The Electrification Coalition: The Dangers Of Logical Analysis

by Jack Lifton on November 21, 2009 · 4 comments

in Batteries, Hybrids & EVs, Lithium, News Analysis, Recycling

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Yesterday at the Seeking Alpha Web site, John Petersen published an excellent article on the new Electrification Coalition, titled “Rapid Transition to Grid Enabled Vehicles Not Possible or Desirable.” I suggest you read this article right now, if you haven’t done so already.

To paraphrase John Milton, “logical analysis is a dangerous thing, drink deep or drink naught of the logical spring.”

I want everyone to print the following paragraph by John in his article, and to read and to understand it:

“Batteries are commodities, as are all of the raw materials that are used to make the batteries, motors and other components required for a [Grid Enabled Vehicle]. The roadmap assumes away critical issues of raw materials availability by proving that the elements exist in nature and then ignoring fundamental natural resource development issues like location, economics, environmental impacts and the difference between known mineral resources and developed mineral reserves. It also assumes that recycling issues will resolve themselves despite the fact that the only class of ARRA battery manufacturing grants that went begging was battery recycling.”

As usual, John has zeroed in on the two key points of logical absurdity in this latest set of directions on how governments should spend taxpayer money for private interest:

  1. This group does not understand the difference between “present in the earth’s crust” and “available for use by mankind,” and
  2. There is no safe, economical, recycling method for recovering the lithium from lithium-ion batteries.

Unelected, poorly educated bureaucrats, throw money at nice presentations such as the outlined in John’s article. The money has been allocated to their use by elected, poorly educated, politicians whose advisors are agenda ridden interest groups. In government speak this process is called “investing in science and technology.”

We’re watching just another lobby being born. This will be the infrastructure spending for electrification lobby. It’s an interest group not an agenda.

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1 Garth November 21, 2009 at 10:03 PM

right as rain buddy

2 Charles Cresson Wood November 22, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Jack, you are absolutely “on the money” with your analysis here.

If readers are not already aware of it, I suggest that they download a copy of the painstakingly-researched report entitled “On American Sustainability – Anatomy of a Societal Collapse,” by Chris Clugston. A summary of his report can be found at

In that report Clugston indicates that 50 out of 58 non-renewable natural resources (which include rare earth metals) are already past peak or currently at peak production in the USA. We need to be focusing on rapidly adjusting to the new reality, including transition to local decentralized systems for transportation, electrical power generation, food production, and the like. We also need to draw up contingency plans that will help us deal with the now-unavoidable shocks, that are bound to happen, because we have ignored this reality for so long. We don’t have the time or resources to completely revamp the electrical grid to support electric vehicles. Besides, to put all of our eggs in one basket (the smart grid), goes against a fundamental principle of resilient systems, although it may look desirable to a bureaucrat in Washington because it appears as though it could centralize yet more power in the hands of the Washington establishment. More about this can be found in my book “Kicking The Gasoline & Petro-Diesel Habit: A Business Manager’s Blueprint For Action.”

3 Ted Reinhart November 23, 2009 at 6:48 PM


Won’t the scarcity of lithium cut quickly into any such plans?


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