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EVs and hybrids are threatening to make the U.S. dependent on another dangerous foreign resource source -- China. Hybrids use twice the lanthanides as standard vehicles, and China controls 95 percent of lanthanide deposits.  (Source: Toyota)

China outguessed the U.S. and now stands to reap the rewards. Expert Robert Bryce estimates it will take 10 to 15 years for the U.S. to begin to tap its own lanthanide deposits.  (Source: ESPI Metals)
China outguessed the U.S. when it came to rare earth metals -- it may take 15 years to bring U.S. mines online

The auto industry seems to be moving towards embracing hybrids and electric vehicles.  One needs only look at examples like the 2011 Nissan LEAF and 2011 Chevy Volt, or the the new Chevy Volt MPV5 EV-crossover concept.

However, there's growing concern that the industry is casting a rather blind eye to what exactly the impact of its leap might be.  While about a third of U.S. oil comes from unstable regions like Nigeria and the Middle East, EVs present perhaps an equally challenging geopolitical resource problem.

According to Robert Bryce, author of the book "Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future", the current third-generation Toyota Prius uses 25 lbs. (11 kg) of expensive rare-earth metals -- approximately twice the amount found in a standard vehicle.

That's a big problem as rare earth metals, known scientifically as lanthanides are almost exclusively controlled by China.  Could this stranglehold slow progress of these new vehicles and hasten China's ascent to the world's most dominant economy?  These are concerns that Bryce has been voicing.

Bryce describes,"95% and 100% of the world’s supply of this entire row of the periodic table [is controlled by China]."

The biggest uses of lanthanides are in the battery pack and electric motor of hybrids and EVs.  Bryce believes that lanthanide demand will outpace supply as early as 2013, slowing the industry's growth and allowing China to raise its resource prices.  He states, "There are no significant supplies (of lanthanides) that can come on stream in anything close to the time span the market need."

Currently, 100,000 tons (90,718 t) per year of lanthanides are manufactured and utilized.  That figure is expected to soon rise.  Bryce says, "Estimates are that within two-three years the market demand will be 120,000-130,000 tons (108,862-117,932 t) per year."

Worldwide there's 99 million tons (89.8 million t) of rare earth metals, but it's expensive and tricky to tap these reserves.  It also takes time -- up to 15 years.  The U.S. currently has no working lanthanide mines, though it does have lanthanide resources.  

The bottom line is that China outguessed the U.S. and the rest of the world, wisely recognizing the value of the resource in 1980s and early 90s and committing to the expensive up front investment to harvest them.  Now 10 to 15 years later, it is reaping the rewards, while the U.S. is left wondering what to do.

China is well aware of its position and plans to fully exploit it now.  Former Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping remarked some time ago, "There is oil in the Middle East, there are rare-earths in China; we must take full advantage of this resource."

Bryce warns that the rush to EVs and hybrids may put the U.S. in a bind.  He states, "In this headlong rush to go ‘green,’ we are essentially trading one type of import reliance for another.  We are going to be more dependent on a single market, where there’s no transparency and one dominant market player who happens to own most of our debt already."



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Let's put it in perspective!
By usbseawolf2000 on 4/30/2010 12:48:44 PM , Rating: 3
25 lbs of lanthanides cuts down 3,000 gallons of gasoline consumption. That's 18,900 lbs of fuel that would produce 60,000 lbs of CO2 emission.

50 mpg Prius compared to 25 mpg midsize sedan over 150,000 miles. A gallon of gas weight 6.3 lbs when burned, it produces 20 lbs of CO2.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/Feg/co2.shtml

Catalytic converters use 45% of lanthanides exports. Petroleum refining catalysts use 25%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanthanides

Therefore, 25 lbs of lanthanides used in Prius NiMH would cut down the need for lanthanides used in petroleum refining. Overall, hybrids are really reducing dependent on lanthanides!




RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By Akrovah on 4/30/2010 1:27:31 PM , Rating: 3
EVs, in thier current form, still require the same lanthenides needed by a gas powered engine because (doh!) the still have ICEs to extend their range like the volt. This means they still need those catalytic converters, and they still need the refined Petrolium, in addition to the lanthenides used in the battery packs and electric motors. Consumption goes UP unless you can completely do away with the ICE which simply isn't feasble at this point, nor do I think it will be at all in teh near future.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By usbseawolf2000 on 4/30/2010 1:35:42 PM , Rating: 3
Volt is not an EV. It is a hybrid that you can plug in.

