Tag Archive for: ElectricVehicles

A Political Victory for the Joes Is a Loss for the Country

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editors’ Note: If Manchin thinks this will end the war on fossil fuels, he of course is wrong. The legislation through taxation and subsidies still directs energy choices through a top-down, central planning model, rather than allowing free competition among choices. It also does nothing to challenge the dubious science of global warming, rather it embraces it. Nor does it stop wrecking our existing energy infrastructure while new plans fail to deliver. You would think with the example of Germany right before us, our leaders would have more sense.This defection could have been predicted as he is, after all, a Democrat. With such a narrow margin in the Senate, this capitulation by Manchin is of serious consequence to the nation. Senator Sinema of Arizona remains, but we doubt she has either the nerve or philosophical gumption to resist caving as well.

 

After months of being portrayed as a villain or worse in the mainstream media, Joe Manchin suddenly has become a Democratic Party hero—all because he has declared he will support legislation that he and President Joe Biden claim will “reduce inflation” and give us better weather. Not surprisingly, the New York Times is leading the way in effusively praising the legislation, claiming the bill “would be the most ambitious action ever taken by the United States to try to stop the planet from catastrophically overheating.”

The “newspaper of record” continues:

The bill aims to tackle global warming by using billions of dollars in tax incentives to ramp up wind, solar, geothermal, battery and other clean energy industries over the next decade. Companies would receive financial incentives to keep open nuclear plants that might have closed, or to capture emissions from industrial facilities and bury them underground before they can warm the planet. Car buyers with incomes below a certain level would receive a $7,500 tax credit to purchase a new electric vehicle and $4,000 for a used one. Americans would receive rebates to install heat pumps and make their homes more energy-efficient.

Biden declared: “This is the action the American people have been waiting for,” adding that the proposed bill provides “investments in our energy security for the future.”

Progressives claim this combination of new taxes, tax credits, and political favoritism will promote wind and solar energy, vastly curb carbon dioxide emissions, save the US government billions of dollars via cheaper drug prices, and curtail inflation (it is currently titled The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022). And—to ensure Manchin’s endorsement—it supports a natural gas pipeline in Manchin’s home state of West Virginia.

If anything can embody the current disconnect between progressive elites in politics, academe, and the media with how things operate in that sphere we call reality, it is the response to this legislation. We are told that increasing taxes on individuals and businesses, putting in a regime of price controls for drugs (which have artificially high prices in the first place because of government favoritism toward that industry), installing a system of tax credits for vehicles that are mostly a plaything of wealthy people, along with creating credits and subsidies for wind and solar power is going to reduce inflation and improve most Americans’ lives.

While each portion of this hodgepodge of wish lists needs scrutiny, one can sum up the entire ordeal by pointing out that the gap between what supporters of something like this claim it will do and what it actually does is enormous. Not surprisingly, the media concentrates upon the political aspects of passing the legislation, the “big story” being Manchin’s willingness to go along with it after having opposed similar legislation before.

Rarely, if ever, are the results of legislation—and especially the kind of legislation progressives tout—scrutinized after passage. Instead, progressives assume that the legislation in question will do everything its supporters claim. One should not expect to see an assessment of the results of this latest “historic” bill on the NYT op-ed page a year from now.

For example, any bill with the goals and actions presented in this “inflation reduction” legislation needs to be examined based on real costs and benefits. Tax credits and subsidies for “renewable” energy (which many unrenewable components go into producing) will mask the prices people must pay for these goods, but what are the real costs? What is the value that people will receive in return?

The first thing to remember is that while one can argue over whether a tax credit is a government subsidy or a real benefit, the fact that often is lost in the argument is that without the possible tax reduction, many people would not purchase the subsidized good in the first place. The tax credit incentivizes car buyers to make choices they would not have made otherwise, and it further distorts structures of production.

For all the happy talk about electric cars and the slick advertisements that herald a new age of electricity, the so-called transition is not about political goals and NYT editorials that claim otherwise. When we go past the rhetoric, we are dealing with government central planning, an energy-focused form of the Gosplan, which made the USSR’s economy nonfunctioning. Central planning can call for reallocation of resources and lay out the plans, but without market prices and profits and losses, resource allocation will become an economic train wreck.

While progressives give lip service to profits and losses, even trying to tilt the economic landscape with tax credits, bans on certain goods, and other coercive means, resources still will move in the direction of consumer choice. Economies depend upon real information, real goods, real prices, and real resources. If we do not have these things, along with free consumer choice, then there inevitably will be resource dislocations as production is pulled onto an unsustainable path.

Take the automobile industry, for example. Although some companies have announced their intention to go all-electric in the next decade, one doubts that anyone in those industries believes that operating vehicles purely with batteries is going to have the outcomes that progressives are promising. While battery costs have declined in recent years, they are decreasing at a decreasing rate. The gasoline-electric hybrids have more potential both in terms of unit cost declines and lowering emissions (when one takes in the entire scope of emissions per mile), but the political climate is pointing everything toward the exclusive use of batteries.

