… and why Elon Musk is erroneous.


There is not plenty of lithium mined, and there can hardly ever be ample lithium mined and processed into finish-user types economically, to switch the use of fossil-fueled internal combustion engines in the powertrain programs of the latest just one and a person-fifty percent billion personalized and mass transportation autos with electric powered motors run by rechargeable lithium-ion form storage batteries.

I believe that most of the supervisors of the world OEM automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding industries know this, but they are powerless in the facial area of the calls for of politicians who have provided in to the greens who are unaware of the limitations of physical natural resource production and processing for non gas minerals, and who count on the guidance of narrowly and inadequately educated and just simple dumb “experts” who have qualifications but no expertise of business enterprise operations, authentic-environment economics or even rudimentary geology. The extra generally these professionals repeat these types of mantras as “settled science” (to show that climate transform is brought about by or can be remedied by human activity) or proclaim the unlimited methods of “earth ample minerals” (to prove that non-gas purely natural assets are unrestricted) the extra damaging their ignorance impacts our low-cost energy dependent (which they neither see nor have an understanding of) normal of residing and quality of life.

In purchase to protect their business and their high shelling out employment very long adequate right up until they can securely retire, the present-day top supervisors of the world wide OEM automotive marketplace have acknowledged the economic electricity and poison of the environmentally friendly electricity “transition” in building their choices alternatively than the cost-free marketplace.

It is ordinarily said that a contemporary inside combustion motor driven automobile has over 6,000 parts and that an EV, an electric powered driven vehicle, is “much” more simple. In point, the substantially easier car or truck even now has some 4,000 sections.

Henry Ford pioneered the vertical integration of his eponymous car company in the teens of the very last century to stay away from becoming controlled by the all-natural resource “trusts” (monopolies) of his time. By the early 1920’s the Ford Motor Enterprise produced internally all of its needed element elements except for tires (Ford was a private and lifelong close friend of Harvey Firestone) and made all of its possess requires for electrical energy.

As the decrease of the vehicle-industrial age proceeded soon after the oil price tag shocks of the 1970s the OEMs shed their then sophisticated vertical integration (practically constantly in get to elevate cash to protect losses and declining margins) and adopted just-in-time supply of vital sections from the then reborn and expanding external source base. Climbing American labor expenditures in the 1980s produced a mass exodus of OEM automotive suppliers to Mexico and Asia. Shortly thereafter that Asian vehicle makers entered the US markets and fast learned sufficient to ruin the postwar international dominance of the OEM American auto industry. Chrysler needed rescuing to start with, then GM. Ford survived the downsizing far better than the other folks, but like them had to withdraw from the world-wide marketplaces of the heyday of the globalization of the pre-war (WW2) era.

Now, in 2022, the OEM American automobile and truck assemblers – for that is the correct term for a organization that imports all of its elements and assembles them into a auto – are remaining told that they must lower and remove the use of imported factors and uncover or develop domestic or welcoming nation sources to redevelop domestic vertically built-in manufacturing.

At the same time, they are becoming instructed by the govt that they must change all electric power trains to electrical travel fueled by rechargeable storage batteries.

The solution, of program, is to rebuild domestic factories to at the time yet again develop the 4000 elements per car or truck they will have to have for EVs. There will be factors which are popular to equally fossil-fueled and electrical powertrains and vehicles, but these types of electromechanical marvels as modern day multi-speed transmissions as perfectly as economical gasoline and diesel fueled internal combustion engines will stop to obtain awareness and the expertise to construct them will wither away.

The essential element to be researched and created domestically now has become the lithium-ion battery to be used to electricity the battery electrical vehicles to be created. No these types of mass manufacturing sector for this kind of component has ever been productively created or operated by a domestic American corporation. The offer chain for production lithium ion batteries for car powertrains does not exist right now in the United states.

Let me explain how the present-day (legacy) global OEM automotive market finds and chooses among its parts suppliers, so you can comprehend the problem that the contemporary geopolitics of globalization has caused, in distinct, in the United States and Europe.

