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Old 10-16-2019, 12:11 PM   #29
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What rare earths are you referring to?
Besides the obvious lithium and cobalt, they need boron, terbium, neodymium, lanthanum and dysprosium, among others.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:18 PM   #30
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Rare earths are used to refer to several elements, some of which are used in the manufacture of hi tech widgets. Oversimplification, but that's it. Rare earths are found throughout the world, the mining and processing capability in China is very large. They saw an opportunity and took it. However in the current global situation other countries are seeing the potential issue and addressing their capability to mine and process.
So while some might consider the rare earth situation critical it is only a potential short term one in my opinion.

But feel free to research this topic on your own. Lots of stuff out there.

Regarding the whole EV topic, I welcome the technology and believe it is in the future of transportation. Not the only answer but a good one. I own Tesla stock, not to make a profit(been my biggest loser this year) but because I feel it is the future. To date my only EV is a bike but know if I live long enough there will be more.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:45 PM   #31
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In 1890 over 90% of New York City taxi's were electric. They had really hopped on the bandwagon. Strangely, today, something sounds familiar.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:56 PM   #32
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Besides the obvious lithium and cobalt, they need boron, terbium, neodymium, lanthanum and dysprosium, among others.
Lithium, cobalt and boron are not “rare earths” and none are rare as the label implys which has more to do with the state they are found in.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:59 PM   #33
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In 1890 over 90% of New York City taxi's were electric. They had really hopped on the bandwagon. Strangely, today, something sounds familiar.
Yes and there has been no change in the technology since then.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:13 PM   #34
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The issue with nuclear location is a small part of the problem. The problem of storing spent fuel rods is the main problem as with disposing of anything radioactive.
On Netflix there is a video about Bill Gates. Towards the end of the video he has agreement with China to build nuclear reactors using spent fuel!!
Yes you hear correctly but I’m sure there are big hurdles to solve.
Politics is in the way because it is China.

It is a two part documentary but well worth the time.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:05 PM   #35
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On Netflix there is a video about Bill Gates. Towards the end of the video he has agreement with China to build nuclear reactors using spent fuel!!
Yes you hear correctly but I’m sure there are big hurdles to solve.
Politics is in the way because it is China.

It is a two part documentary but well worth the time.

Wow, I'm glad they solved that problem so easily. Maybe they could solve the meaning of life and mortality for us in their next video!!
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #36
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Maybe they could solve the meaning of life...
The answer is 42.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:16 PM   #37
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The answer is 42.
But what is the question? Everyone knows that's the hard part.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:52 AM   #38
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There are currently other options. The problem with those alternative fuels is that the cost. A diesel powered pickup truck will cost you $50,000 plus about $0.20 per mile in fuel. You can do the same work with a fuel cell powered truck for an initial cost of $90,000 and about $2.00 per mile in fuel. Which one will you pick?


Every single alternative fuel we have costs far more than gasoline and diesel, and isn't really any cleaner. Electric vehicles just push the pollution back on the grid, which is fossil fuel based, and they have batteries that extremely bad for the environment and difficult to dispose of. Fuel cells use hydrogen and air. They seem perfect, until you realize that our primary source of hydrogen is refining crude oil. Every other source of hydrogen requires more energy than you get out of using the hydrogen, so you've got to fuel that hydrogen production with some other source. Currently, that's fossil fuels, so fuel cells also just push the pollution back a level. Solar power could be used, except there's no way to store solar power for later use on large scales. You also can't get much when it's raining, or just cloudy, etc. Wind power has similar issues. It isn't windy everywhere, and it's hard to store wind power. Hydroelectric dams are a joke really. There's nowhere near enough water sources for that to even be close to viable.



Nuclear reactors on the other hand are freaking awesome! They aren't perfect, but they are way better all of our other options. Sadly, nobody wants a nuke in their town. They are extremely safe, but people are afraid of them.


The issue isn't vehicles; it's the grid. We have to change the main grid, then we'll actually see change. Until then, we're going to have diesel and gasoline on the roads.
Well said

EV's have a place in congested areas but anyone thinking that they are a panacea is probably a political pawn

How long will it be before political leaders decide reduced population is a better solution?

Transferring wealth does nothing to fix problems which is all climate change rhetoric is
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:22 AM   #39
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The transition away from fossil fuels is a lot further along than several people in this thread seem to realize. Even focusing on the US, which is lagging most of the rest of the developed world on this, in just the past decade coal has dropped from ~50% to ~25% of electricity generated while wind and solar have grown from 0% to 10%.