When politics and reality collide, reality always must win, no matter the rhetoric progressives give us. Joe Manchin can claim this newest version of “Build Back Better” is going to reduce inflation and improve life for most Americans, but the reality is that it is going to result in more inflation and shortages. The government can create new tax credits for electric cars, but that will not change the technological reality of building those cars. Consumers still are going to have to wait weeks and even months for their new electric cars, and after they get them, they will have to deal with the limitations those cars place upon them.

As for the progressives in the Democratic Party, the propaganda machines will move in reverse. Manchin now is a hero instead of a villain, and Gail Collins may even write something nice about him for a change.

The hard reality, however, is that central economic planning will create unnecessary hardships for many Americans—and this legislation attempts to do just that. In the end, the rhetoric accompanying this bill cannot overcome the reality that when politicians direct economic resources, bad things happen.

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This article was published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is reproduced with permission.

Biden’s Transportation Department Targets CO2 Emissions of Cars on Highways to Push EVs

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

One week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could not regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants because the agency lacks congressional authorization to do so, the Biden Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a rule targeting CO2 emissions from highway vehicles, for which DOT also has no legal authority.

DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is proposing a rule that would require states and municipalities to “track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their highways.” In keeping with a regulatory tradition that is as longstanding as it is misleading, DOT assures the public that the “carbon reduction program” contained in the rule will be “flexible,” allowing state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to “set their own targets.” That flexibility quickly disappears, however, when the DOT adds that the declining targets must “align” with the Biden administration’s “net-zero targets” as outlined in two executive orders and commitments made at the International Leaders Climate Summit.

The scheme to have state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations set ever-declining targets for emissions from on-road vehicles has no basis in law. Congress has never instructed DOT to take any such step. As close as it came were a few provisions in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill that established a few CO2 emissions-reduction programs at DOT. But nowhere in that legislation was DOT granted the authority to require vehicular emissions targets, much less targets that serve any “net-zero” goal.

In the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA, the High Court ruled that EPA lacked statutory authority to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants. The same legal principle applies here. DOT’s proposed rule will trigger lawsuits arguing that the Biden administration’s action violates the separation of powers the court upheld in West Virginia v. EPA. Citing that precedent, plaintiffs will say that executive branch DOT officials acted unconstitutionally by assuming powers that only the legislative branch can grant. If the case makes it to the Supreme Court (and that could take years), and if that body is composed as it is now, the DOT’s power grab is likely to go the way of the Obama/Biden plan to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants.

Clearing the Way for EVs

In a rare moment of regulatory candor, the administration acknowledges in the docket supporting DOT’s proposed rule that DOT’s scheme will ultimately encourage Americans to switch from gasoline-powered cars to EVs.

“The potential benefits that may flow from the proposed greenhouse gas measure stem from its potential to support more informed choices about transportation investments and other policies to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050, including projects eligible under the Carbon Reduction Program and the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, both established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” the docket said.

Doing away with conventionally-powered automobiles, and replacing them with EVs, has been part of the Biden administration’s larger war on fossil fuels. While sales of EVs continue to creep up, so do their prices, keeping them well beyond the reach of ordinary Americans. The cost of the raw materials that go into EV batteries continues to soar, and the recharging infrastructure needed to support the millions of EVs said soon to be zipping down our highways is barely in its infancy.

Neither the Biden administration nor the automakers thumping their chests over their embrace of EVs have offered any realistic explanation for where the electricity for all these EVs will come from in a post-fossil-fuel world. Certainly not from windmills and solar panels. Nor has sufficient thought been given to how today’s already shaky grid is going to hold up under the stress of providing power to a growing number of EVs.

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This article was published by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

Is It Ethical to Purchase a Lithium Battery Powered EV?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

With numerous state governors have issued executive orders to phase out the purchasing of gasoline-driven cars within the next decade or so, and the automobile manufacturers’ efforts to phase into only manufacturing EVs here’s some food for thought about the lack of transparency about “Clean Energy Exploitations”.

The top image is an oil well, where 100 percent organic material is pumped out of the ground, taking up around 500 to 1000 square feet. Then it flows in pipelines safely transporting the oil to refineries to be manufactured into usable oil derivatives that are the basis of more than 6,000 products for society, and into transportation fuels needed by the world’s heavy-weight and long-range infrastructures of aviation, merchant ships, cruise ships, and militaries.

The lower image is just one lithium supply mine where entire mountains are eliminated. Each mine usually consists of thirty-five to forty humongous 797 Caterpillar haul trucks along with hundreds of other large equipment. Each 797 uses around half a million gallons of diesel a year. So, with an inventory of just thirty-five, the haul trucks alone are using 17.5 million gallons of fuel a year for just one lithium site.

There is virtually non-existing transparency of the environmental degradation and the human rights abuses occurring in developing countries with yellow, brown, and black-skinned people. Both human rights abuses and environmental degradation are directly connected to the mining of the exotic minerals and metals that are required to manufacture wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries.

Today, a typical EV battery weighs one thousand pounds. It contains twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside are over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery.

