As Chicago gears up for the nation’s largest auto show this weekend, automakers face increasing pressure to transition towards electric vehicles as part of a global initiative to mitigate human-induced climate change.
With Illinois’s Climate and Equitable Jobs Act providing a roadmap for a cleaner grid, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law professor Robert A. Weinstock emphasizes the pivotal role of public health officials and environmental advocates in ensuring that “electrification in Illinois leads to maximum public benefits.”
Four experts from Northwestern are available to discuss the 2024 Chicago Auto Show, the electrification process, and the associated public health advantages.
Jennifer Dunn, a chemical and biological engineering professor at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and director of the Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience, emphasizes the holistic consideration needed for electric vehicle sustainability.
While acknowledging that electric vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions mile per mile, she urges careful evaluation of the impacts of mining critical minerals on surrounding ecosystems.
Jeffrey Lopez, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at McCormick and a faculty affiliate of the Trienens Institute, focuses on identifying and developing high-performance materials for batteries to enhance the sustainability of the entire battery economy.
Lopez notes the global growth of electric vehicle sales over the past seven years and highlights the need to address challenges such as reducing battery costs and meeting raw material demands.
As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, the insights of these experts shed light on the broader considerations necessary for sustainable and environmentally conscious practices in the transition to electric vehicles.