GM Electric Battery Engineer: “We have neither the raw materials nor the manufacturing capacity” to support massive transition away from fossil fuels.
In the wake of the explosion in gas prices, Biden and his posse pushed the need to transition to electric vehicles to “reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”
Apparently, politicians and green justice advocates forget that, like oil, components of electric batteries come from the Earth. Therefore, they are subject to supply chain challenges, shortages, and rising prices.
A good example is nickel. The price of this electric battery component is surging, as it turns out Russia is a key supplier of the metal.
In an unusual step, the London Metal Exchange suspended nickel trading on Tuesday morning after three-month contract prices more than doubled to over $100,000 per ton.
Nickel is a critical ingredient in the lithium-ion battery cells used in most electric vehicles sold in — and planned for — the U.S. market. Its abrupt price surge has analysts and investors raising hard questions about automakers’ ambitious electric-vehicle programs.
Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas has been among the loudest voices raising concerns. In a note published Monday, he said: “As of this writing, nickel is up 67.2% just today, representing around a $1,000 increase in the input cost of an average EV in the U.S.”
Jonas wrote that investors should reduce their expectations for automakers’ earnings, and for electric-vehicle sales penetration over the next few years, as nickel’s abrupt price surge could undermine the ambitious EV plans put forth by global automakers including General Motors and Ford Motor.
Bob Galyen, who engineered the battery for the General Motors EV1 (the first mass-produced electric vehicle) underscores problems with other critical electrical battery components as well as the fact this country refuses to tap into its own extensive resources.
Simply building and selling electric cars, or providing subsidies for the people who make and buy them, isn’t enough. Electric cars need batteries the same way combustion cars need fuel — and the metal in those batteries can be just as precious and hard to get as gas. People like Galyen are worried the US simply isn’t ready for that switchover, or doing enough to get ready.
The United States sources about 90% of the lithium it uses from Argentina and Chile, and contributes less than 1% of global production of nickel and cobalt, according to the Department of Energy. China refines 60% of the world’s lithium and 80% of the cobalt. Those metals are critical for electric vehicles.
Galyen said he’s struggled to get the United States to create a long-term plan for electric batteries, instead watching as priorities shift depending on what political party holds the White House. The Biden administration has pushed for electric vehicles, yet halted mining projects in Arizona and Minnesota that would boost domestic supply of electric vehicle materials.
“We have neither the raw materials nor the manufacturing capacity,” Galyen told CNN Business. “If the wrong country goes to war with us, we don’t have enough batteries to support our military.”
I will point out that many of the elite laughed off President Donald Trump’s bid to purchase Greenland from Denmark. It turns out that Greenland has many of the resources necessary to support the electrical vehicle industry.
The prospect of prolonged geopolitical tensions is likely to accelerate attempts by the United States and Europe to develop domestic supplies of commodities that often come from Russia. There are nickel deposits, for example, in Canada, Greenland and even Minnesota.
“Nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, even copper — we already realized we need those metals for the green transition, for mitigating climate change,” said Bo Stensgaard, chief executive of Bluejay Mining, which is working on extracting nickel from a site in western Greenland in a venture with KoBold Metals, whose backers include Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. “When you see the geopolitical developments with Ukraine and Russia, it’s even more obvious that there are supply risks with these metals.
Everybody made fun of trump for offering to buy Greenland, but offering to purchase Greenland is actually a well-established American tradition, and we've done it three times before.
You can read about it here:https://t.co/2T5mYeHKoG
— Steven 🦉✝️ (@SilenicSophist) March 17, 2022
Once again, it appears that Trump will get the last laugh.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.