The current fossil fuel infrastructure is less invasive than mining for the exotic minerals and metals required to create the batteries needed to store “green energy”. In developing countries, these mining operations exploit child labor and are responsible for the most egregious human rights’ violations of vulnerable minority populations. These operations are also directly destroying the planet through environmental degradation. The 2022 Pulitzer Prize-nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy“, does an excellent job of discussing the lack of transparency to the world of the green movement’s impact upon humanity.

How many environmentalists are going to support lithium mines in America? There are two things needed to make the EV technology work for the billions of lightweight cars:

Get the mining practices for these exotic minerals and metals to the point that they are acceptable to the environmental movement and stop the environmental degradation and humanity atrocities occurring in developing countries where people are being exploited with yellow, brown, and black skin.

Further development of battery technology to somewhat clone how phones have been reduced in “size” with smaller and smaller batteries and increased capabilities in those small phones and reduce the alarming tendency of lithium batteries and their charging sources from spontaneously catching fire without warning.

If You’re Worried About Rising Gas Prices, watch this 11- minute video about why NOT buy an EV. Since you’ve probably read about EV fires, here’s a site that keeps tabs just on TESLA EV fires https://www.tesla-fire.com/, now at 85 and growing almost daily.

So, the next time you are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, or driving your EV car, before congratulating yourselves on saving the environment, remember that it came at a cost of entire mountains in developing countries, thousands of square miles of land and billions of gallons of oil and fuel.

We should all know that an electric vehicle battery does not “make” electricity – it only stores electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, and occasionally by intermittent breezes and sunshine. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid as 80 percent of the electricity generated to charge the batteries is from coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from coal-fired plants, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered.

Since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from natural gas, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are natural gas-powered.

Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from nuclear, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are nuclear-powered.

Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society. Climate change may impact humanity but being mandated to live without the products manufactured from oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800s and could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion residents.

America’s obsession with green electricity to reduce emissions must be ethical and should not thrive off human rights and environmental abuses in the foreign countries providing the exotic minerals and metals to support America’s green passion. Check out the quick 7-minute video interview between Ronald Stein and Rick Amato on “Your America TV” about The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement to divest in fossil fuels, that may be leading society back to the decarbonized world of the 1800s and before.

So, before your next vehicle purchase, be knowledgeable that most of the exotic minerals and metals to build EV batteries are being mined in developing countries.

EV buyers should be aware that they may be contributing to the pursuit of “blood minerals” to achieve their efforts to go green. If you feel comfortable supporting the environmental degradation and humanity atrocities occurring in those developing countries, then proceed with your purchase.

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This article was published by CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

Arizona to Spend $76.5 million in EV Charging Stations on Highways

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: The following article amply shows the power of Federal subsidies to bend even a conservative state like Arizona to do the bidding of the Federal Government. It is up to private companies to provide the infrastructure to produce and distribute fuel for gasoline-powered cars, but Federal dollars and Arizona state agencies will provide for “free” the infrastructure to power electric vehicles. Why is that? If it is such a wonderful technology and there are so many people desperate to buy electric cars, would not a smart businessman figure out a way to make a profit serving that market? Why is it necessary to confiscate tax dollars from the vast majority of owners of gasoline-powered cars to subsidize the preferences of those who want electric cars? You know the answer: the Democrat’s Green New Deal. But why does Arizona want to go along with that? Because the money is there and what agency does not want to spend it. Who can resist “free money” and the ability to expand bureaucratic turf in the process (remember Obamacare Medicaid expansion)? We are not even talking about the science which shows electric cars when viewed in the entire chain of production and fueling, are no cleaner or better for the environment than gasoline cars. We are talking about the power of one political party to force its will on the rest of us, and the states, by using our money to bribe ourselves. It is destructive to federalism and an affront to science. And it is just another example of the government substituting its judgment for the voluntary decisions made by those in the free marketplace. It is top-down, command and control decision making, rather than letting market forces determine the most efficient transportation methods through trial and error, and the best technology for people to use for transportation. You can bet that since government agencies don’t have to make a profit or loss, or be accountable to shareholders, the electric car infrastructure will not be as efficient as that built and maintained by private industry. Obviously, the decision is not “free” as it arbitrarily makes capital investments using government money, which is our money, not theirs. Who will pay for all the increased electricity use and the expansion of that capacity? These are questions not likely to be asked because the attractiveness of  Federal subsidies with money confiscated or printed out of thin air cannot be resisted. Even, it would seem, in Arizona.

The state is set to receive $76.5 million in federal dollars through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program over the next five years. This will allow the department to establish publicly accessible EV charging stations along Arizona’s federal interstate highways. 

“The first step of the plan will focus on deploying EV fast chargers along Arizona’s currently designated alternative fuel corridors – the interstate system – to reduce range anxiety and encourage vehicle purchasers to consider EVs as a viable alternative to gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles,” ADOT said in its release.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Arizona has 924 EV charging stations. As of June 2021, DOE said Arizona had 28,770 registered EVs.

ADOT says that it hired AECOM Consultants to get input from the public and industry leaders about this topic – like the electric vehicle industry and utility companies.

ADOT says that it will seek comments and suggestions on its plan starting in August. This will include, among other things, surveys as well as online and in-person public meetings.

More information on ADOT’s plan is available at azdot.gov/EVplan.

