cars

  1. Science
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emissions from ordinary household goods. Sources include paint, cleaning products, gasoline, and flooring. Side effects depend on the amount of exposure and VOC concentration in the room. Long-term exposure can lead to liver and kidney damage and problems with the central nervous system. Experts are concerned with VOCs in the air because they form ground-level ozone during reactions with nitrogen oxide. Some products are more friendly to humans and the environment because they reduce the impact of VOCs. Dig deeper → 5 min
  1. Business
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a sustainable option for transportation in America, but why are there so few on the highway? How long will it take for them to become prevalent? Key highlights of the current EV market: America sold 7 million EVs in 2021, but EVs are only 1% of all cars in the U.S. Domestic manufacturers like Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford have unveiled plans for popular models to turn electric. Buyers are hesitant to buy EVs because of price, charging stations, and driving range. Some experts predict EV sales will outpace gas-powered vehicle sales by 2040. States like California, New York, and Washington have already set deadlines to ban the sale of gas cars by 2035. Dig deeper → 4 min
  1. Business
The scoop: Supply chains must respond to increasing demand for climate action. Key talking points: People can see the potential effects of climate change in places like the Rhine River in Europe and Texas with its winter energy crisis.Rising ocean temperatures are pushing lobsters north and making it harder for these creatures to reproduce, harming the seafood industry in the Northeast.In response to consumers and investors, automakers are transitioning to electric vehicles, even for the most popular models.The effects will worsen if governments and the private sector don’t act quickly. Droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and other storms will get stronger and cause further damage to industries, the environment, and the supply chain. Dig deeper → 5 min
  1. Business
Busy? Try the speed read.

Founder story: Elon Musk (co-founder) is a controversial figure with a complicated history. But he is a forward-thinker that can help drive a more sustainable future.

Industry standards: Automakers have a history of poor environmental standards. The manufacturing process requires loads of resources, equipment and infrastructure. Tesla has a $500bn+ market cap, so we understand that complete sustainability is difficult to accomplish.

Materials: Modern cars use metals (aluminum in common), silica, rubber, plastic, rubber, soy, wheat, rice… to name a few. In terms of sustainability, the lithium ion battery is most concerning.

Tesla's current battery uses cobalt... linked to human rights violations in the Congo. Cobalt also makes the vehicle more expensive. Tesla is currently working to remove cobalt from their supply chain.

Ethics: To hit ambitious production goals, Tesla overworked domestic workers in a pretty ugly way. That adds to their controversy in the Congo. Not a good look when a billionaire does so well and you find out workers were unhappy.

Bottom line: Tesla has sustainability tied to its mission, and they are doing awesome things in the solar energy space. Still, their current business model is not sustainable. Wait until Tesla removes cobalt, improves worker conditions and reduces vehicle prices to make an ethical purchase.

Dig deeper → 5 min.

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