Electric vehicles (EVs) offer an opportunity to replace fossil fuels in the transport sector. Electrification of the transport sector can also bring benefits in terms of increased energy efficiency and reduced local pollution. However, there are genuine concerns about meeting the future energy demand for charging EV batteries with clean and renewable sources. More importantly, the issue of long-term sustainability of EVs is underscored by the supply risks of critical material resources used in the EV batteries. Extraction of some of these material resources are linked to significant environmental impacts as well as social and ethical issues.
The Future of Electric Vehicles and Material Resources: A Foresight Brief is developed by the UNU/UNITAR-SCYCLE Programme and UNEP-IETC. It provides a snapshot of the recent developments in the EV sector. It highlights major challenges and opportunities in the mainstreaming of EVs and in ensuring a sustainable supply of material resources with a focus on the end-of-life (EoL) management of EV batteries.
The Foresight Brief also provides an overview of recent policy developments concerning the promotion of EVs and the management of EoL batteries. Finally, it offers policy recommendations for ensuring the long-term resource sustainability of EVs.