Latest Attack on EVs Digs Deep on Mining

A new video attacks electric cars at the source of their power, but do the claims hold up?

Fueling U.S. Forward is an organization set up to promote the use of fossil fuels. It is run by Charles Drevena, a long-time oil lobbyist. The group is funded by the Koch brothers, who have spent years funding groups working to promote the use of fossil fuels and deny climate change.

“Electric Cars are more toxic to humans than average cars,” according to the text of the video.

But is that statement accurate? Or are their claims misleading? Desmog Blog has gone through the claims in the video.

The claims in the video center on mining of the metals used for battery production. Fueling U.S. Forward lumps them into the rare earth metals category, although they call out cobalt and lithium, which are not rare earth metals.

SEE ALSO: Canadian-Mined Rare Earth In Your Next EV?

Fueling U.S. Forward’s issue with those metals centers on the pollution and child labour used in the mining of those metals in the Congo. Which is a real problem, and is well documented.

It’s also one that electric car companies are already aware of and are working on. Tesla, for example, has said that it will obtain all of its cobalt from mines in North America, mined under much more environmentally friendly conditions and with greater monitoring.

The claim also ignores that those metals are used in every lithium battery, including the millions found in phones, laptops and other devices. Cobalt is also used in the refining of oil that Fueling U.S. Forward promotes. Cerium is used in the catalytic converters fitted to cars.

“And many of the batteries end up in landfills” is the final claim.

Electric cars are new enough that very few batteries have reached the end of their service life. When they do, though, companies are ready to recycle the batteries in order to reclaim the metals or even reuse the batteries on the electric grid for storage.

Some of the mining to make parts for electric cars does have an environmental impact. But it’s an impact shared with internal combustion engine cars, and one that has solutions.

Desmog Blog

 


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