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This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

The Electric Vehicle Bad Dream

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

While some are certain of the inevitability of the impending demise of the internal combustion engine (ICE), others are far less certain. Cristian Agapie points to market pressures due to increased demand for electric vehicles have raised prices and operating costs as well. Another writer calls out electric vehicles, even Tesla’s, as just boring to drive. One thing for certain: hardly anyone will be able to enjoy the camaraderie and thrill of working on these vehicles.

Meanwhile, even General Motors, which like most other automobile manufacturers, has pledged to end its production of ICE vehicles, has also patented what it calls “multilink cranktrains with combined eccentric shaft and camshaft drive system for internal combustion engines.” This innovative design is likely similar to Nissan’s variable compression engine already available in its luxury Infiniti QX50 SUV.

The GM system, invented by Michigan-based senior engineer Andrew G. Balding, is designed to provide variable compression ratios that provide high power output when needed and high efficiency otherwise. Balding, who was just promoted, had been working at GM for the past six years on advanced powertrain designs but a lot longer in the field.

The patent describes a system that incorporates a multipoint linkage that engages the piston to the crankshaft and rotates on a secondary axis that is offset from the first axis between the crankshaft and the engine block. This enables a variable volume above the piston head at top dead center in the stroke and switching on the fly to produce more power under heavy load or greater efficiency while cruising. The result is greater fuel efficiency without sacrificing power.

The system is compatible with GM’s overhead-valve (pushrod) engines that drive the automaker’s pickups and SUVs. Widespread adoption of variable compression ratio engine technologies could ensure that ICE engines remain competitive and available to especially rural and business drivers. That is unless irrational mandated or even voluntary deadlines for abandoning the engine that transformed the world can be enforced against an unwilling public.

Rural and freedom-loving Americans are quite aware that globalist policies are deadly to outdoor lifestyles, but the majority of America’s urban youth have been brainwashed to believe that the ICE vehicle is a murderous killer of humanity and the environment. Activist-fearing “Detroit” (an archaic term, to be sure) is already at work dismantling ICE assembly lines in favor of vehicles that ordinary people will never be able to tinker with.

The electric vehicle is, in this writer’s opinion, a death machine. Not because a few EVs have spontaneously caught on fire, sometimes locking a driver in the vehicle. Not even because EV batteries can pose problems for those responding to a vehicle crash. Nor need we discuss other foibles–like the year-long backlogs for new EVs largely due to supply chain issues for semiconductors and the short supply of lithium for batteries, both of which could be short-lived.

No. The era of the mandatory electric vehicle marks the end of human freedom on the American highway, truly the end of human freedom – PERIOD. And not just the EV, but the EV culture, which is part of the “virtual” revolution in which people can act out roles online that do not translate easily to the physical world. For example, most “driving” done by pre-teens through twenty-somethings is done via video gaming. These virtual unreality games often focus on killing, almost never on, say, gardening, ranching, farming, forest management, electrical line work, water and sewer system construction, or other physical world jobs.

This massive disconnect with the physical world is what enables the green fantasies to gain traction with the naïve who only know what the censors approve–unless they have family or friends who do live in the “real” world and invite them to share in those experiences.

All too often today’s “education” consists of sloganeering and rote instruction that discourages real investigation and demonizes physical work. [Two plus two only equals five in a virtual unreality.] The massive shortfalls in trade industries are at least anecdotal evidence of the near-complete condemnation of those who work in the physical world as evil or worthless or something to be done by “others.”

The elites brazenly fly to meetings where they openly plan the demise of the middle class, even all private property not already under their own control. They have invested seemingly trillions in convincing people to give up their freedoms to serve “the common interest,” otherwise known as the interests of the elites. But people should realize that mandated “renewable” energy is a Trojan horse inexorably linked to ending private ownership of transportation, housing, and just about everything else.

Under plans designed by World Economic Forum (WEF) types, once the “transition” is complete, drivers will no longer be able to choose from among dozens of independent or corporate gasoline providers. Instead, they will buy their electricity from monopoly governments or their crony-controlled franchises. That means that politics, not the market, will determine the price of a recharge. And governments always seem to find ways to give us less for more.

More to the point, energy shortfalls imply electricity rationing (which already exists in China and elsewhere). In the coming age of scarcity, it is quite conceivable (given the thrill that China’s social credit policy gives the WEF crowd) that only “good Panem-ers” will be allowed to charge their vehicles. Dissidents (we see this already in today’s political rhetoric) will be denied even essential services.

Even what is deemed “essential” (as it was during the COVID lockdowns) will be determined by governments–and today’s governments only reward their friends. Rest assured, in every power outage “emergency,” government vehicles–and those of favored elites–will be first in line for recharging. The rest of us will be left high and dry–and, in summer, sweaty.

Rural drivers know full well they will pay more and have fewer options, just as they do for cable and broadband. They see this in the glee that President Biden and his cabinet members express as gasoline and diesel prices escalate (according to plan). And every time there is a power outage–and with no natural gas, coal, or even oil to burn, these will happen frequently (they already are in some places)–they will be unable to deliver produce and other goods to urban markets.

City folk will be the secondary victims–and they have no clue this is even a possibility–because dissent is verboten.

