Meanwhile, cobalt prices have dropped by more than half, while copper has fallen by 18%. Cobalt is another important material found in batteries, while copper is used in electric motors and batteries.
Experts can’t quite figure out why prices are dropping, but it’s good news for consumers who want to invest in an EV, as it’s allowing carmakers to slash prices.
Already, Tesla lowered the prices of its two most expensive cars — the Model S sedan and Model X sport — by thousands of dollars in March. The company had also slashed prices in January, partially to make some of its vehicles eligible for the new $7,500 EV tax credits that are part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
A transition from dirty energy-burning cars to more electric vehicles would be a win for the environment. While the production of EV batteries releases planet-warming gasses, an EV releases far fewer of these gasses than a conventional one (more than one-third of an EV’s lifetime emissions come from the energy used to make the car itself).
That said, EVs don’t come without their own set of environmental concerns. Traditionally, the mining of the minerals used in their production, including lithium, is associated with dirty energy sources like oil and gas. Hard-rock lithium mining scars the landscape, uses a lot of water, and releases a lot of air pollution. However, experts are coming up with cleaner, more environmentally-friendly ways to extract these minerals.
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