Anybody Surprised?

Battery metal costs, shortages could add years to pursuit of cheaper EVs

Surging battery prices and shortages of metals and materials likely will last for some time, Toyota chief scientist Gill Pratt warned this week.

“The world has thought about this in too simple of a way,” Pratt said of the auto industry’s rapid shift to electric vehicles, warning “there’s going to be this crunch [of] not enough materials,” and conditions likely will remain “hard” in the near- and mid-term.

I’m not surprised:

Coming: a Battery Supply Crunch? (2017)

‘Green’ Energy: Materials-Intensive–And It Matters (2021)

Meanwhile, Biden and his ‘energy secretary’, Jennifer Granholm, are still telling people concerned about high gas price to just get an EV.

37 thoughts on “Anybody Surprised?”

  1. Now that you’ve done the cars and the batteries, let’s do generation and grid…


    They are trying to transition to a world of fantasy. The resources are not even there to upgrade the grid to handle everyone charging a single electric car in their garage (if you’re so stupid as to do that in your house…), let alone the two or three every family has, these days. Then, there’s the utter lack of attention paid to “Where is all that generation capacity going to come from…?”, ‘cos they sure as hell aren’t loosening the requirements to build generation, nor are they spending the money to build anything at all.

    Innumeracy kills, people. Teach your kids how to count, and require basic numeracy testing for anyone who wants to make policy. The current lot of morons infesting our political system simply can’t math. The crap they come up with is proof.

    I got into it with someone supporting Jay Inslee’s vaunted “No fossil fuel vehicles after 2030” BS. The amount of sheer denial and fantasy was mind-boggling. Their answer to everything? It was like talking to some religious fanatic saying “God will provide…”, only difference being that they were saying that “they” would develop new technology in the next eight years to make it all work. When asked to describe said technology, this idiot who can’t math tells me that they don’t need to know anything about science, or engineering: They just need to tell the people that do know science and engineering to get on the job and make things happen… “It’s all about priorities, man… If we make them do it, they’ll do it…”

    The race needs culling, I’m telling you. These people are so damn stupid that it boggles my mind.

  2. Nobody should be surprised at the incompetence at the faculty lounge government we have now. Sri Lanka is a nice preview of life under the Green New Deal.

    Thus, the harvest of this Yala-Maha season would only be 48% of both the harvests of the 2019/2020 seasons and the 2020/2021 seasons.

    Samantha Powers thinks this is a good thing. “Manure and compost” instead of fertilizer.

    USAID Administrator Samantha Power said that food shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead farmers to drop fertilizer in favor of more environmentally friendly options such as manure and compost, a development she said would be a silver lining of the dire situation.

    This is the mentality of the Biden regime.

  3. Nothing new, but charging cars is not particularly difficult.

    It does of course depend on the use you have for one. For me its almost perfect. I need about 30Km a day for my normal use. That’s about 10 hours charging at the minimum rate of 12 amps that most cars, and the one I will buy, have built in for a 15 amp plugin. If I just go do my chores, and plug it back in I can get 20 hours charge on a normal day easily. So for Americans its an easy 45 – 50 miles a day at the rate a small electric heater uses, with the built in charger. Its far cheaper than gasoline, for me, in the $15 -$20 a month range as opposed to about $100.

    If I need more charge there are 8 free chargers in my closest town, which from my observation are often empty. These chargers are 240 volt and will charge the car in 4 or 5 hours from empty. And there are fast DC chargers that are pretty cheap if you need a fast charge.

    Now I have a down payment on a Subaru Solterra and will be able to get one of the first ones, for what amounts to almost a wash when I trade my car and use the $8000 incentives our governments provide, to buy it. I will need another 5 grand perhaps and my Suzuki Samurai is easily worth that.

    As the cars we have in the pipe to our dealer are built, my price is locked in, and as I will only charge the car slowly almost all the time, the battery will last as long as it can. The 90% at 10 years is possible that way. My power comes from BC Hydro and although it has its drawbacks, its relatively cheap and the damage to the environment is mostly physical, when we flood valleys.

    So a car that I can trade my present cars for, that will cost me far less to run, and far less maintenance is not a thing I will pass up. As well should things go seriously to hell, I can make electricity a variety of ways. Can you make gasoline?

  4. “So for Americans its an easy 45 – 50 miles a day”
    That eliminates a massive number of Americans, probably an overwhelming majority in fact.
    Someone, I have no idea who, just installed a half-dozen chargers in a strip mall in my town. There is zero reason for them to exist. I assume someone well connected got a state contract to install them.

  5. “That eliminates a massive number of Americans, probably an overwhelming majority in fact.”

    I am the minimum. Nearly everyone with an EV will install a 240v charger which will do about 15 miles per hour, or 300 miles on a 20 hour charge.

