I don’t care how many Teslas and EVs are on the road today.
The whole EV industry is unsustainable, and this will all end in disaster—and probably more than a few SEC investigations.
Let’s start with the fact that EVs are not anywhere near as “clean” and “green” as they’re cracked up to be.
Where does electricity come from? Is it just magic? No, it comes from a power plant. Which runs on, predominately, coal and natural gas, as well as nuclear power.
Electricity isn’t the source of energy—it’s a byproduct of a real source converted into energy. Coal, natural gas and nuclear are true sources of energy. Electricity isn’t.
So in reality, electric vehicles are actually coal-powered, or natural gas-powered. The cleanest they could possibly be is nuclear powered, but it seems most green freaks despise nuclear power for some reason even though it’s the cleanest source of energy we have that can realistically power an advanced modern power grid with both consistency and longevity.
Altogether, about 80% of US energy either comes from fossil fuels (61%) or nuclear (19%). The other 20% is renewables with wind (9%) and hydro (6%) being the biggest sources of renewable. Only about 2.8% of total US energy comes from solar panels.
This isn’t even the start of it. What’s the main element of an EV battery?
Have you seen a lithium mine ever? This does not exactly look “green” and friendly to the environment, does it?
That’s the hole in the ground that has to be made so Tesla owners can feel good about themselves and pretend they’re saving the world. Doesn’t seem very green to me.
Ever since inflation really took off, and especially since the Russian sanctions were imposed, I’ve been thinking a lot about natural resources and the true origin points of the things we not only buy but rely on to live—things like food, fuel, technology, etc.
Obviously we all know the gasoline we put in our cars comes from crude oil. But now that the price of everything is going up, I’m starting to become more and more aware of the whole supply chain. For instance, bacon begins as pigs. Lumber begins as trees. We all know that.
But a lot of people are totally ignorant to the importance of natural resources in things like their phones—cellphones require tons of precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
And the rechargeable batteries require both cobalt and lithium.
Cobalt comes primarily from the Congo, and a lot of these mine workers in the Congo are children who work in horrible conditions to make sure you and I can take selfies and mindlessly scroll through Instagram:
I’m sure he’s happy he can be of help to us, as are the Chinese mining companies that have established a dominant foothold in the DRC’s cobalt mining industry.
You know how lately I’ve been saying we can’t really afford the society we have? This is a big part of what I mean. Not only is so much of economy a debt-funded illusion, most of the “cheapness” in the stuff we buy is a result of third-world slave labor as well. Corporations go to great lengths to keep these images away from us. If we actually want to own all these nice things and still be able to feel good about ourselves, we’d have to demand these corporations adopt much better labor standards—in other words, pay them a fair wage with safer conditions, plus benefits like health and life insurance in case they get injured or die in the mines, and no child labor. But then everything would get way more expensive for us, wouldn’t it?
Anyway, it’s this lithium aspect that really is the big problem. Not to say the cobalt mines in the Congo aren’t, but for our purposes here with the topic of sustainability and the environment, lithium mines are the rotten core of the EV movement. The dark secret if you will.
Australia is the world’s largest lithium producer, and Chile has by far the most proven lithium reserves in the world. Other South American countries like Bolivia and Argentina have and produce a lot of lithium as well. China owns many of the lithium mines in these countries.
But with lithium, it’s not so much an African slave labor problem as it is a “sustainability” problem to produce all the lithium needed for batteries these days. World lithium demand more than tripled between 2008-2018, and its only going to increase even more—exponentially—with the push toward EVs as the global automotive standard.
But I want to get more in depth on the lithium mining process here because it will quickly become clear how unsustainable the whole process is:
In other words, it can’t be done. Or, if we do it, we strip mine the planet.
All in an effort to be “green.”
So that massive truck up there runs on fuel, not electric. And it has a 1000 gallon tank, and burns 150 gallons an hour. And that’s just one of those things—the Caterpillar 994.
This baby gets 0.3MPG—not very green.
All these massive heavy construction vehicles also need oil to keep the engines running properly as well.
Clearly the “behind the scenes” process by which electric vehicles—specifically the batteries—are produced is anything but green. And yet we’re constantly told that EVs are green and will save the environment.
What’s the deal? Obviously corporations and politicians know the truth—they know EVs are anything but green. Yet they keep up the lie and tout EVs every chance they get.
Well, this has to be profit-driven obviously, right? That would seems to be a safe bet in my view. We don’t know for sure because they’ll never tell us, but just think of the potential money to be made in replacing every single gas-burning vehicle in the world with an EV.
Some estimates project the size of the global EV market to be over $1.3 trillion by 2028, which would represent a 24% annual CAGR over the next six years.
It’s safe to say there’s an insane amount of money to be made in EVs, potentially.
But the whole thing is unsustainable, and not anywhere near as green as its cheerleaders imagine it is.
Many everyday EV drivers, or even just people who spend their time and energy preaching about EVs and green energy on social media, are incredibly childish and naïve about the whole process. A large amount of fossil fuels are needed to not only power EVs, but also to produce the batteries for them as well.
And this is to say nothing of the major environmental risks posed by lithium batteries that have reached the end of their lifecycles and need to be discarded. These depleted lithium batteries pose a major environmental risk if not disposed of properly. Via Science.org:
The battery pack of a Tesla Model S is a feat of intricate engineering. Thousands of cylindrical cells with components sourced from around the world transform lithium and electrons into enough energy to propel the car hundreds of kilometers, again and again, without tailpipe emissions. But when the battery comes to the end of its life, its green benefits fade. If it ends up in a landfill, its cells can release problematic toxins, including heavy metals. And recycling the battery can be a hazardous business, warns materials scientist Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester. Cut too deep into a Tesla cell, or in the wrong place, and it can short-circuit, combust, and release toxic fumes.
That wasn’t much of a problem when EVs were rare. But now the technology is taking off. Several carmakers have said they plan to phase out combustion engines within a few decades, and industry analysts predict at least 145 million EVs will be on the road by 2030, up from just 11 million last year. “People are starting to realize this is an issue,” Thompson says.
This is part of the dark side of the “EV revolution” that few are talking about, and that most EV owners are completely oblivious to.
And don’t expect corporate America to care about this, either. In their view, the horse has already left the barn in regard to EVs—every automaker now is in a mad dash to transition to EVs because of the staggering amount of potential money to be made.
Automakers are rushing into the EV sector because their competitors are, and they don’t want to be left behind. It’s now too late to stop the momentum.
But people are being sold on a lie here. The entire idea of EVs is essentially a lie—or at least a gross misrepresentation of reality.
People have a very simplistic view of it in their minds. They think about how emissions come from the tailpipe of a normal car, but no emissions come from an EV—which doesn’t even have a tailpipe. So they conclude that EVs are significantly better for the environment.
But there’s more to it than that. So much more. I’m not saying fossil fuels are clean and green and wonderful for the environment or anything, but to act like EVs are better in every conceivable way is just a fantasy.