フォーラム

コミュニティに参加
登録ログイン

Enough mineral/metal deposits to support an EV/Solar world?

Hi guys,
I have been having a bit of an argument with some anti-EV types who claim that the mineral/metal resource constraints of the earth would never allow for enough batteries and solar panels to have a true EV/Solar world.
Since I know there are a lot of people smarter than me here on the forum I thought maybe someone could answer this question?
I have heard that in terms of the batteries it is only Cobalt that is really even remotely scarce. Panasonic has reduced the amount of Cobalt in its batteries by 75% in the last three years as well.

I guess if we included all the resources required for batteries needed for off-grid storage, EV's, and solar panels for roughly every home and vehicle in the world would be a start...I know its a lot to ask but can anyone come up with some rough numbers?

I think we should also remember that unlike fossil fuels the metals/minerals used here can be recycled for use in future technologies...whereas when you burn oil/gas it is gone forever.

If Tesla and SolarCity actually have this vision in mind for the planet I guess we should know if we have the resources in the earth to do it.

Hope someone out there can help!

Cheers

There is platinum in pretty much every ICE car you see in the road (catalysators) yet nobody talks about that.

I don't know where that claim has been originated, but those anti-EV guys are simply wrong. For off-grid storage you can use lead-acid batteries if you wish (no space concerns), nothing exotic in them.

Solar cells are either silicon (basically infinite, 90% of earth crust is silicates) or carbon. LiFePO4 -based cathodes don't have any exotics either, combined with silicon -based anodes you have battery with very common elements.

I don't see what materials would be uncommon in EV:s/solar world.

If they refer Lithium rarity, that's just common misconception, Lithium is quite common in earth crust, just not actively mined before. Also actual lithium content in lithium-ion batteries is quite small.

Everything in BEV is also recyclable, nothing is being burned to oblivion.

Is there enough petroleum in this world left to power gasoline engines?

Pretty much why we have EV's.

I am the last person you would call a 'treehugger'. I own ExxonMobil stock, drive sports cars (currently all are ICE cars but that will not be the case for long - my next car WILL be a Tesla), would never ever vote for some commie boot licking Democrat (I thought that loser Romney was a RINO anyway), and love freeways and get excited when they build a new section of one and want to drive it. I really love cars and driving, exploring the world.

That being said I have a certain respect for nature - much like Prince Phillip or Theodore Roosevelt - a practical sort of respect, both were big hunters yet championed conservation of truly rare species and habitat. Sure the world's resources are there for us to use and enjoy, but the wanton destruction and waste of them is plain stupid.

Oil is not and never will be going away, but it is created by slow geologic processes and is not being replenished at a rate which we are using it - because burning it is wasting it. We need it for plastics, lubricants and asphalt, not for burning and polluting our environment, yeah some pollution is inevitable but no need to be wasteful and destructive when you have an obviously better choice that is now becoming economical.

I do not like EVs like the Leaf and Plug in Prius because they are UGLY and have seriously substandard performance, sure they are good in a way that they replace oil dependent Versas and Echos, but they lead to the conception that EVs are glorified golf carts, which Tesla has proven they need not be. With modern EVs you can have your cake and eat it too.

The Left and ultra environmentalists suppress the human spirit with guilt and force self deprivation on us in the name of 'saving the earth' but ignore the damage that they do to their own cause by not keeping a balanced view of what is worth saving and what is just a prop for NIMBYism and economic and societal self flagulation. Honestly I think their 'crying wolf' to stop every project does more harm than good and people are going to get sick of it after a while, and when they do, well thought out balanced conservation efforts with real ecological merit will lose public support as well.

Most thinking people of any political or cultural stripe understand the concept of 'do not pee in the pool you are swimming in', so if you breathe air do not overload it with more CO2 or Sulfates than the forests can scrub out... So if you have domestically made EVs, solar panels and wind turbines that help reduce or even reverse the damage we do, it is unpatriotic and environmentally irresponsible to sabotage their implementation.

Most anyone can get excited about what Tesla and Solar City is doing, it is innovation on a level of the turn of the last century, the triumph of innovation and human spirit to avert ecological and economic disaster.

Sure there is some issues to work out (like the 'bricking' problem and building economy of scale) but mostly Elon's vision is clearly a path to a better more prosperous future. For those with an interest in history think of how well average people lived in the 1880's versus the 1920's - with cars, radios, electricity and social freedom think of the difference... From an eco point of view think of the reduction of wastage, pollution and human misery in the same period...

