- 本系公告 /
Insights into Future Electric Mobility
Growing global awareness of the environmental impacts of combustion is accelerating electric vehicles (EVs) adoption. However, future sustainable mobility cannot be achieved without substantial changes in vehicle technology, consumer behavior, infrastructure systems, and policy. Great impacts and uncertainties are anticipated during the transition towards electric mobility. In this presentation, I will describe my efforts to answer some of the key questions regarding electrification: When will EVs become affordable? How clean are EVs?
Given that the battery prices have been dropping rapidly in the past several years, a recurring question is how quickly battery prices can be expected to drop to the target of $100/kWh and how much lower battery prices can be expected to go. Greater production volumes and improvements in manufacturing efficiency will drive down costs, but the prices will eventually stabilize as they get closer to the cost of the materials they are made of. I will discuss how the essential materials, especially expensive elements (lithium, nickel and cobalt) used in current battery technologies, will constrain the declining trajectory of production costs and set practical lower bounds on battery prices. Another big uncertainty surrounding EVs is whether they could really create a cleaner planet. EVs avoid tailpipe emissions of CO2 and air pollutants from fossil fuel combustion but may lead to greater emissions from the upstream stage of electricity generation, especially in the world’s largest EV market, China, where coal-fired power generation has been the backbone of the electricity supply. I will present the current life-cycle emissions comparison for vehicles with different powertrains and how China’s EV policy will affect future climate change, air quality, and public health.
I-Yun Lisa Hsieh is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, jointly appointed by the Department of Chemical Engineering, at National Taiwan University (NTU). Prior to joining NTU in 2020, I-Yun received her B.S. degrees (double major) in Chemical Engineering and in Finance from NTU in 2014, and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2020. I-Yun is the core contributor in the MIT Energy Initiative's Mobility of the Future research study, which is a part of MIT’s plan for action on climate change. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Transportation Energy, Energy Economics, Environmental Policy, and Sustainability Transition.