Various governments and manufacturers are setting new electric mobility targets and new tech solutions for EVs are being developed and implemented. And while we work on making EVs as efficient as possible, it is the perfect time to create zero-carbon supply chains. After all, our advancements to date are not enough to ensure limiting the increase in global warming to the target of 1.5°C (3.6°F) compared to preindustrial levels. 

Zero-carbon supply chains can reduce emissions by a factor of 10, which is why cooperation between sectors and governments is so important. And the right time to do it is now, while the industry is still growing. Developing clean supply chains with cross-border goals and smart solutions should be figured out now, before EVs establish themselves as the leading vehicle on the roads.  

Not just cars 

However, the roads are not the only supply chain factor contributing to carbon emissions—approximately 90% of world trade is transported by sea. Leading shipping associations have now proposed creating a global levy on carbon emissions from ships in the hopes of speeding up this industry’s move towards being environmentally friendly. 

Perhaps surprisingly, considering the levels of power required, electric ships are being developed. A few already exists, but batteries, their size, and power limitations remain a challenge. The same is true for electric airplanes 

All this proves the transportation industry’s hope to move towards electric. But new solutions and technologies are needed to make this happen. 

Large scale and small scale 

Electrifying every part of the supply chain would be a huge step to achieving zero-carbon goals. However, large-scale cooperation is required if we’re hoping to reach a complete shift to electrification (of the roads, the seas, and the skies) and realize its full potential. We need every part of the equation to be as carbon neutral as possible.  

On a smaller scale, the focus should be on manufacturers and how they organize their processes to ensure they’re carbon free. This is especially true for new companies and businesses in the electric propulsion industry. Building relationships and finding solutions that work for all parties as well as the environment will help everyone involved in the long run.  

McKinsey published a paper on four key trends in electric mobility and assessed that next to some more “obvious” solutions, such as placing battery plants close to OEMs to lower carbon transport costs, there are also innovative ideas such as “green” steel or plants that are powered with carbon-free, water-generated electricity.  

But all those on the supply chain need to make their choices now. Once the EVs take over and the industry becomes too large, making any changes to existing supply chains might be too difficult and costly to implement.