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Electric Vehicles, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

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I recently drove a Tesla 3 Performance. I was immediately in love and thought if this is the future of electric vehicles, I’m in!

The thought of driving a car with virtually no or little maintenance and running costs while supposedly saving the planet was appealing.

OK, to be honest it was the cost saving that I found attractive but hey, I am all for saving the planet too.

OK, to be totally honest it was the head snapping acceleration and handling that was the real appeal. My passenger had to lock herself into the seat and pleaded with me to let her know when I was accelerating. Yes, it is that quick!

Carsguide, in their review, suggests sit-ups, crunches and squats are essential because you will need your core strength if you plan to launch the car from 0-100km/h regularly.

In Sport mode, the acceleration is frightful. It is truly gobsmacking, so much so that it might make passengers feel ill if they are not expecting it. That it happens in near silence is a compounding factor, as the only noise is a whirr from the electric motors and the whoosh of the wind as you cut through it. I loved it.

When you compare the price of the Tesla Performance, just over 100k with a 0-100 time of around 3 seconds compared to the Pagini Huayra Roadster with a price of $5.5 million and similar 0-100 times it is a bargain.

So, has the electric car won me over?

Sure, the emissions thing works well for the environment, but what about battery life and production? What about the production costs both financial and environmental? What about the long-term benefits? What about the changes required to run the EV industry? Is it feasible to use them in Australia or are we kidding ourselves that we are saving the planet by buying and using EV’s? Is there potential for ‘turning your car off’ if you are a naughty boy or girl?

I recently came back from South Australia to Queensland and had a chat with a fellow traveller in a country park. Beside the park was an EV charging station. He said that was the first charging station he had seen in over 5,000km and had passed a Tesla driver who was parked in a rest area charging his environmentally friendly Model 3 with a petrol driven portable generator he had to take on his trip.

I guess we have a long way to go before we can drive EV’s across the country. In fact, apart from our coastal/city regions you rarely see EV’s. The infrastructure is just not there.

Whilst the emission thing is noble in its theory are there other factors at play? Is there another agenda behind Queensland’s ‘zero emissions’ future? Let us come back to that later.

In 2019, Professor Richard Herrington, the Head of Earth Sciences at the British Natural History Museum, told the British Government:

“Converting UK’s vehicles to electricity by 2050 would require two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production.”

That is just the UK!

“Society needs to understand that there is a raw-material cost of going green,” Herrington wrote.

And that is the problem.

Governments have not been honest with people about any of this.

Last month, green energy experts admitted that 90-95 percent of the supply chain for EVs simply “DOES NOT EXIST”.

The EV CEO of Ford Motors, RJ Scaringe, spelt it out – “the world simply doesn’t have the resources or supply chain to transition ALL Americans into EVs.”

“All the world’s cell production combined represents well under 10 percent of what we will need in 10 years” he said.

Did you catch that?

Ninety percent to ninety-five percent of the EV supply chain does not even exist yet!

Is it possible that future technology developments will change those figures into something manageable? Possibly, but there is a lot of work to be done if it is to happen.

Closer to home, let us get back to Queensland.

Their Zero Emissions future means replacing all our petrol fuelled cars, trucks, trains, boats, motorcycles, barges, and farm machinery by 2050. Less than 30 years away.

The current plans include a 50% ban on ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) sales by 2030 and a 100% ban by 2036.

Our green friends push with a religious zeal the need for everyone to move to EV’s. Surprisingly very few of them I speak to have made the transition. They quote several excuses/reasons, but they still drive their ICE vehicles.

Mostly though we are willing to accept the transition because we are led to believe that we will still own a vehicle of some description. That is where the hidden agenda begins to become clearer. You will own nothing, and you will be happy is the WEF forum mantra.

In Queensland we currently have 4,303,713 vehicles, 8,000 are electric. That is a lot of vehicles to replace. Are you ready to outlay the money yet? Apart from your cash is there the infrastructure to build and supply these vehicles? Currently there is a wait of several months for an EV. Some manufacturers say up to 3 years for one of their vehicles. This is just Queensland. What about the rest of Australia? What about replacing the 1.2 billion cars around the world if we stick to the current agenda?

Let us add to the list.

So, if these cars no longer require fuel that means every petrol station in Australia will close. Jobs lost. Govt revenue lost on fuel. Do you think that may affect the cost to charge your EV?

Servicing EV’s is virtually non-existent, at least significantly less than today’s ICE vehicles. Garages will close. Mechanics out of work. What is the cost to retrain them, or do we just say bad luck, sucks to be you?

Along with servicing comes spare parts. The revenue lost from brakes, clutches, oil change, engine bits and pieces and so on will be lost.

Time taken to recharge EV’s is way longer than it takes to refuel. All that time would have to be factored in to travel any major distance. What if there was a power failure? We have seen that recently. You cannot charge your EV overnight so you cannot get to work the next day.

Do we use household solar? What if it is overcast? We currently have cold showers with a day or two of overcast or rainy weather. Unless we convert to the coal fired electricity grid. What does that do to your car? Or like our Tesla friend, do we carry a diesel generator with us? Oh wait, the fuel stations are closed so where do we get the diesel from again?

Currently the maximum lifespan of an EV is 10 years. The EV graveyards are building significantly as very few bits and pieces are recyclable. That may change. It will have to if you want to own your own car. But then, you will own nothing and be happy springs to mind again. Is there a hidden agenda?

General Motors have developed a plan to eliminate ICE powered car and light vehicle sales by 2035. Many other manufacturers have similar targets.

