Keelan: Time to take a second look at EVs, rejection of fossil fuels

By Don Keelan

Recently, numerous media stories have covered the troubles at many of the country’s top tech companies. Christopher Mims’s recent Wall Street Journal piece, “Twilight of the Tech Gods,” notes, “America’s biggest tech companies have collectively lost more than $2 trillion in value on the stock market.”

Don Keelan

Mims notes that things are not going well at Twitter for Elon Musk, Amazon for Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook (Meta Platforms). Add to this the recent collapse of Silicon Valley’s poster child company, FTX. This premier cryptocurrency company, headed by Sam Bankmen-Fried, went from a $32 billion enterprise to bankrupt in a week.

These tech leaders were considered the country’s brightest minds regarding high-tech and revolutionary manufacturing, investing, finance, and economic changes.

This brings me back to the electric vehicle market: the stampede to substitute new technology to operate our transportation systems and how we heat our homes and businesses. How well have all the proposed changes been thought through?

For one thing, an EV runs on a battery.  Fine, but where do most of the metals come from to make the battery, at least for now? Bart Ziegler’s piece in the November 14 WSJ states that about 90% of lithium comes from Zimbabwe, Australia and China.

Then there is the critical material: cobalt, of which 72% comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not a very nice place to travel to these days.

Another critical battery ingredient is nickel; approximately 70% comes from Russia, China and other Asian countries. Some may think that this is not worrisome until you realize that about 75%, if not more, of these metals are refined in China.

In time, we may manufacture all the battery parts in America, but when? While we are waiting, we need to remember that an EV has about 1,300 semi-conductor chips versus about 600 in a fossil fuel vehicle. And where are most chips made for the automotive industry: Taiwan, which the PRC has every intention of invading, similar to what its ally Russia did to Ukraine in February.

According to Ziegler, the magnets that run EV motors are made from rare-earth materials, such as neodymium and dysprosium. Most of the products’ production is in China, where our country’s relationship goes from bad to worse daily.

Of course, “the brains” behind the EV conversion have been thoughtful, so much so that the Biden administration is advancing hundreds of billions of dollars to overcome the above-noted distractions. Unfortunately, the solution could be decades away, not by 2030 or 2035 when all fossil fuel cars and truck sales stop.

Nowhere in the EV usage proponent briefings are any plans for transitioning from fossil fuels in homes and transportation to EVs. When we are halfway through the conversion, will there be any mechanics to repair the existing fossil fuel vehicles or home furnaces? Are there any gasoline stations to provide fossil fuels? These topics have been deliberately unaddressed. Why? Because they have yet to be thought through. The answers are unpleasant for the politicians and the climate crises converts.

Vermonters may or may not relate the tech industry debacle to happenings here at home in the all-electric conversion. Pay attention to this point: GMP, a Canadian-owned company that supplies most of Vermont’s electric power through its relationship with Hydro-Quebec, has complete control over us. Moreover, a senior HQ engineer was recently arrested by the RCMP for espionage, for trading his company’s secrets to China.

The debacle in the cryptocurrency industry has also been a hardship for thousands. Similarly, EV conversion and full electrification could be life-threatening for millions if not thoroughly thought out. Keep an eye on Europe this winter for a foreshadowing.

Don Keelan writes a bi-weekly column and lives in Arlington, Vermont.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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10 thoughts on “Keelan: Time to take a second look at EVs, rejection of fossil fuels

  1. Second look, Second guessing- that time has passed. The Vermont legislative body has decided- with copious lobbying and cash- that this is the course Vermont will take. Emotion has surpassed logic and reason, boosted by crony socialism. It matters not what nor where nor how the raw components of an BEV are assembled, only that these components exist for the virtue signaling needed to feed the climate evangelism that swept thru Vermont over the past decades.
    It matters not that the electrons required for recharging a BEV come from coal, gas, wind or solar- only that these electrons do not get produced in Vermont. It matters not that Vermont’s infrastructure cannot support BEV’s at the level the “Climate Commission” and California CARB rules require. It is not a consequence that none of this hand wringing and economic castration reduces the CO2 levels worldwide- or even here in the Northeast.
    It is about manipulation and money, as the never ending cycle of grant money from government gets laundered and ‘re-invested’ in the politicians campaign fund. It is about the climate evangelist collecting dollars from donors, government grants, lawsuits and backroom deals.
    And in 2035 or 2050, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere will be 0.04%. Just exactly what it was in 1900 and 2000 and today.

