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May 27, 2022

Comments

David

I believe in pragmatism, and the points Joe and Russ raise are valid. However, if we wait for all the stars to align perfectly to find solutions to climate change, our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that is even more precarious than the one we live in now. I have no doubt that the transition to more eco-friendly energy is going to be messy. So are wildfires, hurricanes, floods and droughts. Maybe we need to adopt the Agile development process more widely to innovate more quickly than we are now. We're running out of time.

Paloma Ave

I believe it is ridiculous to think that we can change the climate, we need to adapt.

Just like we cannot get everyone to love one another, we can hope to get people to tolerate one another.

Paloma Ave

Just now on Facebook I am looking at a picture of hundreds of non-running electric cars sitting in an open field in Paris.

The caption reads:

This is a used car dump near Paris, France with hundreds of electric cars. Please note, these are only used cars of the city of Paris and not personal vehicles.

Everyone has the same problem .... the battery storage cells are dead and need to be replaced.

Why not replace them, you ask yourself? Well, there are two reasons.

One, battery storage cells cost almost twice what a new vehicle costs, and two, no landfill will allow you to dump batteries there.

So, these green fairy electric cars are dumping toxins from the battery right into the ground.

Still think we need to go green?

Joe

I suppose I need to be more clear. I'm not opposed to EVs, I just want to be, first, pragmatic in the sense that for a good long while they are not going to be for everyone in every situation. I had this chat with my neighbor in Tahoe yesterday. For summer trips up here they are fine but he wouldn't think of doing so in the middle of winter due to the poor battery performance in cold weather. And it will be sometime before chargers exist where they are needed.

Second and more importantly, I am very opposed to these pie-in-the-sky, top-down-from-Sacramento rules/laws/demands. The governor has never run anything more complicated than a restaurant IRL and I'm guessing he hired a professional general manager to do that. I'll bet $20 when he made the 2035 rule he had no idea of the things I list in this original post. I'll bet another $20 that he doesn't care. It's optics of "doing something" that interests him.

ps. This is entirely my stance, Russ has his own I'm sure.

Newsom is a fascist

Newsom is a fascist. It is just that simple. He is an autocrat who does what he wants. Get in line, serf. You will buy what I tell you to buy. You will eat what I tell you to eat. You will cook how I tell you to cook and you vill like it.

Spurrina

Two parcel taxes coming.
How can any government body think about taxes these days?
Out of touch, guaranteed income adjusted for inflation government can!

Vote nope!

Joe

Another WSJ reader's reaction to a different piece by an HSBC banker (that eventually got him in "truth trouble" - that is the trouble you get into for telling the truth:

I am reacting to the relentless and consistent nature of the propaganda. The kicker is that people have no idea how this will affect their standard of living. The Net-Zero states (CA, NY, NJ) are hurtling towards disaster. The politicians have no idea how much would be needed in battery backup to eliminate fossil fuels, nor do they have the faintest idea of the cost, both financial and environmental of batteries on that scale. Once these populated states get a taste of living with brown outs and blackouts, there will be some questions asked, but in the meantime, the grid, and energy supply will have been seriously compromised. We are hurtling towards disaster and even if you do think that an incremental increase in the trace gas, CO2, is a problem, China is pumping out so much of the stuff that what we do here really doesn't matter.

hollyroller@gmail.com

I do not post here much anymore.
So, I spend a little more time digesting opinions and Fake News before I respond.
I stopped commenting due to topics that are non-controversial...Boring.
This one may have "Legs."
The more "articles" I have read without commenting on are Scary. Very Scary.
Thank you, Joe, and Rusty.
You two provide a Very Cool Web Site.
Good to be back!

Joe

Thank you, holly, .....I think? I guess that was complimentary? I'll try not to be Boring, but after all, it has been called "Boringame" since I first worked in town in 1983.....

MBGA

Somewhere while reading an article about Gavin Newsom, and not even a hit piece if I remember, it was mentioned he had acknowledged that he had some learning disabilities or something related to why he did not excel in technical subjects when a youth. The piece was praising his other abilities. I’d try to find it but that is not the main point.

