Electric vehicles do run on batteries. Ask the average green advocate what it take to makes an electric vehicle (EV) go, and most will answer: “Batteries.” A correct and simple answer, but woefully an incomplete response.
The EV’s powered by batteries that Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden hail as the alternative to oil, require raw materials to produce those batteries. Those materials are mined in millions of metric tons each year. Those elements are smelted, refined, and eventually end up as the power source of EV’s. Some of those elements are in abundance, some are rare, but all of them are mined. Every element in an EV is the after-product of a strip mine.
An example is lithium, which is found in abundance in America, at Thatcher Pass in Nevada near the Oregon border, where there is a vast reserve. But locals and Native Americans don’t want it mined, as they feel it is a degradation of the environment. And the development of the future lithium mine at Thatcher pass is by Lithium Americas, the majority owned China Ganfeng Lithium Company, the world’s largest strip miner of lithium.
Even with environmental restrictions in place, the Nevada mine will strip millions of tons of earth, to extract just one of the elements needed for EV’s.
Cobalt, another needed component is strip mined in the Congo, where almost all of the known deposits are found. The conditions the average miner subjected there are horrific, including child labor and human rights abuses. According to Tesla, Tesla is moving away from cobalt in its batteries, but not so with other domestic EVmanufacturers.
A collateral problem with element mining, beyond strip mining, is the cost of those elements on the open market. Nickel is another critical metal in EV batteries and, like any metal, is subject to the predations of market trends and market manipulation. On Tuesday, the cost of a metric ton surged to $100,000, about a 100% increase. The London Metal Exchange stopped trading on nickel. Just that surge would translate into a 6% increase in the cost of an EV, and that’s just one day of trading.
The physical processes in producing EV’s have improved, but the process for keeping those EV’s running still has its problems, at least for some manufacturers. There was an abundance of EV commercials during the Super Bowl, with multiple ads from General Motors (GM). But last year, GM had to recall its “Tesla slayer,” the Bolt, because the batteries were burning their Bolts down. The problem was so bad that GM had to recall every Bolt made, to keep fire from destroying homes where the Bolts were parked in their garages.
Another problem is what to do with EV batteries once their effective life is spent? “Experts” envision a recycling process where used EV batteries are completely recycled. It’s a great idea, but we aren’t there yet. Not even close. The cost to do that, at present, exceeds the cost of pulling the elements out of the ground. Where is the most “efficient” EV battery recycler located” China.
Another problem no one is addressing is the cost of charging the EV battery. Every homeowner will see a serious increase in their electric bill that have an EV on a charger. And the majority of our electricity depends on fossil fuel to generate the electric energy. Today, oil, coal, and natural gas provide about 80% of our energy needs.
Semi and other trucks, as well as trains are powered by diesel, and bring our goods to market, and we won’t be replacing them anytime soon with an EV. Not to mention the equipment to mine the elements are all diesels. Smelting those elements generally requires fossil fuels. Ships don’t run on magic dust and passenger planes will never fly on batteries. Most farm equipment is run on diesel engines. The commercial market is now, and for the foreseeable future, powered by oil and gas.
Although Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation loves to speak unrealistically, and envisions EV’s replacing all vehicles on the road, that’s an unattainable myth. Biden’s National Economic Council Director, Brian Deese, went further, claiming that zero-emissions are the “ultimate goal.” Eliminating fossil fuel is no more realistic than a flying DeLorean. It’s patently absurd. Biden’s “Zero Emissions” goal is a fantasy.
Most American consumers don’t have the income to replace their gas-powered cars with a $140,000 EV with a 300-mile range. Wealthy celebrities love to scold the common middle-class American for not getting on the EV train, but reality is different.
With Joe Biden and his administration team of clowns, now Americans can’t even afford to put gas in their cars.