  6. PenGun: “If I need more charge there are 8 free chargers in my closest town …use the $8000 incentives our governments provide, to buy it.”

    Peter’s free lunch costs Paul a bundle.

    If it were not for the Political Class giving away Other People’s Money, electric vehicles would be an expensive niche product — good for forklift trucks working inside warehouses and such.

    The profligacy of the Political Class would be more endurable if they were at least somewhat competent, and thought about building nuclear power plants to provide the additional electric demand from EVs, and constructing additional transmission lines, and rolling back their excessive regulations that prevent mining & manufacturing. Then they could think about how to build roads without diesel-fueled construction vehicles, and how to pave roads without oil-derived asphalt, and how to lubricate their electric vehicles without oil.

  7. “Peter’s free lunch costs Paul a bundle.”

    Not really in this case. There was conscious investment in the charging stations as it is policy to incentive EVs, but the stations are not expensive, basically beefy 240v home chargers, and the power they use is pretty cheap, especially for them. As well as the use is not great, most people just charge at home now.

  8. “Then they could think about how to build roads without diesel-fueled construction vehicles, and how to pave roads without oil-derived asphalt, and how to lubricate their electric vehicles without oil.”

    Its not at all hard to make the case that burning the very valuable resource, oil is a bad idea. We get so much from oil that as it becomes rarer, and it is, it becomes almost a crime to burn it.

  9. There won’t be a shortage of any of these metals, there will be a shortage of all of these metals for cheap. The market will do what it always does and allocate supply to those willing to pay for it. If prices get high enough for long enough, more supply will enter the market and prices will go down.

    The entire EV industry is based on smoke and mirrors where costs have been shifted to tax payers from the manufacturers and users with all sorts of subsidies. When there was just a handful of these, it didn’t matter much. Now that there are substantial numbers, it becoming impossible to hide all problems. The first is that many electrical systems just don’t have the capacity available. Commercial chargers need 150-350 KW of power each. Home chargers are an even bigger problem because there will be so many of them and residential distribution systems were never designed for the extra load and most are barely able to keep up now. Fixing this is a lot harder than just building the new power plants that will be needed too. Ultimately this requires the equivalent of doubling present capacity.

    Then there’s what happens to the batteries. Disassembling one of these packs is the equivalent of disassembling a bomb with the added fun of electrocution. The cells are made of plastic and other materials that combine the happy properties of toxicity, reactivity and flammability various entertaining combinations.

    We also have yet to come to grips with the propensity of these vehicles to catch fire, most recently exhibited as the Felicity Ace slipped below the waves. If you live in a house with an attached garage or an apartment located above a parking garage, this is something to think about.

  10. Pengun: “We get so much from oil that as it becomes rarer, and it is, it becomes almost a crime to burn it.”

    The late Shah of Iran used to make that point — the day would come when oil would be too valuable to burn. And look what happened to him!

    There is a case for providing more of the energy we humans need from nuclear fission instead of from fossil fuels — and using all energy sources in a carefully balanced way. But the Global Warm-Mongers are not thinking that far ahead. They simply want to stop all fossil fuels, and they have not thought the matter through.

  11. The blithe assurances of the mathematically challenged…

    News flash for ya, sweetheart: THE KEY ISSUE ISN’T THE VOLTAGE.

    Go outside. Look at the power poles serving your neighborhood. Look at the wires and the transformers. Most North American housing stock has 200 amp service. The grid is designed for that, but it’s not designed for every house in every neighborhood to actually draw 200 amps at the same time. Factor in a couple of 40 amp Level 2 chargers running in every house, every night, all night. Suddenly, a system designed to support intermittent loads will not be able to handle that much energy throughput, and what happens? Oh, that’s right: Shit breaks.

    One weird freak in the neighborhood puts in an electric charger or two, it’s no big deal; that’s like someone adding an extra oven or a ceramic furnace for a hobby. No big deal for one, huge ‘effin deal if everyone does it. The grid, as currently built out, cannot support or sustain that. I was just having that exact conversation with one of our Public Utility District’s engineers, and I asked that specific question. His response? Derogatory laughter, at the politicians. In order to support doing that, every single circuit will have to be upgraded to the next higher level of power, and every transformer will need the same thing. The other problem is, there ain’t enough generation capacity to feed this upgraded grid. And, ohbytheway, with the lead times? Even if they’d started doing all the work back in 2010, there’s not a chance in hell they’d be done with it by 2030.

    The mentally challenged lackwits think that the electricity comes out of their walls, and have no idea how it gets there, or what it takes to keep it coming. They also don’t comprehend that when you start drawing that much ampherage through those little-bitty 100 and 200 amp-rated lines they have, there will be side effects. Like, a shitload of extra heat that will melt insulation, conductors, and start fires.

