OPINION: So much for the electric vehicle revolution. You cannot make the machines without the metals that power them – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – May 13, 2022)


Any successful politician is adept at finding the one bit of good news floating in the ocean of despair, then gushing about it to try to drown our worries.

So it is with U.S. President Joe Biden. A few weeks ago, when the war in Ukraine was propelling gasoline and diesel prices ever higher – regular gas hit a record average of US$4.43 a gallon on Friday – he suggested that painful pump prices will speed the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), fear not. Voila – no more hard decisions about filling your SUV or feeding your kids.

“Transforming our economy to run on electric vehicles, powered by clean energy, will mean that no one will have to worry about gas prices,” he said on Twitter. “It will mean tyrants like Putin won’t be able to use fossil fuels as a weapon.”

Nice idea, except for one minor inconvenience: Gas and diesel aren’t the only commodities turning into luxury goods. Most of the metals that go into EVs and their massive batteries – copper, nickel, cobalt, lithium, plus a variety of rare earth metals – have climbed even faster than pump prices because they are in exceedingly short supply and high demand.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-so-much-for-the-electric-vehicle-revolution-you-cannot-make-the/?fbclid=IwAR0ODmkkOddnStCD7ObPs3TQYZiFnlSacfOBt30DnGtsA1r14IGuVwrAS8U