Yves here. In Links today, we flagged another concern about electric cars: <a href=”https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywajkw/todays-electric-car-batteries-will-be-tomorrows-e-waste-crisis-scientists-warn” rel=”nofollow”>Today’s Electric Car Batteries Will Be Tomorrow’s E-Waste Crisis, Scientists Warn</a>. And how much will the early Jackpot of frequent power outages in California do to dim enthusiasm?
By Leonard S. Hyman, an economist and financial analyst specializing in the energy sector and William I. Tilles, a senior industry advisor and speaker on energy and finance. Originally published at OilPrice
Looking beyond the dramatic headlines—the cliff-hanger nature of Tesla’s financial statements and the Trump administration’s efforts to re-engineer the auto industry—we need to focus on one number that determines when electric vehicles (EVs) will make economic sense. So says a report out of Argonne Laboratories sponsored by the Department of Energy. That number, according to researcher George Crabtree, is the price of the battery (as measured in $ per kwh), which he says has to halve in order to make EVs competitive with conventional cars. Not promising one might think. Well, researchers now believe that battery prices could reach the magic level somewhere between 2022 and 2026.
But, there is more to come. Researchers are working on lithium ion-solid state batteries. These would not only eliminate the unfortunate flammability issue that dogs lithium batteries but also possibly double the milage per charge. Toyota hopes to have such a battery ready in the early 2020s.
Still, what about the potential shortage of minerals required to build the batteries? Crabtree points out that the key to making sure we do not have a lithium shortage is to