  2. I posted this on VT Daily Chronicle and needs to be seen by the non-thinkers who vote here:

    I’d like to profess that I’ve tried to be a good citizen, father, contributor and law abiding person. I never envisioned that my state would force me to move due to the unimaginable craziness that has infected our government and the voters that continue to vote like mind dead zombies. There is no way that any of this will work, it can’t. Vermont will try to be an electrified land locked island while the rest of the country eases it’s transition to other things not yet invented.

    There is no way that any of this will work. We have leaders that can’t think beyond their next election donation, sell outs to the money. How are these people going to force the destruction of able internal combustion engine vehicles that we all currently own legally. Are they going to buy them from us, not allow registration, close down every gas station in the state, ban out of state travel into our utopia? We won’t be able to mow our lawns, ride our motorcycles, go fishing in our boats, all forestry will stop, no more skiing, leaf peeper buses not allowed, chain saws nope, apartment dwellers no plug-ins for you, the list is endless.

    What is the end goal for all this misery? Will the earth respond, absolutely not. Will life for everyone improve, sure, not. Who are these people and voters who wear a virtue badge on their facial expression thinking they are above us morons who can’t understand how saving the planet from a pea sized state on the earths surface?

    After 70 years of living here, I will not stay for this miserable existence. I will go where I can be free somewhere out there where America still exists. Vermont is no longer part of America.
    Freedom and Unity are just empty words on a flag.

  3. Yes Don Europe will be the bellwether of the new world order. They will be burning the furniture as the oil runs out China is ramping up more coal fired plants to replace Russian gas that was cut off by the puppet biden. Once those people become pushed too far riots will become the norm until the Euro commie commune is overthrown. Here the first to fall will be california who’s diving head first into the stupidity of green weenie power and transportation by EV only. Our feckless leftist commies will follow as they can’t think for themselves but are sheep of the climate hoax. The only Tech giant that will survive will be Musk who’s insight into the future will pay off, he’s already moving from EV to hydrogen power for transportation. Crypto is as big a scam as the climate hoax.

    • Russian and China are building a second pipeline to increase Russian gas flow to China, plus Russia is increasing its LNG shipments to China (1.3 billion people) and India (1.4 billion people) from its East Asian gas fields

      • Yes Willem, Russia’s oil/gas profits have risen from 14.6 Billion in 2021 (pre biden embargo policy) to 20 Billion for this year. Another huge failure of the biden puppet administration. Mean while we are on track to spend 100 billion in Ukraine which is 3 times Russia’s total military expenditures and are in a stalemate, another of the puppets looming epic failures. But not to worry the dems and rinos on the FTX scam are doing OK….

  4. Forgive me if I have very little faith in Democrats ideas.. as we watch an actual mass genocide unfolding..and that is but one crisis..

    Vaccines that kill people, schools making students less intelligent, murdering full term babies and calling that healthcare, doctors mutilating young children, sky high inflation, World War 3 getting going,
    openly stolen elections.. Yeah, you can keep your electric cars that burst into flames..

  5. It is astounding Liberal Lunacy. What are they thinking? if VT mandates all cars in VT are VT, or new ones, WHAT HAPPENS? All the GAS staions go out of business, save a few…but they will barely survive with the collapsed revenue. What happens next? Not ALL states will force and mandate EV cars. Think! The largest industry in VT is TOURISM:

    “Tourism is one of the largest industries in Vermont, as the state welcomes over 13 million visitors each year. These visitors account for $3.0 billion in annual spending on lodging, food and drink, goods and services.”

    Get that? $3 BILLION. So what happens if tourism is HALTED….because out of state tourists can’t get GAS for their cars to visit VT and return home safely. Say “Buh-Bye” to $3 billion tourism, ski areas, Hotels, B&B’s, restuarnts, bars, shopping….NAME IT. GONE. Thnink of how many people are employed via tourist $$$ related spending….now they all get laid off…shops are in trouble….hotels close , B&B’s close down…unemployment goes UP.

    What on earth are these idiots thinkng?

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