Meanwhile, there are reports that electric grid operators are warning that California and some midwestern states face energy shortages again this summer. Hot, dry weather, and careless smokers lead to wildfires that soak up water supplies and force blackouts that can last for days. EV drivers cannot recharge without electricity and may even be trapped because of power failures. Who knows? Maybe the perpetrators of this fraud will find they overplayed their hands.

There may be still time to stop the theft of freedom posed by the EV culture, but only if people awaken to realize that “wokism” is designed to put you to sleep. And then act accordingly.

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This article was published by CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

‘Ludicrous’: Buttigieg Watches As Manchin Throws Cold Water On Biden’s EV Dreams

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin slammed the Biden administration’s lofty electric vehicle (EV) plans as “ludicrous,” saying the U.S. should first address root issues.

Manchin expressed concerns that the administration was focusing too much on electric vehicle incentives rather than shoring up the domestic battery and critical mineral supply chains, during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday [4/28.22]. He noted that China, which controls the vast majority of global critical mineral mining and refining needed for renewable energy tech, could use its leverage over the U.S. for geopolitical reasons.

There’s a waiting list for EVs right now with the fuel price at $4,” Manchin told Buttigieg. “But they still want us to throw $5,000 or $7,000 or $12,000 credit to buy an electric vehicle.” (RELATED: Ford Reports Devastating Losses Thanks To Electric Vehicle Gamble)

“It makes no sense to me whatsoever when supply and demand — we can’t produce the product for the people who want it and we’re still going to pay them to take it? It’s absolutely ludicrous in my mind,” he continued. “But I’m thinking we are getting ourselves tangled in a situation that we’re not going to be able to supply … everything that’s going to be needed for this product.”

The West Virginia lawmaker then asked Buttigieg if the Department of Transportation shared his concerns about EV shortages and credits.

“We are following this closely and I think it’s a great example of one of the areas of manufacturing capacity that we’ve got to do more of right here on American soil,” Buttigieg responded. “If you look at the timelines that the physicists have laid out on climate, some of them can — in terms of our action and our need to rise to the challenge — could arguably be measured in months rather than years at this point.”

“So, we feel a sense of enormous urgency to accelerate not just the uptake of electric vehicles, but, as you note, their production and our productive capacity for them,” he added.

Buttigieg didn’t address Manchin’s concerns about the EV credit included in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.

U.S. consumers in the market for an EV must wait up to 18 months to receive their purchase depending on the desired model. Several popular Tesla EVs, for example, have wait times stretching into late 2023.

The Build Back Better Act includes an up to $12,500 tax credit for purchases of electric vehicles made with union labor using American batteries. EVs made in non-union shops would offer consumers much smaller credits.

Biden has promised that 50% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. will be emissions-free by 2030 and every addition to the federal government’s 600,000-vehicle fleet will be electric by 2035.

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This article was published by The Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

Are the Environmental Impacts and Human Atrocities Worth an EV Battery?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

EV buyers should be aware that they may be contributing to the pursuit of “blood minerals” to achieve their efforts to go green.

 

The worldwide movement toward the electrification of everything, from more electric vehicles (EVs) to more intermittent electricity by wind turbines and solar panels, the political actions are supportive of jumping onto the green train, most likely not knowing there is a darker side to green technology, associated with environmental degradation, humanity atrocities, and other embedded costs for materials.

It should concern everyone that those toxic components come from mining for the exotic minerals and metals that are required to manufacture EV batteries, wind turbines, and solar panels. This mining is occurring mostly in less-developed countries with yellow, brown, and black-skinned people with a lack of transparency about the human rights abuses and environmental degradation in those locations.

In an attempt to make the embedded costs of going “green” transparent to the world, the Pulitzer Prize nominated book, Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy   highlights how Asians and Africans, many of them children from the poorer and less healthy countries, are being enslaved and are dying in mines and factories to obtain the exotic minerals and metals required for the green energy technologies for the construction of EV batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, and utility-scale storage batteries.

The Tesla EV has a one-thousand-pound battery that contains 25 pounds of lithium, 60 pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside the Tesla battery are 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells

The environmental impact of battery production is significant. The production of lithium is either carbon dioxide polluting or wasteful of water — up to 500,000 gallons per ton of the mineral. Cobalt mining produces radioactive contaminants, including uranium. About 80 percent of the weight of a Tesla battery –requires mined materials. In practice, that means mining about 50 tons of raw ore per vehicle. If 10 million U.S.-based electric cars are sold in 2030 (about half of sales), that would translate to 500 million tons of new mining with all the accompanying emissions from mining equipment and the accompanying pollution.

All those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just – one – Tesla EV battery.

There was already a huge challenge in just making enough EV batteries. As physicist Mark Mills pointed out in the Wall Street Journal: “The International Energy Agency (IEA) finds that with a global energy transition like the one President Biden envisions, demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth metals would explode, rising by 4,200 percent, 2,500 percent, 1,900 percent and 700 percent, respectively, by 2040”.

