Op-ed: Let’s start here, in America
28 February 2022
by Brent Wilson, CEO of Galvanic Energy.
It’s easy to get caught up in the recent marketing hype around electric vehicles. EVs are becoming more common across the United States as prices are starting to come down and choices are increasing.
The wave of popularity is building, but there are dark clouds ahead if we don’t take notice. It’s an issue the battery industry has been whispering about for some time.
The US battery supply chain risks being caught flat-footed and is in danger of being run over by overwhelming demand as thousands of new electric vehicles are hitting American streets every year. The primary cause for concern is the country’s dependence on China for its lithium battery manufacturing.
There may not be enough EVs on the road today for that to matter much, but just wait. We only have to look to the oil embargoes of the 1970s to realize our dependence on a foreign energy supply is cause for action.
Do we really want to travel down that road again? Let’s learn from those dark days, and draw from our own resources, our own manpower and our own technology to compete in this ever-growing market. We can start by establishing government policies that encourage development of a comprehensive supply chain that can feed the nation’s burgeoning lithium-ion battery market.
Currently, there is only one operating lithium mine in the US, and that is a sobering fact. The promise of rising demand and improving economic potential, coupled with emerging extraction technologies that are environmentally sustainable, are now encouraging companies to venture forward. The American spirit of independence and ingenuity will guide us as we build a lithium battery industry that produces raw materials from US reserves so we can supply US battery manufacturers and US consumers for decades to come.
We cannot afford to miss this opportunity.
Exploration and mining are technologically challenging and capital-intensive. They also take time. Therefore, private companies and governmental regulators must work together to support and encourage domestic production and do so in a manner that promotes responsible operations. The domestic lithium industry must be developed with an eye on sustainability, environmental impacts and with input from the communities adjacent to lithium production sites.
Electric vehicles are at the heart of our fight to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change, but there is no pathway to meet global climate targets without aggressively and sustainably ramping up the production of minerals and metals right here in America.
Brent Wilson is CEO of Galvanic Energy, a geoscience-driven resource exploration company with expertise in reservoir characterization and mineral acquisition. Employing innovative, proprietary discovery methods to identify natural resources essential to the US renewable energy sector, Galvanic Energy develops resource plays that require low environmental footprints and utilize the least invasive extraction processes to provide vertical integration of green technologies toward the development of electric mobilization and energy storage.
My real concern with EVs is that here in the Northeast battery power loses strength the colder it is and to heat a car’s interior drains it even more. When you get double the range we will be happy…until then I am not willing to risk it.
I might go for a small hybrid vehicle but that is it for me!
Posted by: William Taylor | 28 February 2022 at 05:35 AM
You might want to read this: “ I-95 Traffic Nightmare: What If You Were Stuck in an Electric Car for 24 Hours?” (https://www.kbb.com/car-news/traffic-snowstorm-electric-car/) or some of Bjorn Nyland’s Winter Range Tests (like this https://insideevs.com/news/549116/kia-ev6-winter-range-test/ or https://insideevs.com/news/549453/tesla-model3-srp-winter-range/).
Posted by: Gryf | 28 February 2022 at 01:23 PM
This should not be a knock against electric cars, when I grew up in Massachusetts and later lived in the Detroit area for a decade it was common winter practice to not only have an ice scraper in the car, but a few blankets. Doesn't matter why you are stuck on the side of the road or in a ditch, when the car can't provide heat anymore, suffering because you didn't have something to keep warm shows a lack of preparedness.
That said, I'm also in the group that believe plug in hybrids with reasonable battery sizes should be more common than they are until batteries do get better range at lower costs.
Posted by: Dave C | 28 February 2022 at 04:35 PM
Brent Wilson has some good points. Recall twenty years ago we were running out of Natural Gas. Then we invested in Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” Shale and today we are exporting LNG to Europe.
Let’s hope that Galvanic Energy is successful in mining Lithium in the Smackover Formation of southern Arkansas. Also, in the Bonneville remnants around Utah, including the Great Salt Lake and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Not to forget either the Salton Sea geothermal system. The USA could then excel in Lithium mining.
Posted by: Gryf | 28 February 2022 at 06:21 PM
Lithium mining and refining have to be better investments than elsewhere
Posted by: SJC | 01 March 2022 at 05:32 AM
These problems are concerning evs not hydrogen cars anymore. How much time should i point that im ready to buy a hydrogen car for god sake.
Posted by: Gorr | 01 March 2022 at 07:53 PM