Biden’s Dream of ‘Clean Cars’ is Turning Into a Lithium Nightmare

Lithium is often dubbed as “white gold” for the development of electric vehicles.

The cost of lithium needed to make electric car batteries is up 472% just in the past 12 months and 850% since Biden took office.

Biden, Harris, Buttigieg and Democrats want America to go all green and want to force Americans to drive only “clean cars” powered by lithium batteries. All electric vehicles (EVs) are now in the crosshairs. Having charging stations is not the issue. The issue is what will be the future cost of owning “clean cars”?

The The Biden-⁠Harris Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan states,

President Biden has united automakers and autoworkers to drive American leadership forward on clean cars, and he set an ambitious target of 50% of electric vehicle (EV) sale shares in the U.S. by 2030. Now, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will supercharge America’s efforts to lead the electric future, Building a Better America where we can strengthen domestic supply chains, outcompete the world, and make electric cars cheaper for working families.

There’s only one problem with the Biden-Harris EV action plan, the market and the price for lithium has sky-rocketed.

In the March 22, 2022 edition of the Independent Journal Review Warner Todd Huston reported,

One of the key ingredients in the battery packs that power EVs is lithium. This mineral is important in the production of glass, aluminum products and batteries of all sorts, especially for electric cars.

According to Mining.com, battery-grade lithium carbonate is up 95 percent thus far in 2022, and a whopping 472 percent over the course of the past 12 months.

As the soaring prices of lithium and other minerals needed to manufacture EVs soar, the costs of battery packs for EVs are seeing pressure. Already the battery pack is one of the most expensive parts of an electric vehicle, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to replace them — and that does not include labor.

Visual Capitalist posted this chart in an article titled “Charted: Lithium Production by Country (1995-2020)“:

The Largest Lithium Producing Countries

Today, three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—mine roughly 86% of the world’s lithium.

Country 2020 Lithium Production* (tonnes) % of World Total
Australia 🇦🇺 40,000 46.3%
Chile 🇨🇱 20,600 23.9%
China 🇨🇳 14,000 16.2%
Argentina 🇦🇷 6,200 7.2%
Brazil 🇧🇷 1,900 2.2%
Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 1,200 1.4%
U.S. 🇺🇸 900 1.0%
Portugal 🇵🇹 900 1.0%
Rest of the World 🌍 500 0.6%
Total 86,300 100%

*Production total may not add up to 86,300 due to rounding.

It appears from this chart that the United States produces little of the key ingredient to make Biden’s all electric dream come true. But Communist China, the third-largest lithium producer, has been on the front foot in the race for lithium.

Visual Capitalist reported, “Since 2018, Chinese companies have snapped up over $5 billion worth of lithium mining projects in various countries. Furthermore, the country also dominates the refining and battery manufacturing stages of the lithium-ion supply chain.”

Biden’s Dream has Become a Nightmare

Lithium batteries do not make energy. Batteries do not make electricity – they store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators.

To say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid.

To manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper.

Incredibly one must dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just – one – battery.

According to senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute Mark P. Mills,

Hydrocarbons supply over 80 percent of world energy: If all that were in the form of oil, the barrels would line up from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, and that entire line would grow by the height of the Washington Monument every week.

Mills also notes,

A 100x growth in the number of electric vehicles to 400 million on the roads by 2040 would displace five percent of global oil demand.

It costs less than $0.50 to store a barrel of oil, or its equivalent in natural gas, but it costs $200 to store the equivalent energy of a barrel of oil in batteries.

About 60 pounds of batteries are needed to store the energy equivalent of one pound of hydrocarbons.

The Bottom Line

Biden’s “clean car” plan is a myth. Clean cars and green energy from solar and windmills cannot and will not make America carbon neutral or energy independent.

Here’s Biden pushing all electric vehicles. We would be laughing but this is what he said and what his administration believe.

As we wrote,

According to the EPA, in order to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 50-52% we must: stop using all fossil fuels, stop making cement, stop transporting coal, natural gas and oil, stop growing crops and raising cattle, pigs, chickens, etc., stop industrial activities, stop treating waste water and finally end all industrial processes.

Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt used to make EVs, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls, and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?

The truth is that mankind cannot become carbon neutral without hurting mankind itself.

Biden’s dream is a myth that kills.

Don’t forget that China dominates global battery production with its grid 70 percent coal-fueled.

EVs using Chinese batteries will create more carbon-dioxide than saved by replacing oil-burning engines.

P.S.  Don’t forget that CO2 and carbon are not the same.  Carbon is the incredibly versatile element, that as Carl Sagan pointed out years ago, “likes to combine.”  You’re made of it.  Carbon dioxide is what you get when a carbon molecule combines with two molecules of oxygen.  CO2 is the odorless, invisible gas you just exhaled.

An thus ends this lesson on Biden’s clean cars folly.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

1 reply
  1. Royal A Brown III
    Royal A Brown III says:

    This says it all…”Biden’s “clean car” plan is a myth. Clean cars and green energy from solar and windmills cannot and will not make America carbon neutral or energy independent.”

    Reply

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