The Energy Future Needs Cleaner Batteries – by Drake Bennett (Bloomberg News – September 23, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Late in August, at a precisely specified point in the low Arctic, a geologist named Dave Freedman stood in a raw wind and a limitless expanse of tundra and began to thwack with a sledgehammer at a rock outcrop jutting up from the soil.

Freedman, 29, works for a company called KoBold Metals, and the process that had brought him to this pair of GPS coordinates in Quebec’s far north was complex. But the rock had had its own journey.

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For Auto Makers, the Chip Famine Will Persist – by Daniel Yergin and Matteo Fini (Wall Street Journal – September 22, 2021)

https://www.wsj.com/

The chip famine is starving the global auto industry and putting car buyers on a strict diet. So far this year, seven million cars that were supposed to be produced haven’t been, according to IHS Markit data.

Auto companies are shutting down production lines for weeks at a time and furloughing employees as a result of the chip shortage. Toyota has slashed its production 40% in September.

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Stellantis CEO says Canada could be the location of its new electric-vehicle battery plant – by Eric Atkins (Globe and Mail – July 22, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The head of Stellantis says Canada could be the location of its new electric-vehicle battery plant, part of the global automaker’s $44.5-billion investment in low-emission cars.

Stellantis, formed in January by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group of France, will build two battery plants in North America and three in Europe – Germany, France and possibly Italy.

Carlos Tavares, Stellantis’s chief executive officer, said the locations of the North American plants have not been selected, and are under discussion with partners and government officials.

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EV Metal Index quadruples year-on-year as lithium, nickel prices rally – by Editor (Mining.com – July 19, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

MINING.COM’s EV Metal Index quadrupled from May 2020 and added nearly 18% in value from the previous month, racking up the third best monthly total on record.

The EV Metal Index, which tracks the value of battery metals in newly registered passenger EVs (including hybrids) around the world, came in at $477 million in April, an increase of 326% over the same month last year and bringing the year-to-date total to $2.03 billion.

Total battery capacity of EVs sold during the month tripled year on year to 19.2 GWh, according to Adamas Intelligence, which tracks demand for EV batteries by chemistry, cell supplier and capacity in over 100 countries.

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China frictions steer electric automakers away from rare earth magnets – by Eric Onstad (Yahoo Finance/Reuters – July 19, 2021)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – As tensions mount between China and the United States, automakers in the West are trying to reduce their reliance on a key driver of the electric vehicle revolution – permanent magnets, sometimes smaller than a pack of cards, that power electric engines. Most are made of rare earth metals from China.

The metals in the magnets are actually abundant, but can be dirty and difficult to produce. China has grown to dominate production, and with demand for the magnets on the rise for all forms of renewable energy, analysts say a genuine shortage may lie ahead.

Some auto firms have been looking to replace rare earths for years. Now manufacturers amounting to nearly half global sales say they are limiting their use, a Reuters analysis found.

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GM Will Suck Lithium From the Salton Sea to Make Batteries – by Mark Vaughn (Autoweek – July 15, 2021)

https://www.autoweek.com/

Critics of electric cars would like you to believe that all of the mining for all of the minerals needed in EVs is performed by environmentally destructive means. This may not be an entirely accurate representation of the actual mining and extraction process that gets the lithium necessary for your Li-Ion battery. And the processes are getting cleaner all the time.

Lithium is needed to make batteries for electric cars. Right now, most lithium comes from Australia—51,000 tons of it in 2019. Second-highest producer of lithium is Chile with 16,000 tons.

The list drops off precipitously from there. But the world is going to need a lot more very soon, especially carmakers such as GM, which, along with many if not most of the world’s carmakers has pledged to go all-EV very soon, GM by 2035.

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How Canada can get back some of its former glory as a maker of things the world wants to buy – by Kevin Carmichael (Financial Post – July 13, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

Anthony Caputo’s order book at Can Art Aluminum Extrusion LP is a directory of the world’s most important automobile companies, all of them investing in EVs.

Automotive supply chains are being overhauled to build electric vehicles, and his Brampton, Ont.-based company will be an important node when they solidify since it has emerged as a leading supplier of one of the most important parts: the aluminum cases that protect the batteries, a tricky bit of engineering.

The cases must be both lightweight to help maximize the distance vehicles can travel between charges, and durable enough to keep the battery from exploding in a collision.

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OPINION: The government’s 2035 electric vehicle mandate is delusional – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – July 3, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Whether or not you want one, can afford one or think they will do essentially nothing to stop global warming, electric vehicles are coming to Canada en masse. This week, the Canadian government set 2035 as the “mandatory target” for the sale of zero-emission SUVs and light-duty trucks.

That means the sale of gasoline and diesel cars has to stop by then. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra called the target “a must.” The previous target was 2040.

It is a highly aspirational plan that verges on the delusional, even if it earns Canada – a perennial laggard on the emission-reduction front – a few points at climate conferences. Herewith, a few reasons why the plan may be unworkable, unfair or less green than advertised.