For hybrids, you may still need catalytic converters but the petroleum consumption drops by 50%. Therefore half of petroleum refinement is 12.5% drop in lanthenides need.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By Jedi2155 on 4/30/10, Rating: 0
By usbseawolf2000 on 4/30/2010 4:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Who classifies ER-EV? Marketing department?

Look up the engineering definition of a hybrid. It is based on power source, not what drives the wheel. Volt is a plugin series hybrid.

Gas engine sometimes do warm up the battery pack prior to initial 40 EV miles, in freezing weather.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By JediJeb on 4/30/2010 4:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure which hybrids you are figuring there but most hybrids on the road do not get 2x the gas mileage as their non hybrid counterparts (eg Ford Focus Hybrid vs Ford Focus). The fuel usage probably won't drop by 50% and also the usage of lanthanides in petroleum distillation probably doesn't drop linearly with reduction of amount distilled.


By usbseawolf2000 on 4/30/2010 5:01:50 PM , Rating: 1
I was comparing Prius to Camry, Accord, Altima, Malibu midsize sedans. They get about 25-26 mpg.

You can't compare Camry vs. Camry hybrid because it is designed with non-hybrid in mind to support V6 under the hood as well. The Camry hybrid has more power and faster than the I4 Camry but less than V6. So it is about 5 cylinder equivalent. It is hard to compare.

It is better to compare a non-hybrid midsize to a hybrid midsize that build from ground up.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By bug77 on 5/1/2010 10:41:07 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, 1 lb of fuel produces 3 lbs of CO2? Stupid Mendeleev...


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By porkpie on 5/1/2010 1:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
Lavoisier would be more appropriate.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By bug77 on 5/2/2010 4:22:08 AM , Rating: 2
I was think more like: "Nothing is lost, nothing is gained..."


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By porkpie on 5/2/2010 7:13:42 AM , Rating: 2
Meaning conservation of mass in chemical reactions and basic stoichiometry-- both of which can be credited to Lavoisier.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By thurston on 5/2/2010 2:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
I believe it means that 1 lb of fuel creates the equivalent to 3 lbs CO2 in greenhouse gasses, not that it literally creates 3 lbs of CO2.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By WW102 on 5/1/2010 5:38:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A gallon of gas weight 6.3 lbs when burned, it produces 20 lbs of CO2.


Is this an engine or a mass creator?


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By porkpie on 5/1/2010 6:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
See the "O2" in CO2? From where do you think that comes?


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By FITCamaro on 5/1/2010 11:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
That still implies that the fuel is pure carbon.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By porkpie on 5/1/2010 11:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
It nearly is. Take a hydrocarbon such as heptane, for instance: C7H16. That's a molecular mass of 100, of which 84% (7*12) is carbon.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By usbseawolf2000 on 5/2/2010 12:01:32 PM , Rating: 3
Hydrogen atomic weight = 1
Carbon atomic weight = 12
Oxygen atomic weight = 16

Gasoline is C8H18. Total atomic weight for gasoline is 114. After the combustion, carbon will bond with two hydrogen -- C8O16. Total atomic weight would be 352. This is why every pound of gasoline create 3.1 pounds of CO2 emission.

How many gallons of gas do you use daily? Multiply that by 20 to get the weight of CO2 (lbs) you emit daily!


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By porkpie on 5/2/2010 12:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Gasoline is C8H18. "

All correct except for this bit. Gasoline is a mix of many different hydrocarbons. At one point in the dim past, gas with a 90% octane rating was 90% iso-octane...but due to better anti-knock additives today, the ratio of lower-weight heptanes, hexanes, etc is now much higher.

Plus of course you have oxygenates, ethanol, and many other chemicals added for various reasons.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By FITCamaro on 5/2/2010 2:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really care how many pounds of CO2 I'm emitting.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By usbseawolf2000 on 5/2/2010 5:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
But it is good to know. 2010 V8 Camero would emit CO2 41 times the weight of the car (3,860 lbs) if driven for 150,000 miles.