    None of these idiots know these things, but they’re so damn smart that they can tell the rest of us how to live our lives. When we’re all freezing in the dark, I know exactly where I’m going for my first taste of cannibal stew…

  12. “300 miles on a 20 hour charge.”
    You are retarded, I can get the same mileage at the gas station in about 3 minutes.

  13. From a generation-capacity point of view, the problem is eased somewhat if people charge their cars late at night, since power demand in most areas is relatively low at those times. But this doesn’t solve the problem of local bottlenecks in distribution and transmission.

    Note that if you want to charge your EV with rooftop solar, and you want to do so in the evening or overnight, you’re going to need almost as much battery capacity for intermediate storage as you will for the EV itself…more, if you’re using the solar for any other purposes.

  14. Well remember I posted an article from Caltech recently talking about the “smart grid” they’re helping to plan and it’s not about load balancing to make sure everyone gets the energy they need, but to enable Them to set up a pricing scheme to “persuade” people to use much much less energy than they are now…

  15. “300 miles on a 20 hour charge.”
    You are retarded, I can get the same mileage at the gas station in about 3 minutes.

    So what does that 300 miles work out to in actual cost, using gas? Where I live its well under $10 for that electricity.

  16. The point is a car that takes 20 hours charging to go 300 miles is not in fact a usable product for the vast majority of people, regardless of cost. It doesn’t replace their current car or meet their needs.

  17. “The point is a car that takes 20 hours charging to go 300 miles is not in fact a usable product for the vast majority of people”

    I don’t think that is true. Most people do not have a 300 mile a day need. Some sure do, but its not a huge percentage. So for very many people that’s more than they need. Most people use the car to go to work, shopping and kid delivery. A reasonable EV with a level 2 charger will do just fine for the majority of these people.

  18. But if I get home at 6 and need it by like 7 tomorrow, I can only charge it for like 150 miles, not 300…lots of people do commute for 50 miles, that’s not rare at all, it quickly becomes insufficient for many at those numbers…

  19. The Left lives in a fantasy world, where all you gave to do us say, ” Make it so “, and the technology magically appears.

  20. Look, we are not going to convince PenGun that the laws of physics are going to interfere with his fantasy. Nor will the detail that if more and more people try to do the same thing, it gets orders of magnitude more difficult. And there is no need to. He is the test case. It will either work for him, or it will not. Mind you, I suspect that if it does not work, we will not hear of it.

    I seem to remember, but could be wrong, that he has said that he lives in the Port Hardy area of Vancouver Island. That is in the far north of the Island and I suspect it is near the tail end of the infrastructure on the Island. At least if it is as I remember it being described by a friend of mine who moved from there, it was described as the tail end of nowhere [in someone more descriptive terms]. I suspect that since the last hydroelectric plant on the Island was built in 1971, and Canadians are not fond of things that burn to create power, I am dubious of how much upgrading has occurred. So we shall see.

    Subotai Bahadur

  21. Pengun,

    I’ve seen you write about your electric vehicle before, and my thought then was that your purchase made good sense under present conditions.

    As other people have pointed out, those conditions will not endure. Here follows my attempt to explain to you why, explicitly attempting to not use such low-hanging fruit as math and reality against you. I want to try something more nebulous.

    I think the evidence suggests that the people misruling the Western World simply do not desire that the mass of people have any sort of existence independent of government at all, hence the relentless push for policies that are manifestly stupid, yet enjoy near universal support from the various political classes of the various Western blah blah.

    Pengun- How rich are you? How politically connected? Are you so rich and connected that you will do well when the mass of the public is unable to afford such luxuries as enough electricity to charge a vehicle on a routine basis? Or at all?

    I suspect the all-in push for electric vehicles now is roughly the equivalent of the early stages of a sort of ponzi scheme. That is, people who buy such vehicles now get a good deal- in part because of subsidies, in part because the problems noted by others here haven’t manifested yet- but the end result desired by the political classes is that eventually no one has a vehicle of any utility. I note that the so-called elite of the Western World is heavily endowed with financial experts who certainly know all about ponzi schemes, including how to apply the psychology to other aspects of human behavior, for their own benefit. The early investors in a ponzi scheme tend to do well, I think- and based on their experience, they have incentive to encourage others to invest- or, perhaps, buy an EV.

    Even if they have no intent to deceive or defraud anyone.

    Anyway, I hope I’m wrong and you get full use out of your EV without any of the ugly consequences most people here expect. No joke, Pengun. Good luck to you and your EV.

  22. I have done the math. ;) We on Vancouver Island are fed by a big wire from the mainland that crosses not far north of me. We sell power to America and sometime Alberta.

    Not going to run out of power here, not like in Texas. ;) We now pay $8+ for a gallon of gas, and you will soon too. It will probably rise from there.