Renewable sources now generate more electricity than nuclear and will pass coal within a couple of years. Natural gas still covers about a third of electrical generation, but has already peaked. Renewables account for two thirds of the electric capacity being added this year. There are NO new coal power plants being built in the US any more and fewer new natural gas plants each year. Wind and solar now cost less than both (and MUCH less than nuclear) nearly everywhere.

As for oil, plausible estimates of peak demand for oil range now from 'any day now' to 2030. At this point the change is inevitable and government interventions can only alter the date by a few years. Five years ago Norway set a target of all new vehicles having zero emissions by 2025 and put policies in place to make EVs less costly. EVs now account for more than 50% of new car sales and it looks like they'll easily beat the 2025 date... and that's for ZERO new gasoline powered cars. Other countries are doing nothing or even trying to prop up gas burners, but the economics are inevitable... EVs get cheaper to buy every year and have always been cheaper to operate. Even just 5% (as opposed to the current ~2%) of new vehicles worldwide being EVs would signal a permanent decline in oil use going forward.

EVs are now hitting ranges of 500 miles or more. Electric pickups, SUVs, and semis are all coming out in the next year... and promising performance significantly better than gasoline equivalents. Meanwhile, purchase prices are coming down to meet those of gasoline vehicles. In short, EVs will soon be superior to ICEs in nearly every way.

When that happens there WILL be a massive market shift over to EVs (again, look at Norway where it has already happened) and that WILL result in governments turning away from supporting ICEs. Over the next 20 years some countries will ban them outright while others will just neglect to protect them from market forces which will make them more and more expensive to own. In 30 years the only gasoline powered vehicles left will be luxury collectors items.

If you are already retired or about to in the next few years then you will probably be ok with a petroleum driven motorhome. After that you are likely going to be better off with an electric option.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:24 PM   #40
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For those of us already retired, I doubt we'll see the retirement of the ICE engine RV's. I do however think RV's in general will decline in use significantly, due to a lot of different factors, many of which will be places they can be used.


Get into the Popular Mechanics, or Popular Science archives, and look at predictions of future tech. With the hindsight of time, it's kind of interesting. One theme you'll notice though is that change takes much longer most of the time than predicted


There is still a long way to go before heavy duty electric vehicles can replace ICE in many if not most situations. The current electric market is small, select individuals largely invested in wanting it to work. As the market expands, customers will become more discriminating, and the many issues with ramping up capabilities of both the vehicles, and support infrastructure will become more pronounced.


I personally think electric vehicles will be the future, and for a lot of reasons think it will be a good thing. I also think it will be a somewhat slow process, maybe 10 years for truck type vehicles that can take heavy loads reasonable distances to start coming on line as more than a niche type product, and probably 20 years before they start becoming a major part of heavy trucking, with support infrastructure being a major holdup.

I generally agree with your statement, but would add 10 years to both your numbers above. Until a sustainable method to produce enough electricity is in place, and high speed chargers to deliver it, ICE vehicles will still rule the roads.

I believe the answer to production is in Molten Salt Reactors, or more specifically Liquid Fluorine Thorium Reactors. LFTR - pronounced “Lifter”. (Google Kirk Sorensen of Flibe Energy).

Unfortunately, politics is standing in the way as most politicians don’t want their name associated with anything that has the word “nuclear” in it.

As for EVs they are still not a car for the masses, but for the enthusiast or crusader. ( though Tesla is pushing that boundary really hard). To bad they’re so dang expensive!
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:29 PM   #41
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I generally agree with your statement, but would add 10 years to both your numbers above. Until a sustainable method to produce enough electricity is in place, and high speed chargers to deliver it, ICE vehicles will still rule the roads.

I believe the answer to production is in Molten Salt Reactors, or more specifically Liquid Fluorine Thorium Reactors. LFTR - pronounced “Lifter”. (Google Kirk Sorensen of Flibe Energy).

Unfortunately, politics is standing in the way as most politicians don’t want their name associated with anything that has the word “nuclear” in it.

As for EVs they are still not a car for the masses, but for the enthusiast or crusader. ( though Tesla is pushing that boundary really hard). To bad they’re so dang expensive!
I don’t know. A lot of people spend 40,000 on a car now a days. Is that even an expensive car nowadays considering the performance, features and convenience?
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:49 PM   #42
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The issue with nuclear location is a small part of the problem. The problem of storing spent fuel rods is the main problem as with disposing of anything radioactive.


See my post on LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) above.

Technology has been around since the 50’s and Oak Ridge National Laboratory ran a variant of it from 1965 to 1969. Program was scrapped as the US moved toward solid fuel Light Water Reactors. Mostly because of the ability to weaponize Uranium.

LFTR reactors are much more efficient, and much less dangerous. This technology needs a rebirth.
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