For 2010 Prius, it would emit CO2 20 times its weight (3,042 lbs).


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By ekv on 5/3/2010 4:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
meh. Not enough, heh?

How about a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ?

Or, Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès?


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By dusteater on 5/1/2010 11:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
And you are still ignoring all of the energy consumed by the electric motor that is derived from plugging it in. That in fact does come from somewhere.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By usbseawolf2000 on 5/2/2010 12:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
Psss.. A hybrid (Prius) does not need to plug in.


RE: Let's put it in perspective!
By hathost on 5/4/2010 1:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well the idea for pluggin in a car like this would be done on off peak hours when electricity is being generated and not consumed, HOWEVER what is more likely to happen is that when everyone gets off work and goes home and exits their car they will do what? That's right plug in their car, during peak hours when they are turning on their heaters and AC's and ovens and tv's and computers and all the other neat gadgets and gizmo's they have when they get off work. I doubt someone is going to get home and wait until 9pm before going back out to plug it in. They either will do it when they first get off work or not at all.


I doubt we will ever catch up...
By HueyD on 4/30/2010 12:21:09 PM , Rating: 3
If it means we need to dig a hole in the ground to get the deposits, I doubt we will ever catch up. The DEP and environmentalists will be sure to stop any effort to disturb the planet.




RE: I doubt we will ever catch up...
By whiskerwill on 4/30/2010 1:26:39 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly. A mine might kill a rare earthworm or something. We can't be allowed to produce our own resources here.

The enviros won't be happy until the entire US economy is based around nothing but selling haircuts, hemp, and hand-harvested organic bean sprouts.


RE: I doubt we will ever catch up...
By porkpie on 4/30/2010 1:44:08 PM , Rating: 1
To really get your alliteration motif going, you should have said: "haircuts, hemp, and hand-harvested herbs and honey".


By Steve1981 on 4/30/2010 2:04:54 PM , Rating: 4
No!!!!!!!! Not honey!! Honey is an animal product and therefore evil.


RE: I doubt we will ever catch up...
By Hieyeck on 4/30/2010 1:54:16 PM , Rating: 1
Are you kidding? The hemp fields are a plague upon the earth. It's taking up valuable space for grass. Both kinds.
</sarcasm>


RE: I doubt we will ever catch up...
By chick0n on 4/30/2010 4:13:11 PM , Rating: 1
will DEP/GreenPeace/Treehugger tell us to commit suicide cuz humans are a plague to earth.? :(


RE: I doubt we will ever catch up...
By Akrovah on 4/30/2010 6:56:34 PM , Rating: 5
If they do I shall invite them to go first.


RE: I doubt we will ever catch up...
By FITCamaro on 5/1/2010 11:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
I already did that to a girl who called us a plague and said how there needs to be less of us. She's still alive.

Bag of irony. She thinks we're a plague but loves her boyfriend being into cars that supposedly destroy the planet.


By hathost on 5/4/2010 1:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
Either way if we can't drill for oil in our own country how are we going to mine rem's?


By RugbyChix on 5/3/2010 8:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
I am pretty ambivalent about the EPA and man made global warming. But mining is a different beast, poorly engineered mines are dangerous to the miners and VERY dangerous to the ground water supply.

Do you know how many mines are superfund sites? Many! So your choice is to have the Lithium quickly, see a few people makes scads of cash and then watch as the local kids get renal failure from lithium exposure OR let the EPA do their job. As a bonus those people who made the scads of money will be out of dodge while the taxpayers get to pay for the cleanup.


By bjacobson on 4/30/2010 7:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
so on the one ear we're screaming at them to allow their currency to appreciate, and in the other ear we're screaming at them to keep prices on REM cheap.

This is command-economies never work. In this case trying to command China (although usually the term is used to denote top-down management of the economy, USSR style.


15 year breakdown
By noonie on 4/30/2010 2:06:25 PM , Rating: 5
15 years to get the mines open. Let's break that down.

Folks will fret about what to do for 2 years, after they get their anti-anxiety meds balanced out there will be

6 years of studies to figure out how to state the obvious using fancy language then

6 years of court battles with NIMBYs, environmentalists and folks that want things to never change, then finely

1 year to open the mine and start processing the deposits.

