Monday, July 18, 2011

How Ecologically Friendly Are Electric Cars?

As I sat in traffic over the weekend, wondering why I wasn't seeing thousands of Obama Motors' Dolts surrounding my evil fossil fuel burning full sized FORD F-150, this thought came wandering by.

What happens to the batteries that will be put in all of these electric cars?

So, a little research;

The Volt (Dolt) carries a 435lb lithium ion battery.

The battery, with a full charge, is projected to be good for 40 miles worth of travel before it must be recharged.

The battery must be recharged at a power station. Unlike a hybrid, the car does not charge itself while in motion.

Publicly accessible power stations are being started for free, to set the hook. Later, they will require a pre-paid card to purchase charging time. I have seen estimates that these charges will be in the neighborhood of $100 a month.

GM projects the life of the battery to be 10 years, IF the vehicle is located in a moderate climate. Extreme heat or cold are very likely to shorten the life.

GM's warranty on the battery is 8 years, or 100,000 miles. (Trust me, with only a 40 mile range on a full charge, 8 years is going to happen a lot sooner than 100K miles!)

GM projects that after 8 years, the battery will only be able to hold 80% of the charge it will hold when new. That means that after 8 years, if everything is working perfectly, the range on the Dolt will be down to 32 miles.

GM has not published a replacement cost for the battery. Industry analysts have estimated it will cost around 10 thousand dollars to buy a new battery.

What happenes to the old batteries? 435 pounds of lithium battery is a lot of hazardous waste! Due to the cheapness of lithium, there is no profitable market for recycling the material. There is only one large scale recycling company for this material in the entire world! Small scale recyling (cell phone batteries, etc.) is subsidized by the government because there is no profit in it. Industry analysts are predicting it will be 30 years before large scale lithium recycling infrastructure will be available to take care of all the dead batteries that will be discarded - and then ONLY if the price of new, raw lithium experiences a large increase. So, where is all that toxic waste going to go?

When you couple all of this with the fact that the taxpayer is subsidizing approximately 10,000 dollars of the cost of every Dolt sold, you really have to ask yourself why this piece of shit is being pushed so hard. The reason - Obama's name is on it.

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