The Future of Electric Cars in a Net Zero World

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Net Zero LIVE London 2024 featured an all-female panel for ‘The Future of Electric Cars in a Net Zero World’

Sustainability LIVE Net Zero welcomed expert speakers to its forum on The Future of EVs in a Net Zero World. The discussion explored the future of transportation and the role of electric cars as a zero-tailpipe-emission solution to mobility. 

The all-female panel included:

The panel was hosted by BizClik's own Neil Perry. Here are some of the highlights.

Collaboration is key, says General Motors’ Kristen Siemen 

Kristen Siemen is an engineer by degree and spent most of her career in product development, where she didn’t see a lot of collaboration with competitors.

“In sustainability, I think you see a lot more collaboration, which means that the consumer has more choices and more options,” she said. 

The more that car manufacturers can do to engage in municipalities and build collaborations across the industry, means that the consumer wins. 

“It takes everyone and we're seeing the interface between the automotive transport and energy sector.”


Angela Hultberg, Kearney’s Global Director of Sustainability, on regulation challenges

Previously, Hultberg had been optimistic about regulation surrounding electric vehicles, but that’s changing. 

“Now all of a sudden, we're seeing policy makers regulating against EV adoption, which is completely upside down! We're seeing more subsidies for fossil fuels and we're seeing regulation that nudges the consumers to actually stay with a combustion engine.”

Hultberg is also one of our panel judges for The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards on 10th September. 


Polestar’s Fredrika Klarén on seeing car manufacturers take on sustainability challenges 

In the past, car manufacturers were faced with challenges around cost and efficiency. Now, the problems are how to advance sustainability. 

“Within automotive companies, we have so many problems to solve,” said Klarén. “I mean, I was shocked at the level of capability and knowledge that you have inhouse in a car manufacturing company. It's amazing to see designers and engineers taking on the sustainability challenges.”

Polestar has created a KPI for its engineers to use and is measuring grams per kilometre and the volume of non-circular material used.

“We're trying to utilise two levers, ensuring that we are using more circular materials, while also extending the lifespan of the car.”


The power of the consumer according to Rivian’s Anisa Kamadoli Costa 

When host Neil Perry asked who had the responsibility of advancing sustainability in the sector, Costa was clear that it is going to take all of the sectors to come together to get this done. 

“The responsibility lies with all of us, the situation is clear in terms of where the world needs to go and all the sectors that are involved,” she said. “It's going to take policy, it's going to take various industries and it's going to take the consumer.”

After all, buying a car is often the second-biggest financial investment a consumer makes, after their house. The needs and desires of the consumer are at the centre of advancing sustainability in the electric vehicle sector - and these car manufacturers know it. 

Tune in for more at Day 2 of Sustainability LIVE Net Zero here



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