Looking through the innovations of the automotive industry, it is clearly evident that Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the future of the transportation sector on a worldwide level ! EVs are emerging car types that are either partially, or fully powered by electricity instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE). In the past few years, the interest in such car types has been mostly driven by the need to decarbonize the transportation sector.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), EVs were responsible for around 9% of the global car sales in 2021. In fact, despite the expected growth in the transportation sector in the upcoming years, the increasing diffusion of electric cars will lead to a 20% decrease in the transport-related emissions by 2050. The decrease of emissions caused by the increasing diffusion of electric cars reflects the importance of this technology in reaching Net Zero Emissions in future years. However, one should not neglect the different issues and particularities of electric cars which might hinder their further spread and limit their positive impact on the environment.

Although electric cars seem to be a straightforward innovation with an overall positive impact, their adoption remains a highly debated topic due to several reasons and factors associated to the different stages of their lifecycle. Consequently, several stakeholders have been involved in taking action to regulate the emergence of this technology.

What are the different types of Electric Vehicles?

There are several types of electric vehicles which differ in terms of the battery size the way in which the battery is charged. The most common battery type in all of the electric vehicles is the lithium ion battery as it is the most commercial battery technology offering the highest energy density.

  1. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs): Battery Electric Vehicles are the vehicles that are commonly referred to as EVs. As seen in the figure, BEVs solely operate on their rechargeable battery, and they do not have any internal combustion engine. When charged with energy coming from renewable energy sources, BEVs ensure zero emissions during their lifetime. Therefore, to ensure a full zero-emissions transport sector, the use of BEVs is crucial. The average battery size in BEVs ranges between 30-40 kWh lithium ion batteries offering 200-300 km in electric mode.
  2. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEVs): PHEVs are cars which operate using both, an electric motor (battery) and an internal combustion engine. The presence of the two driving modes allow a higher kilometer range compared to pure EVs, however, their usage does not fully eliminate the emissions related to transportation. In this type of technology, the battery could be charged in two ways: regenerative braking, which is the charging of the battery when the brakes are applied, or by plugging in the car at a charging station. The typical size of the battery in this type of car is 9-10 kWh offering a driving range of around 60-70 km in electric mode.
  3. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): HEVs are vehicles that also operate in the two modes: electric and through an internal combustion engine. However, unlike PHEVs, HEVs cannot be plugged, and the only method to charge the battery is through regenerative braking. In fact, the role of the battery is just to assist the engine and provide a more efficient utilization of the fuel for example during acceleration. The size of the battery is relatively small and ranges from 1-2 kWh.
  4. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV): FCEVs are vehicles that operate on hydrogen. The hydrogen is fed to the fuel cell stack of the car (seen in the figure) which produces electricity that is stored in the car’s battery. The fuel cell is coupled with the battery to avoid intermittent operation of the fuel cell which might decrease its efficiency. The kilometer range of such cars is usually in the range of 650 km and is highly dependent on the size of the fuel cell stack and battery. However, the price of FCEVs remains significantly higher than other electric vehicles to date.

What are the disadvantages of Electric Vehicles?

There are multiple issues and disadvantages to using electric vehicles. Some of these issues can be solved through proper regulatory interventions, while others are unavoidable.

Electric cars are as green as their energy sources

One key aspect that seem to be neglected by most countries wishing to decarbonize their transportation sector is that electric cars can achieve their desired targets of decreasing emissions only when they are coupled with renewable electricity coming from the grid. The use of electric vehicles without renewable electricity to charge them will only lead to problem shifting; emissions will be present in the vicinity of production plants and not in the cities. Hence, regulatory bodies should encourage both electric vehicles and renewable assets to ensure emissions reduction.

The production of EVs requires rare metals

One major problem to the massive diffusion of EVs is the availability of rare elements, mainly lithium, that are needed for the production of the batteries. For example, a 70 kWh battery requires 15.45 kg of lithium. The main reserves and production of lithium are concentrated in few countries, mainly in Chile and Argentine, which could limit the possibility of other regions in the world, such as Europe, to access the lithium metal. Thus, the main question that remains unanswered is whether there will be enough battery production to meet the rising demand of EVs in future years? This video further explains the possible problem arising from material scarcity related to battery production.

The charging phase of EVs creates poses several possible issues

Another issue which comes with the adoption of EVs is the presence of a widespread charging station infrastructure. In fact, when asked about the reason for not switching from ICE cars to EVs, most people state that they are afraid of running out of charge before finding a nearby charging station. This issue could be seen as a chicken-egg problem where, on one hand, the diffusion of EVs depends on the availability of charging stations, and on the other hand, investors are only willing to invest in charging stations when they see that the EV market is growing. Another issue related to the charging phase of EV is the long time needed to recharge the car. Despite the new innovation of fast charging, it can only be used up to around 80% capacity level after which the battery goes back to normal charging. Therefore, the long waiting time to recharge the car might be repelling for some commuters.

What are the most known Electric Vehicles in 2022?

Electric cars could be divided into afforable cars and the ones that are more luxurious and high-end, and for each category there are known automotive companies. In the range of affordable cars, the most known producers are Fiat and Peugeot. For more high-end EVs, Tesla remains the unbeatable producer of electric vehicles.

For the year 2022, the most advised and affordable EV is the Fiat 500. The price of the car starts from 20,000 EUR up to 30,000 EUR.


As seen in the picture, Fiat 500 offers a compact stylish car, suitable for everyday use. It has also unique features which make it perfect to be used in the city. A full review of the Fiat 500 can be seen in this video.

As for the more luxurious car, Tesla Model 3 remains the unmatched choice in EVs, as it is also considered the affordable model among other Tesla cars with its price starting from around 50,000 EUR. For a full review of the Tesla Model 3, don’t forget to check this video!

Despite the several concerns regarding electric cars, they are for sure a promising trend to decarbonize the transportation sector. A good investment in 2022 would surely involve purchasing an EV that matches your budget and daily needs!

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