Sound about right?

By the time 15 years rolls by the technology will have changed and the mines will be less relevant.

Hey, if we just drive this country (the USA) into the ground like an old clunker car we can just get a new...oh wait, no more land out there...hum. Instead of exploiting others peoples resources maybe we should be more self reliant.

Whatever happened to Yankee ingenuity? We can't just make movies, watch sports (or play sports) and whine about not having stuff. Let's get to work!!!! Let's make things!




RE: 15 year breakdown
By JediJeb on 4/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: 15 year breakdown
By sigilscience on 4/30/2010 5:55:19 PM , Rating: 3
Instead of blaming corporations, why not focus on the real problem? You cannot open a new mine in the US any more. It takes years of trying to get permits from the EPA and state regulators. Then you have to spend even longer fighting off legal challenges from various environmental groups.

We had corporations since the country began and that never stopped mining before. We had cheap overseas labor also. The mines didn't start getting shut down until all the environmental regulations got passed in the 1960s-1980s.


RE: 15 year breakdown
By sinful on 4/30/2010 7:11:25 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Instead of blaming corporations, why not focus on the real problem? You cannot open a new mine in the US any more. It takes years of trying to get permits from the EPA and state regulators. Then you have to spend even longer fighting off legal challenges from various environmental groups.

We had corporations since the country began and that never stopped mining before. We had cheap overseas labor also. The mines didn't start getting shut down until all the environmental regulations got passed in the 1960s-1980s.


Baloney. Coal mining, for instance, peaked in 2008.

The real reason is the same reason that the IT industry has been assimilated by India -- it isn't because "environmental regulations" have hampered tech support / call centers, it's because it's now feasible to have cheap labor in far off countries do the same job -- and ship the product back -- for less than it costs an American to do the job.

Yes, we've always had cheap labor overseas, but until "modern times" you couldn't transport vast amounts of goods to the US cheaply.

China has a stranglehold on the RE metals because they're mining it so CHEAPLY.

It's ECONOMICS!

It's the same reason why drilling for oil in the US is a dumb idea -- the Arabs are producing at $1/barrel and it costs us $40/barrel to produce.

You'd have to be a necon not to understand the economics of having your competitors have THAT amount of a price advantage over you.


RE: 15 year breakdown
By porkpie on 4/30/2010 11:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Yes, we've always had cheap labor overseas, but until "modern times" you couldn't transport vast amounts of goods to the US cheaply."


Err, what? I don't suppose you realize that, during the 1890s, many Californians were having their laundry done in China ...shipped by fast-sailing clipper ship, both ways. Cheap shipping is not something that's occurred in the past 20 years.

Your coal mining example fails. Environmental regulations hit coal primarily where its burned , not where its mined. Look at metal mining for the real data.

Chromium mining: peaked in 1974
Nickel mining: peaked in 1969
Tungsten mining: peaked in 1970
USA copper mining: peaked in 1996

For most metals and minerals, no new mines have been opened in decades...and environmentalists are trying hard to shut down the ones we have.

For instance, a single mine in Alaska produces 80% of US zinc...and the EPA is now considering whether it should be forced to close (links modified because of DT's braindead anti-spam system):

www.resourceinvestor.com/News/2010/2/Pages/Black-cl oud-over-worlds-largest-zinc-mine.aspx

Here, the EPA is shutting down the largest mine in the state of WV:

www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&story id=78162

Here's the EPA saying no to a new copper mine in MN:

minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/02/22/ep a-polymet-criticism/

EPA ruling blocks a uranium mine in NM:

indiancountrynews.net/index.php?option=com_content& task=view&id=6287&Itemid=76

EPA blocks a sulfide mine:

mn.audubon.org/issues-action/epa-flunks-polymet%E2% 80%99s-proposal-open-pit-sulfide-mine-%E2%80%9Cunac ceptable%E2%80%9D

EPA blocks expansion of phosphate mine in NC:

www.pddnet.com/news-ap-epa-backs-off-nc-phosphate-m ines-expansion-061809/

Court blocks permit for copper mine in AZ:

www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=344 0

Court blocks permit for copper and silver mine in Montana:

www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/judge_block s_mine_beneath_cabinet_mountain_wilderness/16883/


RE: 15 year breakdown
By Starcub on 5/1/2010 10:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Err, what? I don't suppose you realize that, during the 1890s, many Californians were having their laundry done in China ...shipped by fast-sailing clipper ship, both ways. Cheap shipping is not something that's occurred in the past 20 years.

