Japan is proposing tax breaks for domestically made semiconductors and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), according to reports from the Nikkei newspaper. 

These breaks, similar to US regulations, are intended to promote domestic manufacturing and a transition to cleaner energy within the country. Japan has also begun negotiations with Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia to mine cobalt and other critical minerals for EV battery production. 

But have these tax breaks arrived just too late for the EV hype? 

Already this year GlobalData’s social media analytics have tracked a significant decline in online posts made about the theme across both Reddit and Twitter. Positive sentiment posts are experiencing a striking 92% decrease. 

According to GlobalData 13,634 total posts were made about EVs by its tracked influencers throughout 2022, whilst only 3,461 have been made so far this year. 

The true environmental impact of electric vehicles is coming under growing scrutiny, from the sheer volume of critical minerals needed to create batteries, to the batteries themselves still being charged mostly with coal powered energy. 

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Cobalt has especially been linked to both environmental and human rights violations during the mining process. 

The process of mining Lithium is also water intensive, with reports estimating that around 2.2 million litres of water is used to produce one ton of Lithium. 

Whilst Japan’s efforts to boost its domestic EV economy may work, EVs still have a lot of environmental concerns that are increasingly shown in the media harming their eco-friendly image. 

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Disruptor data, which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors. These signals help us to uncover key innovation areas in the sector and the themes that drive them. They tell us about the topics on the minds of business leaders and investors, and indicate where leading companies are focusing their investment, deal-making and R&D efforts.