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Old 07-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #45 (permalink)
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More energy is used in the mining of the body materials for an EV. . .

Originally Posted by t vago View Post
The irony is lost, that people here are vehemently defending electric vehicles and denying that they have a larger carbon footprint than the ICE vehicles they are to replace.

Somebody here mentioned aluminum and copper as "rare earth metals", for instance (I'll quote, this time, so that the quotation doesn't mysteriously disappear)

The problem isn't with easily recyclable copper or aluminum. The problem is with that nasty lithium in EV batteries. It takes a lot of energy to extract lithium from the ground, for instance, because lithium does not occur naturally in elemental form. The lithium must be handled carefully, because it's kind of reactive. Car batteries made with lithium must be made explosion-proof, which both makes the battery more complex and reduces their maximum energy density (which, incidentally, raises the price even more). Oh, yah... nobody's recycling lithium batteries because it's too expensive to reprocess the battery! However, let's pat each other on the back instead, for figuring out clever insults about "Uhmuricans!"

And what about motors? The EV motor approaches 90% efficiency, true. But that has to rely on a power plant which will typically get about 35% efficiency from burning petroleum. Oh, and let's count the distribution grid, which will zap out another 5%. Charging? Say buh-bye to another 10%. All of a sudden, EVs aren't that much more efficient than ICEs.
. . . than the several pounds of lithium in it's battery pack. But of course, this also goes for internal combustion powered cars.

The battery pack in the electric drive vehicle will see possible use as a power storage battery as it will still have 50 - 70 % of capacity remaining. This can help power generation as a power buffer on a micro or macro scale.

The packs will then be recycled via techniques that are already in use and well proven. Toxco is a California based company that has been recycling batteries since the old ni-cads of the 80's. Their process shreds the batteries in an environmentally controlled room then, the lithium is neutralized and sold as an oxide on the open market.

Just as lead acid batteries have reached a 97% recycling level, I expect lithium to do at least as well. And, since the packs will have a dual market, they will have lives of 10 - 15 years, easing the strain on raw mining.
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