The main point is: What the heck is going on with these seemingly stupid decisions that are in every way impractical and certainly can’t work. Are the NWO, one green world types just fools? or are they up to some real evil? The answer to these type of questions is usually both, and a lot of both lately. So besides stupidity and the evilness of trying to force us to do it knowing full well that China and India, Africa, etc wont be doing it, shows pure dishonesty.

Gavin and his minions must know it can’t be done and I imagine in the back of their minds or in the back rooms, they are saying “Well, it’s just a law, and we are making it, so we can always change it when we get to 2034, and we will just extend it for some politically beneficial reasons, like to save jobs.” The left has no integrity at all. They know they can do it because their base proves everyday that they are getting dumber, so hey, what the heck.

Cassandra

Same with the southern border.
If they fix things there will be no talking points for dumb voters.
Gotta keep tossing that word-salad: equity-diversity-inclusivity
Intersectionality…

Joe

The drumbeat just keeps rolling on:

In January the Interior Department revoked long-held federal leases for mining in Minnesota’s Duluth Complex, which accounts for 95% of America’s nickel, 88% of its cobalt and more than one-third of its copper.

Minerals and metals will still be mined, but in countries with far fewer environmental protections such as Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and China.
----------------
Do you think anyone has lost their job over that decision?

Handle Bard

https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/electric-car-four-day-trip-more-time-charging-sleeping

Christopher Cooke

This article displays a lack of knowledge about the lithium industry and potential sources for it. There are startups with significant VC funding that can filter lithium from inland lakes and seas with no harm to the ecosystem in locations throughout the world. The WSJ had an article on this two months ago and my daughter is heading to South America with several co workers to start operations there.

Joe

I have no doubt that rising prices for lithium (and every other metal needed) will drive investment and innovation. There is another piece in the Journal that notes "the Lithium Valley in California with newly tapped molten lithium in which GM is investing. It could produce 600,000 metric tons a year of lithium as a byproduct of geothermal-energy production." Good luck to your daughter. Sounds like an interesting job.

Joe

More factoids on pricing of metals and the cars themselves from today's WSJ:

Auto makers have been raising prices on electric cars, partly to offset the soaring cost of materials used in their large batteries.

Last week, GM tacked on $6,250 to the price of GMC Hummer electric pickup-truck models, which now range from around $85,000 to $105,000, citing an increase in commodity and logistics costs. The waiting list for the recently released truck is about two years, a GM spokesman said.

Tesla this year has increased prices three times for a performance version of its top-selling Model Y SUV, adding a total of about 9% to the sticker price, which is now $69,900, according to Bernstein Research.

Overall, the average price paid for an electric vehicle in the U.S. in May was up 22% from a year earlier, at about $54,000, according to J.D. Power. By comparison, the average paid for an internal-combustion vehicle increased 14% in that period, to about $44,400.
------------
And a different piece from last week noted:

Oil-price increases have been modest compared with the rally in the metal that underpins electric-vehicle batteries. Despite a recent pause for breath, spot prices for seaborne supplies of the key lithium compounds, carbonate and hydroxide, have more than quintupled over the past year, according to data from price-reporting agency Fastmarkets.

Joe

Here is an eye-opening calculation from the WSJ:

Bets on charging networks are supported by a doubling of EV auto sales in the U.S. last year. However, that amount accounted for only a fraction of the U.S. car market, highlighting the challenges charging infrastructure faces generating sustainable profits. An analysis by consulting firm AlixPartners in 2020 showed that the average fast-charging station, charging market price for electricity, would take 20 to 25 years to pay off its initial investment.

A 20-25 year payback is not something to jump at..........

Joe

Whoops. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reports:

By quantifying the externalities (both greenhouse gases and local air pollution) generated by driving these vehicles, the government subsidies on the purchase of EVs, and taxes on electric and/or gasoline miles, researchers found that “electric vehicles generate a negative environmental benefit of about -0.5 cents per mile relative to comparable gasoline vehicles (-1.5 cents per mile for vehicles driven outside metropolitan areas).

Researchers specifically pointed out that despite being treated by regulators as “zero-emission vehicles,” electric cars are not emissions-free. Charging an EV increases electricity demand. Renewal resources supply only 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The remaining 80 percent were generated by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, despite billions of dollars in green subsidies.

