Green Transition Technology Is Indeed Very Brown
Jan. 23 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Although electric vehicles (EVs) are a central element of the Green Deal/Great Reset scheme, it is clear that their means of production are not green at all. In order to equal the energy stored in a conventional car filled with approximately 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of gasoline, an EV needs a battery the weight of at least half a ton. The production of those batteries is extremely energy intensive, and includes mining and processing huge amounts of copper, aluminum and lithium.
The material consumption for a full electric conversion of the car fleet of a country like the United Kingdom would be twice the annual global production of cobalt, three-quarters of the world’s production of lithium carbonate, more than half the world’s production of copper and nearly the entire world annual production of neodymium, according to Michael Kelly of the Global Warming Foundation (“Electrifying the U.K. and the Want of Engineering”).
If we consider a full electric conversion of the car fleet of all EU member states as planned by the EU Commission by 2050, taking into account the average age of cars being 10.8 years, we would need 26 million EVs produced every year. This would require an increase of world cobalt production by 17 times, of lithium by 6 times, of copper by over 4 times and neodymium by 8 times.
Pollution produced by mining and processing such an amount of materials would at present technologies be gigantic. Additionally, it would be necessary to double the capacity of electric grids and electricity production, as well as to install a new distribution system in order to charge all cars and trucks at home or at their workplaces.
Production of electric engines requires the rare earth mineral neodymium. Currently, due to environmentalist concerns (mainly raised by the Green movement), there is almost no mining of neodymium in the West; China is its main world producer.
We have previously calculated the giant increase of electricity production required to fuel EVs. Now consider the power needed to fulfill the above list of materials. The green idea in the West to go fully electric and at the same time reject energy-intensive primary power sources like nuclear and fusion guarantees that the energy-intensive parts of EV production will never take place in the West (China has a 75% market share in lithium batteries) and that its economies will die fast, like East bloc economies in the post-1988 period.