CHOICE membership

Electric and Alternative Vehicle Fuels


Mercedes has cast its vote.


This has been an on-going spend into the many $Billions over the years. Hydrogen is good for the environment if it is produced in a “clean” manner and not as a part of the oil chain as much of it is currently. Who benefits from Hydrogen production from oil? Hmm let me think on that but it couldn’t be the oil moguls could it?.

Then there is getting sufficient storage and dispensing systems, and if you keep internal combustion systems you still need lubrication, filters, electrical ignition systems including spark plugs, and all the production and consumption that entails keeping many spares businesses rolling in the funds… EVs however have fewer moving parts so less consumption of products/spares to maintain the vehicles. While this EV problem isn’t so much about jets the spend on Hydrogen hasn’t just been about jets it has mainly been the spend on maintaining internal combustion in whatever form it takes and so far is still much about research than actual domestic production. The question is why so much on this while stifling innovation into products that do have domestic production right now.

I agree that removing kerosene (jet fuel) and replacing it with hydrogen is great but how it is produced, and the stored energy density (and how to do it efficiently) required are important factors to be considered.

If as much had been spent on EV research I think we would be so much further down the track with an already proven technology than we currently are. But the money isn’t spent on this because it would remove a lot of consumption out of a profit driven system that relies very heavily on consumers consuming in ever increasing amounts.


Electric vehicles to be built in Adelaide starting next year with a plan to build 15,000 a year and export 80% of them.

Great stuff.


By 2039…not all that impressive. Toyota has indicated a maximum date of 2050 as well.

Oil prices by then, due to passing of peak oil (?) and pressire on remaining resources, may drive change anyway.


It doesn’t remind you of those election promises whereby they sound good but are meaningless unless the party making them is re-elected for a third term after making them?


Is there a disconnect here between reality and expectations?

There are Aussie goals of 50% of all new vehicle sales to be EVs by 2030 for the local team in one corner and between 25 &50% for the team in the other corner. A rank outsider is sitting on 100%?

Admittedly Australia’s new car dealers only need to lift EV sales year on year by approx 60% each year for EVs to reach 50% of all new sales by 2030. The target for 2019 would be approx 4320 EV sales up from est 2700 total EV sales in 2018.

My recommendation for 2019. Just stick a Porsche badge on all EV’s. Their dealers sold 3,909 new ones in 2018. Hardly a challenge for any car sales team with their level of talent, and given their customers will actually pay less for an EV than a new 911! :upside_down_face:

I’m not singling out Porsche drivers here for any reason other than their sales numbers. It would be equally pleasing to see Audi, BMW, Ferrari dealers rise to the challenge and refuse to sell any thing other than an EV as of this year. It also notes that economically the new EV owner will also be saving money on a vehicle that is cheaper to run. I’ll be expecting great deals to follow on second hand Porsche, Ferrari etc. they have to dump the trade ins some where? :smiley:


The link to “Who Killed the Electric Car” linked by @Fred123 above should answer most of why there is so little movement in this area and why even Hydrogen gets so much hype over the EV industry.


An article regarding research into cheaply and simply converting methane to methanol.


Volvo plans to half of all their vehicle fully electric by 2025 and signs multi-billion battery deal.


An article regarding increasing lithium production with demand predicted to reach 1 million tonnes in 2025.–-here-come-the-deals/ar-AABrfO1?ocid=spartandhp


1kg of Lithium is consumed in producing approx 6kWh of batteries.

Hence a Tesla-3, 75kWh battery pack consumes approx 12kg of metallic Lithium in its manufacture.

Or a Powerwall 2, approx 2kg of Lithium.

Although differences in battery technologies may use a little less.

Hence the million tonne mark for Lithium metal production is enough to power 83 million Tesla-3 vehicles or construct 500million Powerwalls.

Australia accounts for approx 1.5% of world GDP, (it peaked at just over 2% in 2013 and has been falling back since). Potentially Australia could readily take 1% of this production in battery storage, as EVs (830,000) in one year, or home power storage (5million units) or a combination of both?

About the same total cost as the NBN, or a small pond full of submarines, only more useful to the average household and consumer. :upside_down_face:


China has substantial lithium reserves, but they’re at high altitudes and difficult to exploit, so Chinese companies are buying up sources around the world. Australia might benefit from cheaper processing of our reserves.


Lithium is only one of the key metals ueed to manufacture lithium ion batteries. Others include nickel and cobalt.

One thing which is often ignored in the future energy debate is the environmental and social impacts of winning key materials used in battery manufacture. Currently the focus is on reducing CO2 emissions and/or reliance on fossil fuels for transport and electricity. One also needs to weigh up which is worse, contributing CO2 in the atmosphere or winning of metals for batteries which have, and potentially have, significant environmental impacts. This article summaries some of these impacts and challenges associated with winning metals for lithium ion batteries.

I believe that the debate needs to bring in these externalised impacts so that as a community we can best assess which energy solution should be persued for long term energy needs.

For one having visited some of the sensitve environments where metal mining occurs for lithium ion batteries, I am not sure that it is ultimately the best replacement for traditional energy. While we may not see these other impacts first hand, others do and there have been community backlash from these metal mining operations.

While lithium and other metal recycling from spent batteries is important, this will only provide a very small amount of material in future battery manufacture as the demand for metals will far exceed and recovered through recycling.