FLSports, I may not agree with the democrat and left-winger statements, but I agree with your logic; don't pee where you swim. Let's hope people from all different viewpoints can agree on a sustainable future.

Getting back on topic indeed oil is required for many things. Medication, lubricants, plastics, clothing, etc. Wasting it would be truly stupid and unnecessary.

Cobalt is indeed (from my readings) the only truly rare element used in a BEV vs a conventional one. The Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide batteries I believe are used in the Model S are more durable than the more traditional (and expensive) Lithium Cobalt ones used in the Roadster. We are making progress towards using fewer rare metals and getting better overall performance and longevity:

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/explaining_lithium_ion_chemis...

Interestingly Lithium can be harvested from ordinary 'ol seawater! :

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/south-korea-plans-to-extract...

In essence I think most people are highly misinformed about current battery technology and associated toxicities.

Don't overload the atmosphere with CO2, like back when it was 7,000 ppm, and the whole Earth was teeming with greenery?

@ikutoisahobo, lack of oil is not the reason why we have EV:s. EV:s simply are better. Only reason not to have them is still high price of the batteries.

As tech advances EV's can run on whatever power supply is around. Even existing BEV's can easily be converted to the new power supply 20 years down the road. That alone eliminates the worry about rare earths in batteries (even if there was any) because we might not be using them.

The EV itself has no more rare earth in it than an ICE.

While solar is one solution to some, we may have a completely new method in coming years. Geothermal works great for Iceland. It would probably work great for Hawaii.

That is the whole advantage of EV's. They are not tied to one source of anything to go.

ted;

Name one resource that has been exhausted in history. I'll wait.
.........

Dry land in Atlantis? :D

There have been shortages and mis-management that have caused cities to be abandoned or even civilizations to collapse, but with time people have usually gone back when the environment has recovered. Though this is not the same as complete exhaustion of a natural resource.

A different version of the same question: what could industry and society have done a better job of conserving 100 years ago to make more available to the 21st century.

Again, name one thing, or resource.

Dodo eggs?

If the supply is finite and doesn't renew, then it can be exhausted. It has been done, and will be done. Several animal species are in brink of extinction due human actions right now, and many are already gone.

Brian H - I appreciate your posts, they are provocative. So simply for discussion, the answer is simple - every resource. Industry and society could have invented and produced today's ICE engines 50 years ago. Could have reached today's farming efficiencies 50 years ago. Could have produced today's computing 50 years ago (#calculations for power consumed and materials in the hardware). Etc. We've done some things well as a species, others not so much. All could have been worse or improved.

We can modify how we use resources at many points - when they are gone, of course; when they are scarce; when they are abundant. If we think that a resource has future value for us, I'd suggest we modify our use while it's relatively abundant to preserve the opportunities it actuates.

It can't even recall if you're buying one of these cars, but I am for its primary purpose - driving. It's a better driving experience by far, at least for me, than an ICE car. So that the resources required to make it are not scarce for the foreseeable future is fantastic - I'd like more people to come to have the same driving experience as I will. Do you?

Nick Butcher wrote an impressive series of articles about EV's and their potential impact. And if all EV used the old Roadster style batteries then we would likely hit a limit at 12 million cars/year. But with the new chemistry the limit moves to about 120 million cars. But with several other chemistries that are already in production we are likely OK until we produce 1.5 billion EV's. Personally I am far more worried about oil.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/654441-ev-myths-and-realities-part-1-the...

Every resource that has been forecast to run out has either been found in greater abundance, or replaced with a more readily available and less costly one. Petroleum saved the whales by being more abundant and cheaper than whale oil, etc.

NO resource has "peaked and run out", despite all projections to the contrary. As something becomes scarce, the economic rewards for finding a better and cheaper substitute escalate, until one is found. Never fails.

RE Brian H
"NO resource has "peaked and run out,..."

Unlimited growth (= consumption + pollution) is impossible on a planet limited in size.

Already Man consumes more than nature is able to recreate and pollutes more than nature is able to clean up. Just one example: Petroleum consumption in one yr is about the amount it takes nature X millions yrs to produce.

The most dangerous negative consequence of Man's multiplying in numbers and in technology is probably destroying the habitats of fellow animal and plant species and hence make them extinct. The end result would be Man becoming a mono culture. Only Man cannot survive as a species without the biological diversity which is necessary to all life on the planet.

The plain and sad fact is simply Man has long ago passed the optimum number and is well on his way to the maximum number which is sustainable long-time.

So we get to it; you actually prefer depopulation!

