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Bill Gates weighs in on the trouble with EVs after buying his first electric car

Hemani Sheth | Updated on February 17, 2020 Published on February 17, 2020

Bill Gates   -  REUTERS

Microsoft boss Bill Gates in a recent interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee shared his views on the trouble with electric cars after purchasing one himself. 

The interview focused on the issue of climate change among others. When asked about his views on the same, Gates focused on the need for global collaboration across sectors including passenger cars. 

“Getting to zero (emissions) means all the countries going along in all the different sectors of emissions. So it’s not enough if you just do passenger cars. But you also have to do industrial and agriculture and other forms of public transport like planes and long-distance trucks,” Gates said in the video interview. 

Gates also shared his experience owning his first electric car, the Porsche Taycan. According to the Microsoft co-founder, the biggest concern for consumers when it comes to electric vehicles is range. In order to maximize EV adoption, manufacturers will have to tackle consumers’ range anxiety. 

“The range, if you want to go long distance, the pervasiveness of recharging, the time to recharge, compared to filling up a tank of gas, the amount of energy that is going in per minute of filling a gas tank is kind of mind-blowing. Gasoline is very dense energy, 30 times denser than the current lithium batteries,” Gates said. 

The Porsche Taycan has a range of 388 and 412km as per the WLTP standard.

Gates also emphasized upon other areas of improvement that need to be focused on for faster adoption of improving EVs. Price was another major concern. 

“It is important for the price to come down. Of course, you would spend a little bit less on the electricity than you would on gasoline and the maintenance cost is a little bit less although the insurance right now is a little bit more. The repairs on the mirror that are rich and complicated, fixing the mirrors used to be a hundred bucks, now it’s fifteen hundred. Some work needs to be done in these areas.” Gates said.

However, considering all segments that contribute to tackling climate change, passenger cars are the most hopeful according to Gates.  

India Inc on EVs

Gates’ views are also shared by the Indian business tycoon, Ratan Tata who had recently shared his views on EVs on social media. Tata also emphasized on the issue with charging that EV consumers face and the importance of omnipresent charging infrastructure in boosting EV adoption. 

“The jump to all-EV is difficult, especially without omnipresent charging infrastructure. The approach should realistically legislate the different types of propulsion systems and our journey to electric vehicles can always be supported by improvement in IC engines and introduction of hybrids,” Tata said in an Instagram post. 

Gates’ initiatives

Gates is working towards multiple social initiatives along with climate change through the Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation. 

Microsoft is also working on sustainability initiatives of its own. The tech giant in January had announced its intention to become completely carbon negative by 2030. It had also detailed its action plan in an official statement published on the Microsoft website. The company will focus on all areas of production and supply chain management to achieve this feat. 

Published on February 17, 2020
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