Just how much of the cost of foreign made goods can be attributed to just shipping?

Among other things, the rash of 'free trade' agreements between the US and foreign governments were and are designed to eliminate tarrifs and 'level the playing field'. In reality, they are often little more than a means to tip the balance of trade in favor of US corporate interests -- conducted with cheap foreign 'politicians'.


RE: 15 year breakdown
By FITCamaro on 5/1/2010 11:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA will be the death of all business in America. There is an aluminum plant here in charleston that will shut down if crap and tax passes. No way they can absorb a 20% increase in energy costs. Nor can most people. And thats probably on the low estimate. Higher power bills, higher food costs, lost jobs to overseas manufacturers, high materials costs, etc. The price of EVERYTHING will go up if this legislation passes. And Obama would still have the balls to say they haven't raised taxes on 95% of people.


RE: 15 year breakdown
By FITCamaro on 5/1/2010 11:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry this Congress and President got on that about 16 months ago.

They seem perfectly content with letting all drivers of innovation sink while they expand the Welfare state.

If they get their way, they'll soon have control of industries through crap and tax, control of banks through this bogus "financial regulation", and control of the voting base with all the new citizens from another amnesty bill. Already have two of the three auto companies, health care once Obamacare fully kicks in, and student loans. Plus all the other regulations out there which effective control industries through mandates (light bulbs, toilets, etc).


No surprise
By KnightBreed on 4/30/2010 12:19:22 PM , Rating: 4
Environmentalists rarely see beyond the tip of their nose, let alone the big picture. Either you are dependent on Venezuela, Canada, and Saudi's for oil, or Boliva for Lithium and China for pretty much everything else. Pick your poison.

I can't wait to see the public backlash when the government starts selling land options to strip mining companies for various heavy and "rare earth" metals.

We have to end our addiction to foreign oil!... But we can't drill our own oil, or build more nuclear plants or, mine our own resources. So how exactly are we supposed to do it?




RE: No surprise
By thurston on 4/30/2010 9:18:59 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Environmentalists rarely see beyond the tip of their nose, let alone the big picture.


Neither do the far Right.


RE: No surprise
By TSS on 5/1/2010 6:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
Can we please come to the conclusion that the partisan issue serves only to divide the people, not unite the people?

You have both parties running your country into the ground. Next term, republicans get voted in which then mess up as hard as the democrats did which will get voted in next which mess up just as hard as the republicans did which will get the republicans voted back in.... All the while the people bicker to eachother instead of getting the country back on track.

Yknow normally i'd have not much problems with countries/world powers decending into decadence and reforming, that's just the natural evolution of society it seems. But the USA is a big country, which'll affect the whole world when it happens, and having china as the dominant world power could prove to be quite dangerous.

So stop selling out to the chinese. I'm pretty sure they are crazy enough to actually come to evict you when you can no longer pay the rent. There will be no winner from that conflict.


RE: No surprise
By misuspita on 5/2/2010 5:09:35 AM , Rating: 1
I'm pretty sure that every time a big empire died in history, the ripple affected all the civilized world. For example, when the great Roman Empire (which lasted 1000 years) died, the effect was what's now known as The Dark Ages... which lasted roughly 1000 years also.

So, when the USA dies, no biggie... we'll have 50 years of "darkness" until the next great superpower comes and takes it from there...

I for one, welcome our new overlords... :)


RE: No surprise
By hathost on 5/4/2010 1:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
Would you be as welcoming when they are starving you from your land or imprisoning all dissentors. Or even possibly killing them. Even if is is only "a few" people that you disagree with eventually the system feeds on its own. Look no further than France, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, Korea, China, Japan, Rawanda, Midle Africa, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and I could go on ad nauseum for examples of how other countries mistreated their citizens or their neighbors or the world. I believe the US is much better and more responsible now than nearly any coutry on the planet. We aren't perfect and we make mistakes but we didn't start 2 world wars either.

