A mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen soon because of the difficulty of producing them on a commercially viable basis, one of the largest makers of zero-emission vehicles for British drivers has warned.
Paul Philpott, UK chief executive of Kia, the fast-growing South Korean car company, said it had no immediate plans for a mass-market electric product.
Some fear there is a prospect of a society of haves and have-nots in the electric car revolution because of the sheer cost of buying or financing a zero-emission vehicle.
The Green antinomians insist that the proles shouldn’t in fact have a go anywhere, anywhen means of personal transportation. How can they be controlled if such mobility is available?
The battery pack is the costliest component of an electric car. The smaller the car, the larger the proportion the battery in its production cost.
That, I think, is solvable. In fact, I’ll make a prediction, it will be solved.
Currently lithium is of the order of $80,000 a tonne, around and about. Give it a decade – perhaps half that – and I’d expect to see lithium at $8k a tonne, perhaps below.
That won’t solve the depreciation problem, there will still be an entire absence of £500 beaters out there. But that cost problem at the front, yes, that will go away.
There’s just so much damn lithium out there. We do not have a shortage of it that can be extracted. We only have a shortage of people able to extract right now. There’s so much capital roaring into this sector that it’s going to go into gross oversupply, most of the people hoping to mine for it will go bust. This is not because I am gifted with second sight, but because I have third sight. This is just what always does happen with minerals and metals. Far from the idiot insistence of the Club of Rome and all that, minerals become cheaper the more we apply our minds to go finding them. Julian Simon was right.
As we noted just last week there’re those blokes who think they can extract, profitably, from the Red Sea. I think they’re being a bit hopeful but the next notch up, from geothermal waters (Salton Sea, Cornwall, German power stations, desalination plants) is already known to be practicable and economic.
That still leaves the issue of how to kill off the antinomians but one problem at a time, one problem at a time.