Amnesty International has documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels,  and the exposure to the dangerous gases emitted during the procurement of these rare minerals, not to mention the destruction of the local ecosystems when the wastewater and other unusable ores are let loose onto the environments they have no choice but to live in because their wages are so infinitesimally small, it should cause us to take a step back and examine our moral obligations to humanity.

Not only might the planet not have the capacity to meet this demand, but many of these materials come from places that are hostile or that we do not control – such as China/Mongolia, the Congo, and Bolivia – leading to an unpredictable supply.

Most electric vehicles in use today are yet to reach the end of their cycle. The first all-electric car to be powered by lithium-ion batteries, the Tesla Roadster, made its market debut in 2008. This means the first generation of electric vehicle batteries have yet to reach the recycling stage. An estimated 11 million tons of spent lithium-ion batteries will flood our markets by 2025, without systems in place to handle them.

The actions of society are currently supportive of jumping onto the EV train, knowing that EV’s have a very dark side of environmental atrocities, and the non-existing transparency of human rights abuses occurring in other countries, both of which are directly connected to the mining for the exotic minerals and metals that are required to manufacture wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries.

 America could promote sustainable mining in those developing countries by restoring the land to a healthy ecosystem after the mine closes and by leaving surrounding communities with more wealth, education, health care, and infrastructure than they had before the mine went into production. Like mining in America, mining in developing countries must be the objective of corporate social responsibilities and the outcome of the successful ecological restoration of landscapes.

America’s passion for EV vehicles to reduce emissions must be ethical and should not thrive off human rights and environmental abuses in the foreign countries providing the exotic minerals and metals to support America’s green passion.

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This article was published by The Heartland Institute and is reproduced with permission.

Biden’s Dream of ‘Clean Cars’ is Turning Into a Lithium Nightmare

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Lithium is often dubbed as “white gold” for the development of electric vehicles.

The cost of lithium needed to make electric car batteries is up 472% just in the past 12 months and 850% since Biden took office.

Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, and Democrats want America to go all green and want to force Americans to drive only “clean cars” powered by lithium batteries. All-electric vehicles (EVs) are now in the crosshairs. Having charging stations is not the issue. The issue is what will be the future cost of owning “clean cars”?

The Biden-⁠Harris Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan states,

President Biden has united automakers and autoworkers to drive American leadership forward on clean cars, and he set an ambitious target of 50% of electric vehicle (EV) sale shares in the U.S. by 2030. Now, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will supercharge America’s efforts to lead the electric future, Building a Better America where we can strengthen domestic supply chains, outcompete the world, and make electric cars cheaper for working families.

There’s only one problem with the Biden-Harris EV action plan, the market and the price for lithium have sky-rocketed.

In the March 22, 2022 edition of the Independent Journal ReviewWarner Todd Huston reported,

One of the key ingredients in the battery packs that power EVs is lithium. This mineral is important in the production of glass, aluminum products and batteries of all sorts, especially for electric cars.

According to Mining.com, battery-grade lithium carbonate is up 95 percent thus far in 2022, and a whopping 472 percent over the course of the past 12 months.

As the soaring prices of lithium and other minerals needed to manufacture EVs soar, the costs of battery packs for EVs are seeing pressure. Already the battery pack is one of the most expensive parts of an electric vehicle, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to replace them — and that does not include labor.

One of the key ingredients in the battery packs that power EVs is lithium. This mineral is important in the production of glass, aluminum products and batteries of all sorts, especially for electric cars.

According to Mining.com, battery-grade lithium carbonate is up 95 percent thus far in 2022, and a whopping 472 percent over the course of the past 12 months.

As the soaring prices of lithium and other minerals needed to manufacture EVs soar, the costs of battery packs for EVs are seeing pressure. Already the battery pack is one of the most expensive parts of an electric vehicle, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to replace them — and that does not include labor.

Visual Capitalist posted this chart in an article titled “Charted: Lithium Production by Country (1995-2020)“:

The Largest Lithium Producing Countries

Today, three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—mine roughly 86% of the world’s lithium.

*Production total may not add up to 86,300 due to rounding.

It appears from this chart that the United States produces little of the key ingredient to making Biden’s all-electric dream come true. But Communist China, the third-largest lithium producer, has been on the front foot in the race for lithium.

Visual Capitalist reported, “Since 2018, Chinese companies have snapped up over $5 billion worth of lithium mining projects in various countries. Furthermore, the country also dominates the refining and battery manufacturing stages of the lithium-ion supply chain.”

Biden’s Dream has Become a Nightmare

Lithium batteries do not make energy. Batteries do not make electricity – they store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators.

To say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid.

To manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of the ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of the ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of the ore for copper.

Incredibly one must dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just – one – battery.

According to a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute Mark P. Mills,

Hydrocarbons supply over 80 percent of world energy: If all that were in the form of oil, the barrels would line up from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, and that entire line would grow by the height of the Washington Monument every week.

Mills also notes,

A 100x growth in the number of electric vehicles to 400 million on the roads by 2040 would displace five percent of global oil demand.

It costs less than $0.50 to store a barrel of oil, or its equivalent in natural gas, but it costs $200 to store the equivalent energy of a barrel of oil in batteries.

About 60 pounds of batteries are needed to store the energy equivalent of one pound of hydrocarbons.