"When World War II ended, the United States had the only undamaged industrial power in the world. Our military might was at its peak, and we alone had the ultimate weapon, the nuclear weapon, with the unquestioned ability to deliver it anywhere in the world. If we had sought world domination then, who could have opposed us? But the United States followed a different course, one unique in all the history of mankind. We used our power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravished economies of the world, including those of the nations who had been our enemies." R.Reagan


RE: No surprise
By kyp275 on 4/30/2010 11:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But we can't drill our own oil, or build more nuclear plants or, mine our own resources. So how exactly are we supposed to do it?


The unicorns man, the unicorns! They're supposed to bring us the secret to unlimited energy when they finally arrive on their rainbow bridges.


Goes beyond EV's
By guacamojo on 4/30/2010 1:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the problem is much bigger than just EV's and hybrids. We're already in bed with cheap Chinese rare earths, and it's going to get worse before it gets better, regardless of what we do with "green."

Rare earth magnets (neodymium-iron-boron and samarium-cobalt), the single largest application for RE's, are found in nearly all modern electronic devices, including PC's, laptops, and cell phones. They're key to performance of brushless motors and generators. They're also important in military applications (missiles, lasers, smart bombs, radar, aircraft, and others.)

Chinese investors have been very active in securing IP and production assets related to these materials. Whereas the US once produced over 90% of the world's magnets (1998), that leadership has since moved to China.

There's a well-written report on the subject at http://www.iags.org/rareearth0310hurst.pdf




RE: Goes beyond EV's
By usbseawolf2000 on 4/30/2010 1:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
Magnets are only 12%. See my post above.


RE: Goes beyond EV's
By guacamojo on 4/30/2010 1:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Your reference for global usage of Lanthanides draws its data from a 2001 CRC textbook.

Meanwhile, RE magnet production has been growing at an average 30% per year since 1996. That text is long obsolete.

I'd be curious about current usage, I haven't found a suitable reference.


RE: Goes beyond EV's
By porkpie on 4/30/2010 2:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't work like that. Magnets may consume only 12% of all lanthanide production, but they account for a majority of neodymium usage.


should be no suprise
By invidious on 4/30/2010 2:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
The US hasn't started mining these things yet because the demand for hybrids is not based on economics, it is based on environmentalism. Which up until the last few years has had nothing to do with making money.

It will probably take a decade or so for EVs to actually be mature enough to be economically viable. Meaning actually save you money if you buy one, even without massive government subsadization. The mining industry can't be expected to be in tune with the environmentalist fad of the week.

I don't think China necisarilly predicted this either. They simply have lower environmental regulation and cheaper manual labor. They can mine their countrysides to their heart's content. So as soon as prices started to go up they started mining immediately, whereas it takes us half a decade to open a new mine.




RE: should be no suprise
By aguilpa1 on 4/30/2010 3:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
that makes more sense than anything in the above article. Also if everything is so green bound, a good chunk of those materials should be recycle to be used again on newer models. Is that not the whole point of green?


RE: should be no suprise
By Starcub on 5/1/2010 11:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think China necisarilly predicted this either. They simply have lower environmental regulation and cheaper manual labor.

The Chinese govt. is not an electoral body. It has the authority and ability to do whatever it wants, and thus they dictate their own health in the global economy. In the past they have been narrowly focused on cost. However, things have become so bad in industrial centers that they have recently recognized the need to embrace green technologies. They don't look at economics and the environment as independent concepts like unnacountable shortsighted executives and politicians do.

The US auto industry should have been working with governement to embrace the future. Instead it seems they have been working to kill it in an effort to maximize short term profitability.


RE: should be no suprise
By hathost on 5/4/2010 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
They also have no concern for private property rights or the individual rights of their citizens. So if a few million farmers starve to death because the government took all their food oh well right?

