Disclaimer: The opinions of the columnists are their own and not necessarily those of their employer.
C. Warren Axelrod

Are Electric Cars Secure?

That might appear to be a strange question. After all, when it comes to automobiles, the focus is mostly on safety, although articles have appeared describing how the computer networks and systems built into modern automobiles can readily be hacked and the hacker can take control of various operating functions.  And stealth electric cars are known to be a “silent menace” and so they are being equipped with noisemakers to warn pedestrians of their approach.

But, no, I really mean secure in the sense that electric cars are totally dependent on the electricity grid, which is increasingly being questioned in terms of its resiliency and vulnerability to cyber attacks on the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems, which manage the electricity grids. Modern economic life is becoming increasingly dependent on supply chains of which too little is understood and which put us at increasing risk from disruptions. We have seen how events can easily interrupt the gasoline supply chain and we have some inkling of the current impact of electricity outages. Yet we are still willing to leverage the electricity supply chain so as to be even more dependent, without taking the time to analyze the impact.

I would argue that we are going in the wrong direction when it comes to electric cars. I’m somewhat supportive of hybrid vehicles, except that I would question the environmental impact of dumping all those batteries and the supply of materials from which the batteries are made, such as lithium, being in the hands of a few countries.

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