The Bottom Line

Biden’s “clean car” plan is a myth. Clean cars and green energy from solar and windmills cannot and will not make America carbon neutral or energy independent.

As we wrote,

According to the EPA, in order to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 50-52% we must: stop using all fossil fuels, stop making cement, stop transporting coal, natural gas and oil, stop growing crops and raising cattle, pigs, chickens, etc., stop industrial activities, stop treating waste water and finally end all industrial processes.

Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt used to make EVs, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls, and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?

The truth is that mankind cannot become carbon neutral without hurting mankind itself.

Biden’s dream is a myth that kills.

Don’t forget that China dominates global battery production with its grid 70 percent coal-fueled.

EVs using Chinese batteries will create more carbon dioxide than saved by replacing oil-burning engines.

Don’t forget that CO2 and carbon are not the same.  Carbon is an incredibly versatile element, that as Carl Sagan pointed out years ago, “likes to combine.”  You’re made of it.  Carbon dioxide is what you get when a carbon molecule combines with two molecules of oxygen.  CO2 is the odorless, invisible gas you just exhaled.

And thus ends this lesson on Biden’s clean cars folly.

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This article was published in Dr. Rich Swier and is reproduced with permission.

Imagine Electric Vehicles in Bad Weather

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

With more than forty percent of the EV’s in America being in California at the end of 2020, the EV popularity in California has gotten President Biden so excited to want the rest of the country to follow California’s lead that Biden issued a new executive order that pushes for half of all new cars sold in America by 2030 to be electric vehicles.

Imagine being stuck on a frigid night inside your car, like those stopped on Interstate 95 in Virginia in a 48-mile backup for nearly a 24-hour standstill because of snow. Imagine being trapped in a frozen electric car with a long dead battery!

Even with the great California year-round weather, the states’ EV user’s experiences do not bode well for projected EV sales in America as the states’ EV users may be sending a caution-to-the-wind (no pun intended) message to America that the EV usage in the state reflects very conservative notices to future EV owners. A few reasons why Californians may be sending the wrong message to America are:

  1. The limited usage of the EV’s of about 5,000 miles per year is a reflection that the EV is a second vehicle, for those that can afford them, and not the family workhorse vehicle.
  2. The primary owners of EV’s are the highly educated and financially well off, and not representative of the majority.
  3. EV owner incomes rank among the highest in the country which may be a reflection of home owners that have easier access to charging their EV from their multi-car garages, or for those folks living in new apartments that may have access to more convenient EV charging capabilities. Most car owners park in the street.
  4. According to ValuePenguin insurance, because electric vehicles cost more outright and are more expensive to repair, the average car insurance for an electric vehicle is about 23 percent more expensive than the cost for the equivalent combustion model.
  5. The ethnicity of Tesla owner’s skews toward Caucasians, at 87 percent. Owners who identify with Hispanic ethnicity make up 8 percent of Tesla owners, leaving 5 percent to other ethnicities.
  6. From that limited elite ownership group, there is a growing percentage of those California EV users that are switching back to gasoline cars, which is sending a message that may further deflate EV growth projections.

EVs are still a luxury product that attract the Benz and Beemer crowd, not low- and middle-income consumers. The average household income for EV buyers is about $140,000. That’s roughly nearly twice the US median, which is about $63,000.

Here are a few examples of inclement weather conditions, that will most likely never occur in the idyllic year-round weather of sunny California’s EV “capital” of America:

  • Imagine Florida with a hurricane coming toward Miami. The Governor orders an evacuation. All cars head north. They all need to be charged in Jacksonville. How does that work? If all cars were electric, and were caught up in a three-hour traffic jam with dead batteries, then what? Not to mention that there is virtually no heating or air conditioning in an electric vehicle because of high battery consumption.
  • If you get stuck on the road all night, no battery, no heating, no windshield wipers, no radio, no GPS (all these drain the batteries), all you can do is try calling 911 to take women and children to safety. But they cannot come to help you because all roads are blocked, and they will probably require all police cars will be electric also. When the roads become unblocked no one can move! Their batteries are dead.
  • How do you charge thousands of cars in the traffic jam? Same problem during summer vacation departures with miles of traffic jams. There would be virtually no air conditioning in an electric vehicle. It would drain the batteries quickly. Where is this electricity going to come from? Today’s grid barely handles users’ needs.
  • Frigid driving conditions: Did you know that 17 percent of car crashes in the United States happen in winter conditions? EV batteries must work harder in the cold, which is why they drain quickly in extreme temperatures. Low temperatures, such as 40 degrees or below, can decrease the driving range for EVs by 40 percent.

As Pew Research reported in June, “In each of the past three years, EVs accounted for about 2% of the U.S. new-car market.The reasons why EVs aren’t grabbing consumers by the tailpipe are many, but the main ones are affordability, charging and range functionality and the possible exposure to inclement weather.

Another challenge for EV growth is the EV charging dependence on intermittent electricity generated from breezes and sunshine. Adding EV charging loads onto the grid that is becoming more unstable is like putting salt in the wound. Power outages are now commonplace in California and Texas with more to follow throughout the nation as we adjust to a life dependent upon the time of day and the weather.