Also the auto industry is not in the business to provide a better environment it is up to the consumer to make the decision of what they want to own and for the car manufacturers to try to supply that vehicle at a profitable rate. If they aren't producing an environmentally friendly car that's because consumers don't want them and they can't make a profit providing them. In any event the auto makers have ben stuck trying to meet govt regulations for years which in addition to poor bargaining with the unions has lead to their bankruptcy and are now govt owned. Have fun with your govt car maybe in a few years when the govt has more control over industry and drives the other auto manufaturers out of business we can have a several year wait to get a car like the Soviets used to have. See you in the cheese line.


renewable?
By zmatt on 4/30/2010 4:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
I thought EV's were renewable? [/sarcasm]

This is why we shouldn't take engineering advice form people who aren't engineers. Seems that moving to electric vehicles will just change our need for oil to a need for metal. And we can't exactly walk into China and secure the resources we want. We could beat them on our own terms, but just the vast numbers of troops would make any invasion a suicide.




RE: renewable?
By mcnabney on 4/30/2010 5:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
Don't kid yourself. A military fight with China will be nuclear.


RE: renewable?
By ekv on 5/3/2010 5:06:08 AM , Rating: 2
A fight, like a tango, takes two.


Come on....
By AssBall on 4/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Come on....
By Dorkyman on 4/30/2010 12:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well, besides having a "stranglehold," maybe the author thinks that China's hold on the market is a bit strange.


RE: Come on....
By jonmcc33 on 4/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Come on....
By AssBall on 4/30/2010 12:14:02 PM , Rating: 1
I don't understand why a little bit of critisism toward one of my favorite websites translates to You as illiteracy. I assure you I am waiting with bated breath to hear why.


RE: Come on....
By omnicronx on 4/30/2010 12:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wait patiently, hes busy using his speech to text software =X.


Shaking hands with the lesser devil in 1972
By DarkAvator on 4/30/2010 12:41:47 PM , Rating: 3
There are consequences for exploitative cheap goods and cheap labor. When Nixon shakes hands with a govt that treats its people like crap in hopes of pissing off the bigger devil, Russia, he didn't think of the long term consequences.

Actually, the US govt after JFK, has been giving welfare for the rich and the poor, and screwing the middle class.




By AssBall on 4/30/2010 3:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'll go ahead and take those consequences over the ones for artificially inflated goods and no labor.


Let's keep it real
By 91TTZ on 4/30/2010 5:08:00 PM , Rating: 3
The simple fact is that even if the US had plenty of rare-earth mines, they'd be going out of business right about now because China can sell the product cheaper than we can.

Do you really think it would make national news if 30 Chinese miners were killed in a mine accident? Do you think that mine would close down? Hell no. It would keep on operating and you'd never hear about it.




RE: Let's keep it real
By FishTankX on 5/1/2010 7:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
If cost were an issue to a product with significant national security ramifications then the government could stockpile the metal by opening mines and buying their production. Cut the red tape too. Wouldn't be the first time things happened quickly in the name of national security and allot of rare earths get used in military hardware.

same deal with the helium and oil reserves


Hmm
By thatmikeguy on 4/30/2010 4:29:49 PM , Rating: 3
I bet you guys wont get your "fish are friends not food" T-shirt! lol




Green concerns
By Kyanzes on 5/1/2010 6:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
Couldn't an executive order, issued by the president, overrule any green opposition? It takes 2/3 majority to make an exec order null and void.




Did I miss something?
By dnd728 on 5/1/2010 4:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
Rare earth metals are used for NiMH batteries, but all of those new electric vehicles would be using Li-Ion technology.

Ok, Neodymium would still be used for the electric motors, but even that's not essential - there are alternatives.




Brilliant strategy
By jp7189 on 5/3/2010 12:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
The US will be the last country left with untapped deposits. In 125 years, we'll make a roaring return back the economic stage.




Diversion
By cjk on 5/4/2010 6:12:08 AM , Rating: 2
Articles like this are just a diversionary tactic by those with a vested interest in oil. Some of us have actually done some research and realize that you reduce the number of rare earth elements if you switch from a petrol car to an electric vehicle. That's right, REDUCE.

An AC induction motor has no rare earth elements in it, and it also eliminates the catalytic converter. The only thing you need large quantities of is lithium, but that occurs in quite a few places, not to mention the fact that our portable electronics have already created a high demand for it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium#Occurrence_on...

There is no reason why an electric vehicle has to be made dependent on rare earth elements. I really get sick of so-called technology sites reporting this misinformation.




not an issue
By zephyrprime on 5/4/2010 12:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
Electric vehicles will take a long time to develop. During that time, additional mineral resources will develop.




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