Do we need to pollute our planet further in a different way in the quest to provide a future energy source? I don’t not the answer but have thoughts, and something which needs to be discussed.


Lithium is also not the only battery chemistry. Whatever we do, we must get better at recovering and reusing what we dig up. Far too much ends up as landfill or pollution.

Is that necessarily so? What evidence do you have that substantial recovery is impossible?

Our aim should be to recover and reuse every molecule extracted. That might not be achievable, but it’s worth a shot.


I never said that recovery is impossible, it is very possible however the amount recovered through resource recovery (recycling) will not meet future demdnd for battery metals for new production. With a forecast exploding production (potentially exponential growth) of battery and battery systems in the coming decades, there will be an enormous reliance of mined metals to satisify demand. Such will pose significant environmental and social impacts which needs to be factored into governnent and industry decision making.

The only time that recycled metals will meet demand is where the long term production growth of battery and battery systems are static or declining (medium term zero to negative growth assuming full metal recovery from spend battery and battery systems). This possibly won’t or may never occur unless there is a significant change in energy technologies.and/or world population.


In the mass of mining globally, mining for renewables is unlikely to be significant. Given that renewables substitute for fuels which must be mined continuously, the net impact will probably be a net reduction in mining overall.

I live in the Hunter Valley. If you want to see impacts, then come to the Coalfields. You’ll see impacts by the hundreds of hectares. Lithium mining is not inherently more harmful than any other form of mining. Strangely enough, climate change might offer an opportunity. Desalination produces concentrated brine as a byproduct. Among other things, lithium can be extracted from that brine.

Yes, we will eventually encounter The Limits to Growth (so to speak).


A simple look at technology and history demonstrates that step changes in technology occur often enough to make this outcome likely.

The likely alternative is development of a storage battery technology that has a very long life and low losses.

We had telephony and teletype technology without vacuum tubes.
Vacuum tube technology enabled universal radio and later broadcast solutions.
Early computing equipment used mechanical means, even into early electrically powered solutions the relay was essential.
The first solid state computers used leaky low voltage geranium doped transistors.
The first digital IC had power demands for four logic gates greater than the low powered versions of a modern mobile phone processor.
And a modern semiconductor can switch high voltages and currents with losses of less than 1% using step changes in the materials and design that use properties far different to the first transistor.

We seem to do more with less?


Yes, it is likely at some stage in the future, but significant investment in lithium ion battery technologies will take some time …the same time it would take for lithium ion adoption itself. Use in the transport sector will also slow change as this is affected by life of vehicles and the cost to change.

There has been research into higher capacity mixed metal batteries (other than lithium ion) but there hasn’t been anything yet likely to compete with current technologies and its development.

As lithium and other battery metals are mined in some of the most environmentally sensitive areas on the planet (for example the salt lakes areas in the Andes plateau), along with problematic byproducts of metal processing (highly toxic compounds, radioactive wastes, surface brine management etc), thought must be given to whether humans damaging new areas which historically have not been subject to major human interference is a good thing.

There are advocates of lithium ion battery technologies which ignore the pre-use impacts of this technology (maybe considered unavoidable ‘collateral damage’ so that their own aspirations can be achieved), but such needs to discussed when considering a favoured technology in the future.

No potential future energy technologies are perfect and have unintended consequence both socially, economically/financially and environmentally. To favour one over another without considering all the advantages and disadvantages will only lead to future headaches/heartaches. I believe that time is well overdue to consider such impacts to ensure that we can have a better and brighter looking future. I would rather have informed decisions accepted by the community as a whole rather than relying on the marketing hype of vested interests.


You imply that all mining for battery technologies damages “the most environmentally sensitive areas on the planet”. Can you substantiate that?

Mining causes damage. Coming from a coal-mining area, I’m fully aware of that.

What technologies do you advocate that don’t involve mining (or at least mining only in non-sensitive environments)?


The linked article above provides some information to answer your questions and concerns.

While existing mining operations will satisfy some of the future demand, there will needs to be extensive investment by the mining industry, like that seen in Chile and Bolivia to exploit new resources to meet forecast future demand. Some of the world unique ecosystems will be impacted by this new mine development, and will never recover from the impacts.

This article as well as many ithers also raise some of the risks…

The World Bank has also identified some of the key challenges as well…

I am also not saying that expansion of mining should/shouldn’t occur, but the full impacts of future technology adoption needs to be considered. As a world as a whole, it may be decided ro sacrifice some ecosystems to benefit the world as a whole…but I am yet to see any evidence or assessment indicating such and that the additional environmental and social pressures due to one technology balance it is favour of others

I never said that technologies don’t involve mining. What I said is one/community needs to be fully aware of the impacts on any existing or new impacts before making decisions on which technologies are adopted in the future. There is no point in replacing traditional technology with another which also causes new irreversible and significant impacts.

I also am fully aware of coal and other mining impacts as I have worked with this industry in the past (both in pre-operation approval process, operating and decommissioning/rehabilitation phases). In the past in balance the mining of coal over rode the impacts. These impacts were seen in the past as being acceptable as energy was a key driver and overriding factor…now times have changed through the realisation of the long term impacts of CO2 emissions.

The same assessment should be done with resources required for future energy technologies before it is too late.