The outdoors OEM automotive suppliers, of program, ought to have encounter in creating and effectively advertising the factors for the very same or identical form of use. This is not taken for granted just since of the measurement or track record of the seller. All generation components recognized for use by the domestic American OEM automotive market have to go through the PPAP (production component acceptance method) and the suppliers should pass a money owing diligence.

PPAP involves real time passing of the exam of functioning less than authentic-world circumstances for at the very least 3 many years in typical and for the lifetime of the part’s warranty. For a lithium-ion powertrain battery, this means today’s procedure with no much more than the said degradation of capability for up to 8 several years.

On passing the PPAP, the because of diligence requires that the component satisfy the next demands:

  • On-time shipping, to specification, in the volumes agreed, and at the agreed cost,
  • Just-in-time supply to agreed places, no subject the weather conditions circumstances,
  • All components ought to meet agreed customer technical specs within a narrow high quality array, and
  • Rates are agreed for the lifestyle of a car model

It has been the exercise of the OEM automotive field to make the direct supplier of the element or subassembly, the Tier One provider, responsible for the all of its (sub) suppliers to fulfill their PPAP specifications, even if it is the assembler who PPAPs the mechanical and electrical good quality of the sub-tier supplier.

Extremely a short while ago, for the to start with time in 25 decades, the OEM domestic American automotive assemblers have started to look at the complete supply chains for essential (without having them the vehicle can not be marketed) factors.

In the very last year, Common Motors and Ford have introduced “agreements” with domestic, non manufacturing, semi-concluded uncooked material suppliers, of lithium and the scarce earths, to supply them with raw resources (lithium) and critical part elements (rare earth long term magnets), which the corporations will in some way get processed into the types important to develop rechargeable storage batteries and electric motors from a presently non-existent domestic American producing foundation.

Tens of billions of dollars have presently been allocated by the domestic American OEM automotive business to establish 7 battery “gigafactories” and numerous EV platform ( the battery moreover the electric powered motor) factories. Amid the domestic OEM assemblers virtually 100 billion pounds has also been allotted to the building of committed and multi-functional BEV plants.

The OEM automotive assemblers have bet the farm that they can become domestic vertically integrated makers of battery powered electric vehicles and vans.

However, as of currently, not one particular gram of ESG lithium or uncommon earths is produced in the United States or Canada.

Appear at the adhering to chart:

This chart from the IEAE tells you that there is no possibility of generating plenty of lithium to manufacture the batteries that would be needed by the presently prepared demand from customers right after this yr.

I think that the ignorance, by politicians and journalists, of the methods universally and automatically needed in the functions of any and all international initial gear production company is thanks to intellectual laziness, intelligence restrictions and the quickly declining coverage and top quality of American “education” at all concentrations.  The attempt to get rid of collection by benefit, rather than extend it, and swap it with superficial traits as the requirements for education and learning has promptly eroded the capability to find people greatest certified for specialised training and schooling and specified in excess of world leadership in science and engineering to Asian nations.

I repeat that the achievement of a transformation of the gas for vehicular transportation from liquid fossil fuels to electricity stored on board in rechargeable batteries relies upon fully on the supply of the element lithium.

And that electricity and source illiteracy and innumeracy amid our managerial and credentialed courses are the only motive that the domestic American OEM automotive assembly business has blindly wager the farm on a environmentally friendly fetish pursued by some of the dumbest (or most corrupt, or equally) politicians in the background of our Republic.

The BEV revolution will not engender a second Car-Industrial age in The united states. It will, in truth, conclusion the dominance of that marketplace, and ensure that BEVs survive only as luxurious automobiles to be driven concerning enclaves with charging services.

Elon Musk tweeted two weeks ago that Tesla could have to get into the lithium mining business enterprise. He claimed that although there is lithium just about everywhere and a lot of it, the mining field is quite sluggish to deliver it to sector.

Elon Musk is a excellent businessman and an even additional good financier, but he is a mineral economics moron.

I invite audience to remember to challenge my assumptions and conclusions with data, logic, expertise, and educationally primarily based counterarguments.