    Making more electricity is pretty simple for us, just get on with site C and that will produce a great deal more. We have not needed to do so and have not yet, but we could flood another valley. Getting oil out of the ground in Alberta is a climate horror show, its tar sands, and just recovering it wrecks large areas.

    In your country and for most of the world more reactors would be a good solution, clean power to run your EV is not that hard.

    Choices … we all have to make them, and what will you do at $10 a gallon?

  23. Many will freeze and starve thats the point of the exercise, bill ayers calculated 25 million in 1975 that will probably be closer to 100 before all is said and done

  24. Here in the benighted People’s Republic of Massachusetts (Cuba with more snow and fewer palm trees) we have 5 million cars. Average driving is 8300 miles a year, avg mpg of 25. Doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of diesel trucks. That’s about 1.66 billion gallons of gas a year. Now a gallon of gas equals 114,000 BTU. So that is 189 trillion BTU. One KwH of electricity =3400 BTU. Even assuming electric cars use 50% of the energy of gas cars (does anyone have an actual number? please don’t quote the EPA equivalent, it’s baloney), that’s 95 trillion BTU to do the same work. This translates to 28 MM MwH. In this state we consume 50 MM MwH of electricity a year currently (18 MM of which is generated here). Electrification of personal automobiles means an increase in electrical consumption of 56%. The existing grid can’t handle it and environmentalists won’t allow any substantial improvement.

    I’m sure you’d like to talk about home heating next. It just gets worse. Heating season runs from October to May. Try electrifying that too.

  25. “Now a gallon of gas equals 114,000 BTU. So that is 189 trillion BTU. One KwH of electricity =3400 BTU.”

    Umm British Thermal Units are not really a good way to look at this. A gallon of gas gets you, say 30 miles. A Solterra fully charged is about 72.8 KWh, so some 247,500 BTU, which gives you about 240 miles. Looking at that means the Solterra is way more efficient. So its about 3,800 BTU per mile with gas. About 1000 BTU per mile as an EV.

    But what does that even mean?

  26. Penny is as usual, wrong, energy is exactly the way to calculate this.

    The first number you need is the rate of conversion from thermal energy to mechanical energy. For IC engines this will be generally between 30% and 35% so call it 30%. 30% of 114,000 is 34,200 BTU of mechanical energy per gallon. By the way, the highest figure I’ve ever heard for thermal conversion at power plants is 39%, so slightly better at massively larger scale. These values are long established.

    The bigger mystery is the energy conversion efficiency of EV’s over their life. I would be very surprised if anyone could show better than about 60% when everything is taken into consideration. 16.7KWH is roughly equal to 1 gallon of gas. The “fleet average” is around 25 MPG. So a very rough figure would be about 0.7 KWH/mile. So b loughlin’s number would be around 27.7 GWH/year or an increase of about 55%. Think of it as 20 pretty big power plants.

    Of course they’ll have to find something to use for fuel, solar ain’t gonna do it in Massachusetts. Wind on shore and off won’t do it either. They’re already running short of natural gas and oil because they don’t want any of those nasty pipelines. I suppose they could use all the gasoline that isn’t going in cars to burn in the power plants. Nuclear would work, good luck getting 20 power plants built in this millennium let alone this decade.

  27. Another point the electrical car people gloss over is the discharge issue… You put ten gallons of gas in your car today, and go park it at the airport. What happens two weeks from now, when you come back?

    The car almost certainly starts. Now, try that with an electric…

    Which is exactly what a friend of mine did, with the one his wife demanded he buy. Parked it, went on his vacation, came back. He came back to a flat battery, and couldn’t even get the car to open its doors. Had to call and wait for the battery to be charged by a mobile service…

    So, you’ve basically got a system where you put the energy in, and it gets used up without really ever getting any use out of said energy. Nowhere will you find any accountancy for this factor in the various calculations.

  28. this is a scheme to destroy, not to salvage, if you understand this, everything else becomes clear, it is a supremely evil and cruel exercise.
    * judge contreras act of malpractice punctuates this notion

  29. “Which is exactly what a friend of mine did, with the one his wife demanded he buy. Parked it, went on his vacation, came back. He came back to a flat battery,:

    That will be the Hyundai IONIQ 5, which did drain its 12v battery, That’s fixed. The 12v battery runs the car’s electronics etc, and set up wrong can drain its little self.. The big battery under the car does the power.

  30. “A reasonable EV with a level 2 charger will do just fine for the majority of these people.”

    A 5.56 between the eyes will clear the vision in the majority of folks who think like you do.

  31. “The big battery under the car does the power.”

    The big bullshit does all of the “power”. Found: A gae retard clown.

  32. Ah, the peanut gallery. An actual threat over electric cars. I’m sure your country will be fine. Rampant capitalism is the one true way. ;)

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