We are all aware of the Net Zero deadline looming ahead of us - the UK needs to be carbon neutral by 2050. There are many different issues and sectors that we need to focus on to get there, including transport.
The future is electric
In addition to the creation of a Zero-Emission Vehicle Transition Council, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that the government's ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been brought forward, from 2040 to 2030, with some hybrids still allowed to be sold until 2035. This means that establishing a good electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is key, with charging points widely available and quicker charging times made possible.
Another issue which needs to be addressed is how to recycle and reuse EV batteries sustainably - according to a UKRI blog post, an estimated 6 million batteries will end up in landfill by 2040, negating the environmental benefits of EVs to some extent.
Back in September, Veolia partnered with Solvay to launch a consortium on creating a circular value ecosystem for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries in Europe. This will enable scarce raw materials to be reused.
We have also been recycling EV batteries since 2013 in our recycling plant in eastern France, by dismantling them and using a combination of mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes to make it possible to treat the active cells and extract the active metals. These metals are then used by industry and transformed into new materials, setting a precedent for how used batteries can contribute to a circular economy, rather than being sent to landfill.
More than cars
Of course, the shift to electric applies to all types of vehicles, not just cars. Transport remains the largest source of emissions in the UK - according to UKRI, it accounted for 34% in 2019 - so it's important to address the sector as a whole. This year has seen the number of electric buses increasing, and adapted road systems for electric trucks are even being discussed. The waste sector is no different - Veolia now has several fully electric refuse vehicles in operation.
Our unique expertise in Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point infrastructure could help your business electrify its fleet and massively reduce its carbon footprint.
A new consortium is born, creating a circular value eco-system for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries in Europe by enabling the reuse of scarce critical raw materials
In a recent poll conducted on our LinkedIn page, 77% of respondents claimed that their level of concern over carbon has increased in the past five years.