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Rough road for EV industry

By Brent Wilson, CEO of Galvanic Energy.

America’s electric vehicle (EV) industry seems to have hit a rough patch of pavement in recent months. Lithium prices continue to rise, and no new domestic lithium sources have yet to be established. Even Tesla, despite its substantial efforts to hold the line on affordability, has suffered from the effects of war, supply chain disruptions and the rising costs of raw materials.

The company in March announced multiple price increases including its most affordable electric car, the Model 3 RWD—once touted at $35K—now has an eye-popping price tag of $46,990. Tesla isn’t the only EV manufacturer facing these hurdles.

While they’re still dealing with the microchip shortage, automakers are scanning the horizon for the next weak link that will impact auto pricing.

We’re thinking about what this means for the world of batteries and all sorts of other components that are really mission critical for our company and our capability,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said last year.

Ford made headlines in December when the company stopped accepting customer reservations for its new, highly touted pickup, the all-electric F-150 Lightning. The company shut down orders after reaching 200,000 units, citing a shortage of lithium-ion batteries.

“We’ll get the semiconductors,” Farley said. “The issue [now] is batteries. That’s what we have to solve.”

And Ford isn’t the only one. As the price of EV batteries continues to skyrocket, major automakers ranging from Ford and GM to BMW and Volkswagen are shoring up supply chain strategies. They are forming joint ventures with battery material manufacturers to build factories that will ensure future battery deliveries will be reliable and affordable.

Building a domestic supply chain isn’t just a priority for manufacturers. In March, the Biden administration invoked the Defense Production Act, making $750 million available to the mining industry for expansion and other improvements in the production of lithium.

It’s not just America that is looking to maximize its lithium resources. In April, Mexico’s government nationalized its lithium industry, placing the country’s resources under government control. Chile and Bolivia appear to be heading down the same path, placing rigid restrictions on outside access to the countries’ lithium. Mexico is also pushing for a coalition with Bolivia, Chile and Argentina to create a lithium version of OPEC, which would control more than half of the world’s lithium resources.

With governments and companies placing ever more importance on lithium resources, and global factors pinching the industry from all sides, EV battery prices may continue to climb.

If these recent developments are any indication of what’s to come, the road may only get bumpier, unless affordable, domestic solutions are elevated quickly.

Brent Wilson is CEO of Galvanic Energy, a geoscience-driven resource exploration company. 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.



Just in news of a major fire in a bus station in the UK, which seems to have been caused by a charging electric bus:

Present chemistries have been oversold, with the meme of batteries everywhere to justify subsidies and tax breaks for the well off.

We need different chemistries to do the job.

Nothing is perfectly safe, but in view of the reality the endless banging on about the fancied dangers of hydrogen was a bit rich.

As far as I am aware there have been no explosions or fires in hydrogen cars, although the same is not true of hydrogen depots, just like battery charging stations.

A battery fire is however immensely difficult to extinguish, and uses vast amounts of water contaminating groundwater.

The consequences if there were a fire in a tunnel would be huge.

None of this means that we should give up on batteries, just that we should be wary of the self serving hype of promoters.


Use nonflammable electrolyte solvent

Roger Pham

My crystal ball shows, in the immediate term, the LiFePO4 battery that is much more fire resistant and requires no precious Cobalt nor Nickel. Longer term, we will see Sodium ion battery using very plentiful sodium in the vast ocean.

These chemistries have lower density than existing NMC or NCA chemistries, so would be best reserve for PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid) that only requires 10-15 kWh packs, with a range extender that can be either an ICE or a FC that permit rapid fill-up and even longer range than a long-range BEV.

I would only buy a PHEV because I prefer the energy flexibility, rapid energy refill for long trips, and dual-power-plant reliability and redundancy of both battery and ICE or FC. For me, a PHEV is a must-have !


It's a good thing CATL are moving ahead commercially with Sodium Ion or we'd all be right up the creek after the whole world put all its eggs in one basket yet again - lithium. There was never going to be near enough lithium for light duty vehicles, never mind HGVs (trucks etc.) - before the clueless, deluded or plain evil "decision makers" in every industry decided they were going to lithium batterify planes, ships, trains, wind turbines, solar panels and God knows what else, with lithium unobtainium.

Yes PHEVs make the most sense, a 10 kWh battery only covers 90% of daily driving needs and can be recharged overnight from a wall plug and you get 6 PHEVs for the battery capacity sitting in one BEV. That's what BMW were supporting so what happened? Hans Kruger gets shot with a sonic soliton in broad daylight to ruin his credibility and a mass Internet hatchet job whispering campaign attacks PHEVs for being "wasteful" - though they are still teh top selling electrified vehicles in Europe.

Bring on the NaIon PHEV. I personally am never going to buy a lithium powered potential time bomb.

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