I like to look for inspiring or hopeful articles lately. I recently discovered an article about the future of renewable energy sources. TLDR breakdown is that solar, wind, battery storage, and electrolyzers are all on technological learning curves that will make them so cheap that it won’t matter how the world governments incentive those segments because they will make more financial sense to utilize them.
A hopeful topic; the world being run on reliable, cheap, renewable energy. Sounds like a dream of the future and it still is. The article did not have any indication about when we would see these technologies. It only stated that eventually, they would be cheap enough to be the answer.
There was a nugget of information buried in the article that did relate to cars. When discussing the future of electric vehicles, Kingsman Bond of the Carbon Tracker think tank, addressed the possibility of mineral shortages slowing the production of EVs. He referred to this as a “bogus problem.” Stating that there is enough lithium in reserves currently to build EVs for a century at the current demand. That current demand is the tricky part there. Obviously, if demand increases, then the years that Lithium would last would decrease. He also stated that there is enough cobalt to build 1,000 million cars. That seems like a lot.
The main reason he doesn’t see minerals as an issue with EVs is that most of the important components of an EV are actually recyclable. It does take more minerals to build an EV than an ICE car. Those minerals are recyclable at the end of the EV’s lifecycle. An average ICE car is using 15,000 kg of oil/fuel and we aren’t getting any of that back.
The article does not get into the topics of responsible mining practices or exploiting labor to mine the potentially higher-demand minerals. Those appear to be problems of the future too. Give it a read. It was a nice change of pace to the normal doom and gloom of the world.