Of course you missed entirely what I said: as any particular resource becomes scarce (which is very rare in practice, once people actually start to look for it harder), a newer, better, cheaper substitute is found. EVERY TIME.

As for extinctions, outside of computer models/video games, the number of documented new species found each year exceeds the documented extinctions. By a large factor. In the real world, extinction scares are hooey. BS. Baloney.

Actually, the higher the technology, the lower the impact on habitats. If you want to see ecological devastation, make a low-tech culture hungry and poor.

Depopulation:

Actually the US birth rate dropped below replacement rate recently, most developed nations have birth rates at or below replacement, so without immigration their populations would begin to fall. Nations that do not allow much immigration (like Japan) or have crappy living conditions that cause large amounts of emigration (like much of eastern Europe) already have a shrinking population. The world TFR (Total Fertility Rate) has been dropping since the 1950's and even with irresponsible third world population growth the worlds population will peak out at about 8-9 billion according to UN estimates. We are doing a good job of controlling our own population without disaster - is basic economics, kids cost money and time. As women become educated and empowered they want fewer and fewer children and the birthrate drops. This is good for women and the environment but is the after effect good? 'Quality' (read as educated and upper class) population dwindles and the poor and uneducated breed... Creates a ultra rich first world and a poor environmentally damaged third world (the rich get richer, the poor get children).

Environment:

The problem with pollution, emissions and resource depletion is not really from the developed world; our switching to more efficient higher cleaner tech (like Tesla Cars) makes our environment better and raises our quality of life. Our numbers shrink so our wealth increases and our environmental impact lessens. The problem is with third world nations that pollute and destroy the environment... How convenient that they exempt themselves from environmental treaty requirements that damage our older economies! The blame for population stress on the environment lies squarely with nations like India and Nigeria that fail to educate or empower their women to control their ballooning populations! Environmental treaties should force those third world countries into mandatory one child policies not destroy the first world economies!

Global Warming:

Geologic records tell us there was several epochs longer than all of human history with warmer climates and no surface ice... There was no ExxonMobil in the Devonian Period and Earth did not do a runaway greenhouse effect like Venus or we would not be here to talk about it.

Getting Smart:

EVs and renewables are simply more efficient and better for our domestic economy. Buy a Tesla, because they perform better than ICE cars, because they cost less to operate, because they look cool, because you want to support american innovation... But really people you are not saving the earth, the earth has been through a lot worse than what we humans do (mass extinctions, killer asteroids, ice caps melting, etc.) and will be here long after humans have gone extinct. But as I pointed out earlier Tesla drivers will not be 'peeing in my pool water' so yeah you can feel good about it too and we thank you...

@Jewsh - Thanks for the links, very interesting. Still like calling out the commie pinkos for the saboteurs that they are though... hehe... Seriously I have some Democrat friends and love poking fun at them, the point is you you do not need to to be a lefty sap to love Tesla... It is an american success story... One we all can be proud of... As Elon said, he came to the US to make his success, our win South Africa's loss... I have been to South Africa and can see why he left, the waste and corruption, the stupid racist government (then the National Party now the ANC) and its mismanagement of a beautiful country that deserves so much better.

@Brian H - Great points, where else can you get this level of intelligent conversation...

FLsportscarenth... | January 4, 2013
...

Depopulation:
...'Quality' (read as educated and upper class) population dwindles and the poor and uneducated breed...
Creates a ultra rich first world and a poor environmentally damaged third world (the rich get richer, the poor get children).

Environment:

The problem with pollution, emissions and resource depletion is not really from the developed world;...

Environmental treaties should force those third world countries into mandatory one child policies not destroy the first world economies!

Close, but still too pessimistic and authoritarian. The population/replacement levels are down-trending almost everywhere.
http://www.fpri.org/ww/0505.200407.eberstadt.demography.html

As for "environmental treaties", that's the wrong end of the stick. The developing world should be encouraged to develop -- with the same benefits for the environment as have occurred for the developed world. China and India etc. CANNOT be "forced" to commit economic suicide, and one-child policies are disastrous and unnecessary.

Dang, forgot the weird tag system here. Trying again:
_______________

FLsportscarenth... | January 4, 2013
...
.
Depopulation:
...'Quality' (read as educated and upper class) population dwindles and the poor and uneducated breed...
Creates a ultra rich first world and a poor environmentally damaged third world (the rich get richer, the poor get children).
.
Environment:
.
The problem with pollution, emissions and resource depletion is not really from the developed world;...
.
... Environmental treaties should force those third world countries into mandatory one child policies not destroy the first world economies!