And the American Economic Review assesses:

The comparison between a gasoline vehicle and an electric one is really a comparison between burning gasoline or a mix of coal and natural gas to move the vehicle.
------------------

So B'game is harming the environment by encouraging more EVs? Not mention wasting a good amount of parking spaces in public lots........

Joe

Another Whoops from today's WSJ:

Sean Nemeth, the owner of a plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica, was perplexed when earlier this year he received a rather surprising recall notice, advising him to park his vehicle outside and away from structures. The notice informed him that his particular model is at risk of catching fire—even while stationary and turned off—and the cause is still unknown.

“What am I supposed to do with it then?” said Mr. Nemeth, recalling his reaction at the time. He eventually decided to park it across the street from his house in a low-traffic cul-de-sac. (Ed: It's gonna be hard to charge it from across the street....)

As a precaution, auto makers are issuing “park outside” orders that instruct drivers to park in the open air and away from houses and structures that could be potentially damaged if a fire were to occur. In many cases, the remedy isn’t immediately available, leaving drivers to figure out what to do with the vehicle in the interim—sometimes for months.

At least 31 recall campaigns covering 3.3 million vehicles have been launched with park-outside orders in the past decade, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The majority of those—18 campaigns, or about 60%—occurred within the past two years, NHTSA’s data show.

Peter Garrison

From WSJ Opinion Saturday-

Youngish vot­ers in par­tic­u­lar say cli­mate is their first con­cern and yet a nil per­cent-age bother to dig any deeper. Voilà, the bud­ding au­di­ence for lu­di­crously sub­si-dized prod­ucts (if the goal is re­duc­ing CO2 emis­sions) like to-day’s plus-sized elec-tric ve­hi­cles. Their dream­land is Nor­way, where hy­brid and elec­tric-ve­hi­cle miles now ex­ceed con­ven-tional-ve­hi­cle miles, thanks to gen­er­ous sub­si­dies to EV buy-ers. Paid for how? With 0.07% of the world’s peo­ple, Nor-way ex­ports 2% of the world’s oil and gas, 30 times its share of global pop­u­la­tion.

Joe

Today's Journal has a big "Not So Fast" piece about South American lithium coming from brine farms. Here are some snippets:

As the Chinese EV giant BYD Co. recently learned, tapping into that resource can be a challenge. Earlier this year, after BYD won a government contract to mine lithium, indigenous residents took to the streets, demanding the tender be canceled over concerns about the impact on local water supplies. In June, the Chilean Supreme Court threw out the award, saying the government failed to consult with indigenous people first.

Similar setbacks are occurring around the so-called Lithium Triangle, which overlaps parts of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. Production has suffered at the hands of leftist governments angling for greater control over the mineral and a bigger share of profits, as well as from environmental concerns and greater activism by local Andean communities who fear being left out while outsiders get rich.

In Bolivia, the government nationalized its lithium industry years ago and has yet to produce meaningful amounts of the metal. Mexico, a smaller player, also recently nationalized lithium. In Argentina, output is only starting to take off.

Unlike oil, which is produced all over the globe, lithium is less common. South America, Australia and China are the key locations. Outside South America, it’s extracted from hard-rock. In the region, lithium is found in salty, underground water that is evaporated by the sun after being pumped into large man-made ponds. South America’s lithium is less expensive to produce, but miners say the drawback is it takes far longer to build a mine—about eight years.

Chilean officials and environmentalists worry about the impact on water supplies. Willy Kracht, Chile’s undersecretary of mining, said recently that up to 2,800 cubic meters of water are needed to produce one ton of lithium in Chile, versus 70 cubic meters for a ton of copper.

Environmentalists believe that mining has caused some nearby lagoons to dry up, harming the population of wild flamingos that rely on them to feed on shrimp and build nests. “The damage is irreversible,” said Cristina Dorador, a biologist who was a member of a special assembly that wrote the draft for Chile’s new constitution.
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Ruh-Ro

MBGA

Not sure whether to post this here or in the You and your Cat thread.

https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/ev-charger-cable-theft/

I'm sure this will warrant a town hall meeting at some point.

Joe

Both places would be fine. Interesting article--can't imagine there are even $200 worth of copper in each cord, but what do I know?

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