minerals undergo uncontrolled conversion into sulfuric acid, resulting in persistent contamination of drinking and irrigation water. Additionally, dust released into the air during mining operations poses another set of problems. Some of these dust particles have been identified to contain hazardous metals such as uranium. In 2018, cobalt extracted from the Kamoto mine was found to have traces of uranium exceeding permissible limits, leading to a complete production halt. Lastly, akin to other mining ventures, the extent of damage concerning the destruction of age-old landscapes is yet to be fully assessed, but signs of this impact are already observable.



Safety and Weight Misconception


Contrary to popular belief, the correlation between vehicle weight and safety is misguided. In the event of a collision, a lighter vehicle requires less energy absorption, reducing the risk of injury to occupants. The misconception that heavier vehicles are safer has perpetuated the mass inflation of automobiles, contributing to environmental degradation.


While the challenges mentioned are undoubtedly intrinsic to the manufacturing of various vehicle components and systems, it becomes evident that the environmental and human impact amplifies with the increasing weight of the vehicle. A logical deduction follows: opting for lightweight cars could substantially mitigate the global ecological footprint of manufacturers.


Contrary to common belief, the prevailing robustness of contemporary vehicles is often attributed to safety concerns. However, an intriguing revelation is that high weight and safety are not harmonious concepts. Understanding this necessitates an exploration of a vehicle's behaviour during an accident. Traditional deceleration involves the gradual conversion of kinetic energy into heat through the friction between brake pads or shoes and discs or drums. In the case of hybrid or electric vehicles, energy recovery is possible when the engine transforms into a generator.


A collision can be likened to a sudden deceleration, demanding the absorption of accumulated energy in an extremely brief period. The key measure for this scenario is acceleration, manifesting as a negative value. In a head-on collision with a wall, for instance, the vehicle's acceleration is determined by dividing the speed difference by the time of the impact. For a collision at 90 km/h or 25 meters per second lasting a tenth of a second, the vehicle undergoes an acceleration of minus 250 meters per square second.





Enter Newton's second law: F=ma. According to this fundamental principle, the force exerted by one object on another is the product of its mass and acceleration.


Applying this to our example, in the scenario of a 2-tonne vehicle colliding with a wall, the force exerted at the point of impact amounts to 500,000 Newtons or approximately 51 tonnes. Conversely, if the vehicle's weight is reduced by half, say to one tonne, the force applied on impact is likewise halved. It becomes evident that a lighter vehicle has less energy to absorb during an accident.


The dissipation of accumulated energy primarily occurs through the deformation of the chassis and bodywork components, ultimately reducing it to zero. Consequently, in a collision with a rigid structure, a heavier vehicle sustains greater damage, elevating the risk of injury to its occupants. In the context of a vehicle-to-vehicle collision, the increased mass of one vehicle heightens the likelihood of fatal consequences for the occupants of the lighter vehicle.



Equipment Race and Size Inflation


The continuous increase in vehicle size, driven by an equipment race among manufacturers, has exacerbated the weight problem. Enhanced comfort features, though contributing to the rise in weight, also impact the selling price and raw material consumption. The endless quest for more centimetres and additional comfort features has led to a self-perpetuating cycle of increased vehicle size, mass, and complexity.


The current trend of inflating the mass of contemporary automobiles lacks logical justification. When confronted with this data, one might wonder why manufacturers don't respond by producing lighter cars. The primary cause of this perplexing situation stems from the ongoing race for equipment upgrades in which nearly all manufacturers, with very few exceptions, have been engaged for several decades.


Taking Peugeot's 100 series as an illustration, comparing the standard comfort features available on the latest 208 with those absent or optional on its predecessor, the 205, reveals a stark contrast:


  • No power steering

  • No air-conditioning

  • No power windows

  • No multifunction displays

  • No car radio

  • No central locking

  • No third brake light


Additionally, newer comfort features such as wrap-around seats, multi-layer glass, acoustic cushioning, and multi-layer carpets have been introduced. While contributing to the increase in weight, it's crucial to emphasize that these additions also directly impact the selling price, as previously discussed, and result in higher volumes of raw materials used in constructing each new vehicle. Consequently, while a 205 weighed an average of 860 kg in 1982, its descendant, the current 208, tips the scales at an inglorious 1.3 tonnes on average.