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Liberals say by 2035 all new cars, light-duty trucks sold in Canada will be electric – by Stephanie Taylor (Financial Post – June 30, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

Government has already poured at least $300 million into a rebate program that offers consumers a break when they buy electric cars

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is speeding up its goal for when it wants to see all light-duty vehicles sold in Canada to be electric. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced Tuesday that by 2035 all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the country will be zero-emission vehicles.

Until now the government had set 2040 as the target for when it wants to see all passenger vehicles sold to be powered by this technology.

Alghabra cited a recent report from the International Energy Agency that says by 2035 nearly all new light-duty vehicle sales would have to be electric to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century.

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Electric Vehicles Will Rule the World By 2040. The Winners and Losers. – by Al Root (Barron’s – June 22, 2021)

https://www.barrons.com/

A lot of electric vehicles are going to be sold in the coming generation. That’s good news for Tesla. It’s also good news for a host of other auto makers, including some start-ups. It’s bad news, surprisingly, for NIO and its Chinese EV peers.

Tuesday, Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Potter published a very detailed forecast for EV sales stretching all the way out to 2040. He forecasts sales and market share for essentially every major auto maker globally.

“We have spent the past few months assembling a brand-by-brand, region-by-region forecast for battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales,” writes the analyst. Looking ahead, he forecasts EV penetration at 45% of new car sales by 2030 and 94% by 2040.

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Biggest shakeup in auto industry’s history chance for Canada to climb on top – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 19, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

‘I believe the automotive industry is thrown open to disruption like it’s never been thrown open before’

When U.S. President Joe Biden hopped behind the wheel of a new Ford Electric F-150 last month, he called it the future of the U.S. economy: “A union-made product, right here in America.”

For some Canadians, his words rang out like a wake-up call because in recent years, engines for the F-150, and other Ford vehicles, have been assembled in Windsor, Ontario.

Of course, electric vehicles like the new F-150 don’t have engines — they have batteries and motors. That’s why Stephen MacKenzie, president of Invest Windsor Essex, the local economic development corporation, is scrambling to attract battery manufacturers to the region. “We have automotives in our DNA,” said MacKenzie, “but things are changing.”

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BASF, Canada in early talks on EV battery production – source – by Steve Scherer and Christoph Steitz (Financial Post/Reuters – May 20, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

OTTAWA — Several companies, including Germany’s BASF SE, are in preliminary talks about tapping a federal clean tech fund to set up production for electric vehicle batteries in Canada, a government official with knowledge of the discussions said.

The talks are centered on understanding whether the goals of BASF and others fit with the aim of the C$8 billion ($6.6 billion) “Net Zero Accelerator” (NZA) fund, the source said. Canada has set a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

BASF is a key supplier of cathode active materials (CAM) needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EV), and is the world’s largest chemicals and plastics producer by sales.

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Copper Is The New Gold For U.S. Ammo Makers And The Chinese Companies They’re Competing With For Scarce Supplies – by Aaron Smith (Forbes Magazine – June 10, 2021)

https://www.forbes.com/

U.S. ammunition makers are competing with Chinese companies for copper, a metal that is essential for building construction and the manufacture of electronics.

Gun sales are continuing to accelerate to record heights during the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans arm themselves for self-protection against an increasingly scary world with civil unrest and rising crime. Guns need ammunition, and making it requires raw materials like gunpowder, brass for the shells and copper for the bullets.

“Copper is very big for us,” said Vista Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz in a recent interview. Copper is part of a soft zinc alloy that jackets the lead bullet to protect the inside of the gun barrel when firing. But copper is also an important ingredient in keeping the lights on around the world, and in running our computers and phones.

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Only through a Secure Supply of EV Metals (Rare Earths) can a Hegemony Be. – by Jack Lifton (Investor Intel – May 26, 2021)

https://investorintel.com/

It has been reported today that the Biden administration is looking to allied nations as primary sources of critical mined raw materials, and that it, the administration, will focus on supporting the domestic American processing of such imported ores into useful products focused on domestic production of EVs, their batteries, and components.

This is an example of a complete disregard by the Biden administration for America’s competitive advantage, safety, and, ironically, its economy to placate a loud anti-mining luddism that pervades the American left.

It is in two words, hypocritical and stupid. It’s hypocritical because it assumes that out-of-sight, out-of-mind, will placate the left’s “greens” into thinking that pollution in Australia, Canada, or Brazil and its attendant costs doesn’t exist. It’s stupid, because it makes no economic sense.

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Turn off the gas: is America ready to embrace electric vehicles? – by Tom Perkins (The Guardian – May 23, 2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/

In Detroit, auto plants have for decades churned out trucks built with Motor City steel and fueled by gasoline. But this week’s rollout of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck offered a vision of the future in America’s automotive heartland: aluminum-clad pickups running off of electric powertrains with lithium batteries.

An electric model of the nation’s best-selling vehicle at an accessible $40,000 has the potential to shift the auto industry’s course, and do more to advance the transportation sector’s electrification than any recent development, analysts say.

“Offering a well-known vehicle at a competitive price could really help push the EV agenda in the US,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.com.

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