A few more good reasons not to buy an EV

If our anti-mining government ever bothers to drag its head from the sand it will discover EVs carry some unpleasant baggage and that changeover from fossil fuel to EV production is unsustainable.

The environmentally conscious UK promised 100% of its vehicles would be electric by 2050, but they’ve just realised this will not be possible based on the current supply of raw materials for lithium-ion batteries and future requirements.

“A team of scientists has written to the Committee of Climate Change warning that if the UK’s 31.5 million cars are replaced by electric vehicles by 2050, as is currently planned by the Government, this will require almost twice the current annual global supply of cobalt.

The researchers have also calculated that based on the latest ‘811’ battery technology (80 per cent nickel, 10 per cent cobalt, 10 per cent manganese), UK demand for EV batteries will require almost the total amount of neodymium produced globally each year, three quarter’s of the world’s lithium, and “at least half” of the world’s copper.”

Auto Express UK

And that’s just the UK’s requirements, what about the rest of the world’s need for cobalt, copper, lithium and neodymium?

Our greenies are stuck between a rock and a hard place because they have rejected fossil fuelled vehicles and mining but production of EV batteries is impossible without mining.

“The scientists also estimate that the energy required to mine materials for EV batteries will take 22.5 TWh (TeraWatt-hours) of energy, equivalent to six per cent of the UK’s current annual electrical usage. 

Just mining the battery materials necessary to replace the two billion cars in the world would require four times the UK’s total annual electrical output.

Once all those EVs have been built, the letter highlights further concerns. Current estimates put the extra power required for all UK cars to be electric at 63 TWh a year, a 20 per cent increase over current generation levels. To produce this extra electricity with environmentally friendly wind farms would require and extra 6,000 turbines, the production of which would require a “years’ worth of total global copper supply and 10 years’ worth of global neodymium”.

Then there’s the shortages of minerals, particularly cobalt.

“No viable alternative currently exists, and while cobalt is also used in mobile phone and laptop batteries, a single EV requires between six and 12kg of the material.”What’s worse, some of the world’s cobalt is not ethically sourced.

Around 60 per cent of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), though, one of the world’s least politically stable countries.

What’s more, between 20 and 40 per cent of Congolese cobalt comes from ‘artisanal’ mines where the metal, a by-product of copper and nickel production, is often dug out by hand in unregulated conditions, sometimes by child workers.”

Auto Express UK

The government that had the gall to halt New Zealand’s ethical oil and gas exploration should take a closer look at the supply of minerals needed for EVs and how some of them are sourced.