The second reason behind mass inflation lies in the almost continuous expansion of vehicle dimensions. Using the example of the Peugeot city car, we can grasp the overall external dimensions by multiplying height, width, and length for each generation.


The first-generation 208 was the only one to shrink in size compared to its predecessor, and its total mass also followed a similar curve, decreasing by over 8%. However, despite this example, vehicle sizes persist in growing.


Some may argue that this choice is inevitably tied to the numerous reinforcements and airbags required to absorb impact in the event of a collision. To counter this argument, let's consider the BMW 3 Series. Since 1975, there has been a steady increase in vehicle size. This trend started well before crash tests were standardized, i.e., before 1997. Moreover, the pivotal year 1997 did not witness a more significant increase in vehicle size than other periods.


The supposed causal link between car size and the need for safety reinforcement is therefore entirely inaccurate. To compound matters, manufacturers have ensnared themselves in an unending downward spiral, continually pursuing additional centimetres and comfort features, as you will soon observe.



Breaking the Vicious Cycle


Breaking free from this cycle requires a fundamental shift in the industry's mindset. Manufacturers must reconsider the necessity of oversized components, such as gearboxes and suspensions, and prioritize lightweight materials and efficient design. A return to smaller, lighter vehicles can significantly reduce environmental impact without compromising safety.


First and foremost, it's crucial to recall that the energy required to propel a vehicle is directly tied to its weight.


To maintain performance levels with each generational transition, an increase in the torque supplied by various engines became imperative. While supercharging can yield remarkable results in this aspect without excessively burdening the engine's weight, the same cannot be said for other components of the car.


The cascade effect of vehicle enlargement and enhanced features necessitates adjustments in various elements:


  1. Oversized gearbox: To accommodate additional torque transmission.

  2. Transmission elements: Such as shafts and cardan shafts, must undergo similar adjustments.

  3. Increased wheel size: Aimed at improving road holding.

  4. Enlarged suspension components: To cope with the augmented forces induced by the overall increase in vehicle weight.

  5. Stiffening the chassis: Resulting in increased mass to serve the same purpose.

  6. Larger brake discs and pads: To maintain braking distance and endurance.

  7. Inclusion of safety devices: To ensure occupant safety in case of impact.


The absurdity of this approach is evident. In essence, the growth in vehicle size and equipment triggers an initial surge in mass. Subsequently, other components and equipment are resized accordingly, leading to an augmented weight. Moreover, the safety aspect, aimed at enhancing the vehicle's safety, further contributes to its weight. Yet, once the vehicle is burdened, the vicious circle often restarts, occasionally even during the development phase. The chassis may require additional stiffening, the braking system might need amplification, the suspension could demand reinforcement, the transmission may be further weighed down, and safety components might undergo an increase in size, number, and weight.


This approach, although fundamentally absurd in addressing the inherent issues of combustion-powered vehicles, persists in the construction of electric and hydrogen-powered cars. This is despite being regularly criticized by numerous adept engineers. Nevertheless, there exist numerous avenues to reverse this trend.




Conclusion


As we conclude our expedition into the realm "Beyond the Hype: Decoding the EV Revolution," the landscape of automotive innovation and environmental sustainability emerges with newfound clarity. Unveiling the hidden realities, from the weighty implications of vehicle design to the unforeseen challenges in electric mobility, prompts a critical reevaluation of our path forward.


Navigating this transformative era demands a holistic understanding of the challenges that echo beyond the glossy promises. From the intricate dance between weight and environmental impact to the necessity for paradigm shifts in industry thinking, our exploration underscores the need for nuanced solutions.


In charting the course toward a more sustainable automotive future, the call is clear: balance. Balancing the promises of EV adoption with the pragmatic considerations of weight-based taxation, balancing technological aspirations with the sobering realities of resource consumption, and ultimately, balancing the industry's race for innovation with a responsible commitment to environmental stewardship.


As we bid adieu to this journey, the road ahead beckons with both challenges and opportunities. Let our collective wisdom guide us, as we stride purposefully into a future where the automotive landscape is not just defined by hype, but by a balanced and informed approach to sustainability.




Ready to delve deeper into the future of automotive innovation? Join the conversation on 'Beyond the Hype: Decoding the EV Revolution.' Share your thoughts, insights, and questions in the comments below. Let's collectively unravel the hidden truths and forge a path toward a more sustainable and informed automotive future. Your voice matters in shaping the dialogue – let's drive change together!


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