This article proves, if proof were necessary, that "analysts" are mostly incompetent nincompoops.
The problem with EVs is NOT that they have long charge times (they charge slowly at night, when electric is cheap, a good thing), or with battery cost; if one were to analyze the problem, one would find out that the big problem is that we, as a society, have decided NOT to make EVs.
That's the ONLY problem, and it's due to the massive power of the oil industry and its ancillary and dependent industries, from smog-checking to Halliburton, and from new-car dealers to Pep Boys.
GM and Chevron (Standard Oil of California) cooperated to sequester the exclusive patent-licensing rights to the only proven EV battery, Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), which powers the most successful EV ever made, the Toyota RAV4-EV. In 1994, GM bought control of NiMH from Ovonics, the patent holder, and sequestered it, refusing to use it; in 1997, Toyota proved that NiMH worked by bringing out the RAV4-EV (the same NiMH batteries powered the HondaEV).
On Oct. 10, 2000, GM sold GM-Ovonics to Texaco; six days later, on Oct. 16, 2000, Texaco and Chevron announce that Texaco would merge into Chevron, taking control of NiMH with them. Chevron, which renamed GM-Ovonics COBASYS ("Chevron-Ovonics BAttery SYStems"), filed suit the next year against Toyota. In Dec., 2002, a settlement agreement was reached; Toyota only uses NiMH for applications, such as the Prius, where the car cannot plug-in, and thus has to run entirely on energy from oil; Toyota stopped making the RAV4-EV and the NiMH battery it uses, which are not available at ANY price. Toyota informed the public that the RAV4-EV program had been cancelled at the same time as this settlment agreement, although the latter was not admitted until later.
we COULD make a battery industry for Electric cars, let's say if Toyota were not encumbrered by Chevron's lawsuit agreement, and/or if some American company decided to fight Chevron in the court of public opinion.
Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH) recycles; ALL the materials you need to construct the battery is to be found in (used) recycled batteries.
Hence, there is NO need for additional supplies of mined metals, once the battery "storehouse" is created.
Hence, also, the costing claims for EV batteries are wildly inaccurate, and, to be frank, just plain LIES.
A fair estimate of the cost of NiMH in mass-production would be less than $100/kWh, which is about what CARB intimated in 2000. The only cost for NiMH would, like lead, be for the reprocessing from used batteries to new batteries, using the same materials.
The cost of a battery pack for a NiMH EV with 180 miles of all-electric range (with or without a small engine-generator to extend the range) would be no more than $3,000. That's more than Detroit wants to pay, but it's well within the range of value that people would pay, if they were allowed to.
It would be a change; like any other massive changes, some would benefit, but Big Oil would be hurt.
If people could have the choice of driving on energy they make themselves (to go 1000 miles per month only takes 250 kWh, about what two old refrigerators use; the money saved by not buying gas would pay for a rooftop solar system to make more than that electric energy), they would love it.
But the price of a barrel of oil would fall to about the cost of extraction (no more than $10/bbl.) and a lot of money held in oil stocks would disappear. Also, a lot of dealers, refineries, gas stations, engine repair businesses, pollution study and control industries, etc., would founder; no need to study dirty air if the air is clean.
GM's gaffe was discontinuing the EV-1 ten years ago. Check out the Wikipedia entry or see "Who Killed the Electric Car?" GM engineers produced an excellent vehicle that consumers loved, and took them away and crushed them when the leases expired. Yes, the vehicles were expensive but that was mostly because they were made in very small quantities. GM's other gaffe was not teaming with the rest of US industry to push for national health care so the USA could compete with Japan and Europe on a more even basis. EVs were practical in the 1910's and they're practical now. They're not for everybody. As Ed Begley Jr. says in the film, "they can only satisfy the needs of 90% of Americans".
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