Amid tougher emissions regulations worldwide, established automakers are racing to add more EVs to their lineup, but until the current elite owners can demonstrate to the middle-income and those on fixed incomes that their EV’s are their primary family workhorse vehicles, the less fortunate will most likely remain reluctant to buy into the EV evolution.

Growing the supply chain for EV’s without a corresponding growth in demand, could be an economic disaster in the works.

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This article was first published by CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

ZEV Subsidies Fail Equity, Economics, and Environmental Tests

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many have been saying for years that subsidies for zero-emissions (electric) vehicles [ZEV] pose unfair burdens on working Americans. Subsidizing (and mandating) an unwanted switch away from internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) while imposing diktats that have brought higher gasoline prices and record inflation also seems out of kilter with the widely championed tenet of equity.

But the lack of equity is not even the chief reason for ending EV subsidies, according to a new Manhattan Institute report from economist Jonathan A. Lesser, president of Continental Economics. “There is no economic basis for the billions of dollars spent subsidizing [the newest zero-emission vehicles].”

Lesser says that new ICVs today emit very little pollution, thanks to stringent emission standards and low-sulfur gasoline, and they will emit even less in the future. Moreover, ZEVs charged with the forecast mix of electric generation will emit more criteria air pollutants – sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates – than new ICVs.

As for the dreaded (but vital) carbon dioxide, ZEVs do emit less than ICVs, but the projected reduction in CO2 emissions – less than 1 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions – will have no measurable impact on climate, and hence no economic or environmental value.

Lesser is not the only one with data that ought to dim the ZEV subsidy lightbulb. Danish climate expert Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus think tank, has long argued that the hype and mythologizing over ZEVs afflicts policy-making and leads to costly subsidies that produce little environmental benefit. Even in ZEV-happy Norway, the typical virtue-signaling ZEV owner drives the family ICV many more miles annually.

Swedish automaker Volvo compared its gasoline-powered XC40 with its fully electric C40, taking into account the extraction and processing of raw materials. Volvo found that manufacturing the C40 results in 70 percent more emissions than manufacturing the XC40 in the same factory on the same assembly line. The electric battery is the chief culprit.

If, Inside EVs suggests, the data presented by Volvo are any indication, it is quite likely that the manufacture of new ICVs is notably greener than that of all new ZEVs. The only apparent rationale for the subsidies is to favor subservient manufacturers or, perhaps, certain producers and exporters of ZEV components.

So why is President Biden, who claims to be a champion of the working class, pushing so hard for gazillions in new subsidies for ZEVs and ZEV charging stations? Subsidies, in general, have many downsides, notably that, by forcing the market in the “preferred” direction, they crowd out better ideas that might not yet be known to, or even thought of, by bureaucrats.

Admittedly, when Elon Musk rails against subsidies for electric vehicles, he is staring directly into the Biden Administration’s plan to provide tax incentives of up to $12,500 for union-built EVs that purchasers of his non-union vehicles would not receive. Tesla sales 2 years ago reached 200,000-vehicle threshold below which Tesla buyers could receive the current $7,500 federal credit, yet the company says it is prospering.

Musk now argues that the government should act more like a sports referee than a player on the field. Thus, he also opposes Biden’s huge layout for subsidized EV charging stations. But there may be yet another reason to deep-six yet another subsidy for wealthier EV owners, one that Musk himself once considered but that bureaucrats have not planned for.

Back in 2013, Musk unveiled a battery swap station designed about Tesla’s Model S, but few paid attention. The process proved to be complex and slow, and Musk switched its strategy to build out his Supercharger network. Other firms followed suit.

Others, notably Chinese automaker Nio, opted to develop the battery swap. Nio has completed more than 2 million battery swaps in China and is now building swapping stations in Europe. In the U.S., the battery swapping company Ample has until recently operated in “stealth” mode while raising $280 million in investment capital.

Ample founder Khaled Hassounah envisions placing battery swapping stations, each about the size of two parking spaces, at gasoline stations, grocery stores, and highway rest stops. A robotic arm will execute a “Lego-style” swap, replacing the spent battery with a freshly charged one in about 10 minutes. Ample uses small, lighter weight battery modules that can be added together to fit a wide range of vehicles.

Hassounah’s chief focus is on fleet vehicles. Not only does the battery swap system cut recharging time significantly, but fleet managers who opt in can avoid the cost of charging stations. Vehicles driven beyond the typical ZEV’s battery life may save significant sums via leasing. They also get the benefit of having the newest battery technology in their vehicles.

There are, of course, downsides. Many current and planned EV designs make the battery pack an integral part of the chassis. EV manufacturers may be disinclined to warrant vehicles with aftermarket batteries installed. And, of course, drivers can only swap out batteries where there are swapping stations. Pumping gas is still easier, quicker, and not subject to robot malfunction.

Moreover, swapping stations are not part of the Biden subsidy scheme – government rarely has any idea what the market is developing.

But isn’t that what Musk is belatedly joining in arguing? That government has no business being a player in trying to direct the evolution of American business. That means no subsidies – and no mandates, either.

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This article was published on December 19, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow