UK and EU Car Legislation for Electrification of Vehicles

One major flaw in much of the modern legislation and control is expecting events and systems to perform perfectly, quite often demanding a set of circumstances that are not capable. Take for instance the UK’s and EU’s view on electric vehicle replacement with a deadline. UK being 2030, 8 years away and EU’s being now 2035, 11 years away. If you used most of the world’s current lithium production then yes, the UK can do it on schedule. Similarly, the EU requires the current worlds production of lithium each year, or it has to drastically reduce the number of new cars produced each year, the world needing 10 times the current lithium production to keep the same level of cars being produced. Lithium production has increased over the last 20 years, but nowhere near the levels required. Production was about 12,000 tonnes a year in 1996, 20,000 in 2005, 28,000 in 2010, 38,000 in 2016, 95,000 in 2018 and about 100,000 tonnes now, basically on 3 plateaus of production as planned new sources were expanded and came on line, but few such new planned sources are in the pipeline now, so it may plateau at that for half or all of the time legislation requires exponential increases. Economies of scale are claimed, but the lithium cost has increased while the proportion being production costs have reduced to a tiny fraction making batteries very much cheaper, now overall about 14% of that 10 years ago. At the start production was about 96% of the cost of a battery, lithium 4%, now production is about 70% of the cost of a battery, lithium about 30% and will probably not change much further, except for the lithium proportional cost to increase, making batteries more expensive as the price rises. and scarcity cuts in. Lithium in 2000 was about $15 per Kg, now being about $75 per Kg and the price will only go up as the demand increases.

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