EXPLAINED: Electric Cars a No Go in Idaho, Part Three
There simply won’t be enough batteries. Click here for a lengthy explanation. The various minerals needed aren’t easy to come by. Mining itself is a dirty business and has already caused one environmental catastrophe in Indonesia. The Chinese have mostly cornered the market for graphite, which is more in need when it comes to batteries than lithium. China’s environmental track record gets few checkered flags. Congolese mines are staffed by forced child labor. All of these things and as the link explains, much more!
Idaho is Mineral Rich
Many of the minerals needed can be found right here in Idaho. Geologist Darr Moon has written about what’s available if there’s a will to extract it. What’s under the ground here still won’t be enough to match global climate goals.
In my two previous posts on this subject (here and here), I’ve not told anyone they shouldn’t buy an electric vehicle. Some are finely crafted machines, however. Switching out the worldwide auto fleet to EVs is impossible.
Hydrogen is a Better Alternative
Several years ago I interviewed an author who wrote about the coming hydrogen economy. When I questioned him about the danger of another Hindenburg disaster, the man told me the explosion was related to chemicals used in the dirigibles frame. Hydrogen itself vents harmlessly into the air when there’s a breach. A documentary I later watched on TLC made the same claim. If you’re driving a hydrogen-fueled car and another driver plows into your back bumper and ruptures the fuel tank, the vapor will dissipate in the surrounding air.
Some analysts say this is the year we see a breakout with the hydrogen alternative.
America Needs to Be Self-Sufficient
One last note about China’s stranglehold on rare earth minerals. In the event our rival invades Taiwan and our government objects, we lose access to semiconductors. If we follow through with sanctions, we lose access to rare earths. All the more reason we need to be mining in places like Idaho.