Various companies exploit eco-conscious consumers through greenwashing. The term signifies a business’s use of eco-friendly terms to promote sales, even when their practices are not sustainable.

Before we jump on board the green train let us reflect for just few moments. I understand many of the climate conscious’ will now be baying for my blood but please keep reading.

We are all very familiar with the term greenhouse gases. I do not need to talk about the advantages of the EV emission less tailpipe gases. We have been brainwashed, ooops, educated enough about that so I do not need to spend time explaining what they are here. Suffice to say cars with zero tailpipe emissions may protect the health of future generations but at what cost?

What about the batteries? Currently Lithium-ion batteries contain cobalt. Cobalt causes significant worker health complications and ethical dilemmas. Have you even thought of that? The Democratic Republic of the Congo currently mines about 65% of the world’s cobalt supply. Did you know The DRC uses over 40,000 children as miners? Yep, virtual child slave labour with serious long term health issues. How do you feel driving your EV knowing 40,000 children are suffering health issues and dying so you can save the planet?

Some companies are looking at alternatives, Tesla being one of them but at this stage it’s still children’s health driving your EV.

In 2022 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said (with medium confidence), “Emerging national strategies on critical minerals and the requirements from major vehicle manufacturers are leading to new, more geographically diverse mines. The standardisation of battery modules and packaging within and across vehicle platforms, as well as increased focus on design for recyclability are important. Given the high degree of potential recyclability of lithium-ion batteries, a nearly closed-loop system in the future could mitigate concerns about critical mineral issues”. I love those terms potential, could, may, possibly. I have heard them enough over the years to understand they rarely potentially, could, may or possibly happen.

According to a 2020 study balancing lithium supply and demand for the rest of the century needs good recycling systems, vehicle-to-grid integration, and lower lithium intensity of transportation. Basically, they are saying we do not have enough lithium to go round. Again, there is that nagging voice, “you’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy.”

Up until the 1980’s the USA led the world in rare-earth production but since the mid-1990s China has controlled the world market for these elements. Buy China products or do not have what you want could well be the future landscape, actually, it is almost that now.

Manufacturing impacts are also a consideration for EVs. Batteries are heavy so manufacturers work to lighten the rest of the vehicle by using exotic materials. Materials that require a lot of energy to produce and process. Rarely do we even consider this as a significant part of my new planet saving EV.

The electric motors also require lithium, copper, and nickel. The mining and processing of these minerals require significant energy and may release toxic compounds into the surrounding areas. Enough local people’s health in these mining areas has been impacted by damaged groundwater, that this needs to be a serious consideration of your EV purchase.

While on the electric motor component there is currently no cost-effective way to recycle electric motors due to the complicated extraction processes, so many electric motors end up as landfill.

The resale value of EVs could become a significant burden for the owners. Basically, it will become a throw away item after 10 years. Imagine owning a 10-year-old smart phone. The EV technology will be changing so fast there will be built in obsolescence. Very few, if anyone, will want a 10-year-old EV with outdated technology. But if you own nothing and you will be happy maybe there is a way to overcome the long waiting periods, the lack of minerals to build and the ever-changing technology.

Do you enjoy tinkering on your car? Forget it with EVs. A flat tyre maybe or an easy to reach burnt light bulb (is there ever such a thing) is about all you can do. To be fair, very few people work on modern cars due to their complicated, computer-controlled nature. A recent call out to the NRMA confirmed they rarely get dirty these days because they just cannot fix things on the go like they used to. They come, they look, they call the tow truck unless it is a quite simple fix, like an extremely expensive new battery, as I found out.

You wont even be able to jump start your EV should you run out of juice.

Back in the sixties there was a man called Stanley Meyer. He had patents on a way of turning water into fuel. After all water is H20 and Hydrogen is a very combustible element plus we all like Oxygen. His invention split the Hydrogen and Oxygen. Hydrogen was used to power the vehicle and Oxygen was released into the atmosphere. He used a garden hose to fill his tank and drove across America. The magazine, Popular Mechanic, also discussed the idea of water powered cars. Stan met a very strange and untimely death, with his last words being, “I’ve been poisoned” as he ran out of the restaurant, he had been eating in. You can imagine the conspiracy theories that have abounded about that over the years.

The mysterious death of Stanley Meyer – The man who invented ‘water powered car’ | MRU MEDIA (mysteriesrunsolved.com)

There have been a multitude of stories about water powered cars over the years with their owners suspiciously disappearing. Perhaps there is another story there?

What is the answer? In my very humble opinion, I find the whole EV industry, along with climate change and a raft of other very expensive and freedom sapping exercises we are currently experiencing a bit too convenient for some. The transfer of money to the wealthy is extraordinary in these fields. I believe we are headed into a new frontier. An age where hidden agendas are not so hidden anymore, and the future looks vastly different to our current climate. No, I am not talking about climate change.

There are forces at work that will change the car industry forever. The shift in wealth as this new technology comes about will be significant. The jury is still out as to whether the average person will be able to afford their own vehicle. We may well be limited in our travel expectations and experiences. It is already happening in some countries. Will it happen here? Is this a part of the hidden agenda in the zero emissions EV industry?

We are lectured constantly about the good of the EV industry and the need to save the planet by transferring to them. There are significant enough bad aspects, as covered here, that should have us at least considering the impact on others of the EV industry. As far as the ugly goes? Child slave labour, transfer of wealth and power and perhaps, the hidden agenda of taking away the freedom we have in current car ownership and travel while we are told we are ‘saving the planet’ to control our every movement.

All things to consider before jumping into an EV, no matter how head snapping the performance is.

 

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