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March 12, 2021

Comments

Joe

It looks like it will be a bumpy ride to the $50/kWh price point:

Lithium prices are surging, sparking concerns about limited supplies of the battery metal that is crucial to the electric-vehicle boom.

Chinese prices for lithium, considered a bellwether because of the market’s higher liquidity and active spot market, have soared since the start of the year. Lithium carbonate, a compound of the silvery metal used in the batteries that power most of China’s electric-car fleet, has jumped 68% since the start of the year to $11,250 a metric ton, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

The supply-and-demand balance for lithium fell into deficit in 2020 for the first time in years, according to commodity analysts at CRU. For 2021, the firm is forecasting lithium demand of about 450,000 metric tons, exceeding supply by roughly 10,000 metric tons.

“You will find there is a ‘sold out’ sign on every operating mine at the moment,” Mr. Archer said. “There will be some bad moments in the coming years where there will be a shortage of lithium production.”

JP

They are gonna be a rich man's car for some time with or without at tax credits and thinking that the charging stations in the Broadway parking lot will get renters to buy one is fantasy.

Paloma Ave

We need to realize that climate activist need to find meaning and purpose in their lives.

I don't buy it, but then what do I know?

Person

Agree with sounding the bell here for our auto dealerships and the incoming changes. I'm not sure what the city can do here or is doing here to adapt. Feels like all dealerships are building the airplane/playbook as the are flying it, aside from Tesla. So perhaps not immediately obvious. Is this an incrimental change our systemic? Only time will tell, but safe to say worthwhile to watch this one closely.

New Blood

1. Many car manufacturers have pledged to do away with combustion engines in the next 10 to 15 years.
2. New buyers (yes, old people die along with their consumer habits) are no longer interested in purchasing vehicles in person.
3. While the autorow generates tax revenue needed for city services, it would be better suited for dense housing where families could live and thrive. More neighbors = more shopping, more children, better life for everyone.
4.Broadway chargers have high utilization rates.

Paloma Ave

1. New Blood is WRONG.

2. We do NOT need dense housing.

3. If you want to live in a dense housing area, move to Oakland or San Francisco.

4. Burlingame is great 'JUST THE WAY IT IS'.

Barking Dog

New Blood - you forgot to use the words equality and equity, which in today's world has the same definition.

BillyGBob

Sorry to disappoint you Paloma (not really), but auto row is already zoned to allow multi-family residential and offices above the ground floor. With a conditional use permit, non-auto commercial uses are allowed on the first floor. From a land use and transportation perspective, it's a very attractive site for mixed-use development. As auto retail becomes less-lucrative, I can easily see the land owners looking at TOD (among other things) there.

Handle Bard

It always amazes me when someone (lookin' at you, New Blood) makes some statement that is so clearly unsupported by da facts that are right in front of em. Hey New Blood click on the link Joe has put in the original post and then tell me that one-half of one charge per day per EV station is "high utilization". So many people walking around believing what they wish was true and avoiding discovering what is true.

silverstein

The devastating effect of mining Lithium article linked below: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-copper-mining-atacama-desert

Barking Dog

2 Northern Nevada companies lithium recycling

American Battery Metals- Incline Village
Currently building a huge facility in Fernley(approx 30miles east Reno).
https://americanbatterytechnology.com/


Comstock Mining- Virgina City
https://www.comstockmining.com/
https://www.thestreet.com/investing/comstock-mining-shares-triple-on-investment-in-ev-battery-recycler

Joe

I am reminded of a WSJ/ Holman Jenkins piece from Feb 9 titled:

EVs Are the Lowest Climate Priority

No matter how you slice the data, the car in your driveway is an emissions asterisk.

How much do the cars you and I drive actually contribute to emissions?

Don’t ask the Union of Concerned Scientists, an EV promoter habituated to quickly changing the subject to “transportation” emissions.
Many inventories also ignore the full range of greenhouse emissions, focusing on CO2 to foster a nevertheless-untenable illusion that passenger cars provide leverage over a global climate problem. No matter how you fiddle the data, personal EVs are a single-digit factor and belong low on any sane list of priorities.

If the Environmental Protection Agency is right, the average light vehicle racks up 11,500 miles a year and sits idle 96% of the time. The World Resources Institute says passenger vehicles account for 7.5% of all emissions, but this includes buses, taxis, etc. Rental cars average 31,000 miles. Other fleet vehicles average 23,000 or more. Heavy trucks average 63,000 miles. One finding that appalled fleet operators is that their vehicles spend up to 33% of their time idling, which is not how people treat their personal vehicles.

An electric car that’s sitting in your garage, not displacing a significant amount of gasoline-powered transportation but still sucking power out of a wall socket, can be a net emissions contributor when all is said and done.

----Law of Unintended Consequences----

silverstein

Destroying Entire Ecosystems and Permanently Destroys the Earth and is becoming the new “blood diamonds".

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2021/02/09/lithium-mining-and-the-hidden-environmental-costs-of-evs/

https://returntonow.net/2021/02/09/the-spiraling-environmental-costs-of-lithium-batteries-could-rival-fossil-fuel/

Joe

Another Econ lesson-- here comes the taxman:

As much as it tries to be the company of the future, Tesla TSLA -3.39% shares a present-day problem with the rest of us—it has to deal with the Internal Revenue Service.

Tax rules were a boon when it was almost the only electric-vehicle game in town. Its well-to-do customers got a $7,500 federal rebate and many states added to that. Now it has sold so many cars that customers no longer qualify for the federal subsidy. That matters more now that it is competing in the increasingly crowded mass-market category.

Buyers will face an even bigger hit if they choose to pay with bitcoin since the IRS will treat this as a sale of the recently appreciated asset. Say a buyer from California pays for its entry-level Model 3 sedan with $33,690 in bitcoin purchased three months ago. At the marginal tax rate of the average Model 3 buyer according to automotive research firm Hedges & Co., she would owe $4,056 at the federal level and $1,572 to California for short-term capital gains. Starting this year, cryptocurrency ownership has to be reported on federal returns under penalty of perjury.

The upshot is that, compared with, say, a rebate-eligible Hyundai Ioniq EV with an almost identical sticker price paid for in legal tender, the Tesla Model 3 buyer using appreciated bitcoin would pay 53% more after taxes.

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