Close, but still too pessimistic and authoritarian. The population/replacement levels are down-trending almost everywhere.
http://www.fpri.org/ww/0505.200407.eberstadt.demography.html

As for "environmental treaties", that's the wrong end of the stick. The developing world should be encouraged to develop -- with the same benefits for the environment as have occurred for the developed world. China and India etc. CANNOT be "forced" to commit economic suicide, and one-child policies are disastrous and unnecessary.

FLsportscarenth - enough with the name-calling. You're sounding like a typical GOP bigot.

@Brian H As for extinctions, outside of computer models/video games, the number of documented new species found each year exceeds the documented extinctions. By a large factor. In the real world, extinction scares are hooey. BS. Baloney.

That's because we find species that we didn't know existed before, not because there are new species born. People go places where no research had been done before, rainforests and deep sea are the main source of these new findings.

Every extinction is species disappeared, every new species found is not species appeared.

Doesn't matter. The numbers are minute outside of fantasy computerized extrapolations of "island" environments. New "species" may well be arising all the time, by degrees.

That terminology, btw, has almost been abandoned in current biology, like "genes". The world is way fuzzier than the chop-chop 19th C terminology suggested.

Dream on. Big species are disappearing and that affects whole food chains. With luck we have woken up to realize that in time, but people like you that don't give a sh*t about it we would be going to complete disaster. Entire habitants are being destroyed.

For example Great Barrier Reef is suffering right now. Same thing is happening in many rainforests. Northern polar ice cap is disappearing which causes problems to species like polar bears. Southern ice cap is doing the same, but more slowly.

And "species" as terminology is not going anywhere, it just is a more fuzzy concept than ignorant people think it is. Genes are not going anywhere either, genes are genes, just their interactions are more complex than again ignorant people think they are.

"new species born" requires free ecological niche, it doesn't happen just like that without evolutional space for it. Fast for really small things with really fast life cycles like bacteria, really really slow for larger species with slow population growth and long time period between generations. That's why extinctions happen first to large species (mostly) when environments change.

@Brian H

One child policies are smart to avert labour surpluses and combat poverty. Very pro people - the people who are already here and can not find a job already and you want to add more mouths to feed? crazy...

Mainland China is a horrible dictatorship but its ruling oligarchs have a lot of technocratic sense. Building freeways and wind and hydropower - very smart. Averting an economic disaster by cutting the birthrate - very forward thinking... Though I might use different methods... Free birth control, public health messages urging the poor 'the more you have the less you can give them', eliminating tax incentives past one child, etc.

Technology and mechanization of manufacturing means fewer low skill jobs and low skill, low educated people have the most children, they usually have little foresight. A persuasive but less forceful one child policy in India, Haiti and Nigeria would do wonders to empower women, lift already born people out of poverty and lessen the global labour surplus. Would help people and fragile ecosystems a lot more than the Kyoto treaty or cap and trade that kill domestic jobs and raise utility rates for everyone...

Horse Pucky. The Great Barrier Reef is doing fine. The scare stories last until someone follows up a few years later, and then it turns out a few algae species have moved around, and the Reef is growing like normal. These minute fluctuations are nothing compared to what it's gone through both in historical and pre-historical times.

Your stereotypes suck. As it happens, e.g., I'm fully in favour of the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone and surroundings, as the whole ecosystem, right down to the fish streams, is benefiting. OTOH, the "protection" of the spotted owl is an inane disaster; it's a more specialized sub-species of the Great Barred Owl, which is much less picky, and can even interbreed.

In any case, environments are always described as "fragile", when they are actually quite robust, given half a chance.

________
Read the demographics article, and others on the consequences of the one-child policies. The birth sex ration has skewed (because of unstoppable female infanticide, mostly) from about 1.06:1 to 1.20+:1, and huge numbers of young men are unable to marry, unless they import brides. The workforce is aging at lightning speed, and extending the working age limit will only help for so long.

Robots like Tesla's are part of the wave of the future, but there was never any hope that line work was going to be a permanent vocational choice. In fact, some are predicting that advanced 3D printing will make most factories around the world obsolete within a decade, or less. People will be able to make their own stuff, from feedstock powders and computer design files.

The neo-eugenics fearmongering about the stupid breeding faster is mostly false and a dangerous slippery slope. It is easily turned into culling and forced sterilization programs (like those that persisted even in the West up till the '70s in places). As far as being "uneducated", that makes the current generation stupid or uninformed, not the next (directly). The gene pool isn't that easily debased.


X Deutschland Site Besuchen