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Snippet of Electric Vehicle Podcast: EV News and Discussions: Theo talks to Vincent Heeringa on This Climate Business

Last Played: May 17, 2021
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One of the questions EV owners hear a lot is "what do you do with the battery when it's done?" This snippet explores the nuances and answers to that question. another question that comes up often is, "What happens to the metals used in EV batteries when they're through being used? which is answered as well. Finally, hydrogen fuel cells are considered as a viable option and compared to more inexpensive options, down to the molecular level.
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you know, I'm going to ask the dumb questions. So the three and probably the questions you get the most, I reckon, Yeah, what do you do with the battery of an E V? When? When it's done well done, it's not that simple. A battery isn't done with an E V. I mean, when, when? When a car gets to a stage where you've got reduced range, you know your your car might have 100 and 50 case and and 10 years time and money only have 100 or 80 K's worth of range, so that that battery is still really great and really, really useful. So the logical thing and that's what lots of businesses are looking at doing is taking that out, plugging it into your home. Then you got battery storage for your solar array or, um, plugging it into grid storage. Or there's lots of uses for that battery battery. Beyond driving, it is this sort of secondary market, totally batteries, and I think you know, if I had lots of money, I'd probably start looking at doing battery recycling because in about 5 to 10 years time, everyone's gonna be needing to recycle those old grid back. Yeah, well, you heard it here first. A second question Theo is, um there's some criticism of batteries for the use of metals like cobalt, which is mind, I believe in a really unsustainable way. And, um, and they still rely on heavy metals, which horribly toxic, probably rare. Um, possibly end up in landfill. Um, are we replacing one kind of dirty fuel for another? I don't think so. I think I think we're kind of in this, uh, this middle step, you know, there there are a lot better in the fact that they're not, You know, we're reducing our admission, our emissions. You know, the amount of cobalt and heavy metals in the batteries is reducing all the time. I mean, Tesla was a big factor in that. They've kind of building a lot cleaner batteries. And because of this kind of mass adoption of E. V s, you're seeing the change in battery chemistry. So everyone's working on the solid state battery now, and I think we're probably five years away from seeing some massive advancements in battery technology where we're not using those materials. I mean, there is There is awareness about how bad badly the whole cobalt mining is is around the world. And there are places that are more ethically, you know, ethically consults the cobalt. So, yeah, I think it's a work in progress, but I think it's gonna move a lot quicker than the oil industry ever did. That's for sure. Um, my third question is hydrogen hydrogen is still viewed very fondly by many people because it's abundant. Uh, it's so clean, the hydrogen fuel cell technology has really advanced. Right? Um, incredibly expensive. Yes. Why is it expensive? Well, because everyone thinks that hydrogen is readily available, but it's not because you have to use a huge amount of electricity to generate that hydrogen. Um and then it doesn't really exist in A doesn't actually exist. We have to make it. And then we've got to put it in a hydrogen refueling stations. So the cost to for one and every water molecule surely you think you think right. But I mean, they they Yeah, it's just currently the way they are harvesting it, it's, you know, it's a really expensive proposition, so you have to use a huge amount of energy to effectively extract hydrogen from whatever source that you might get it from, You know, like your ear or water. Yeah. And your point is the cost of that energy. Kind of offsets any benefit that you might have down the line. Yeah. I mean, there are There are a few use cases for the hydrogen, which are really good, like in heavy industry, like with boats and ferries. Uh, you know, container ships and trucks where you need that long haul range. Um, where you could install hydrogen refueling station at a port or somewhere like destination charges, um, where you could refuel those. But for, you know, if we were to do that to the entire vehicle fleet of New Zealand, that would be a massive expense, much more than putting in some E V charges around the New Zealand. So it might, you think, might have a use case that's limited to certain sort of scenarios. Just trance place. I don't think it's, but I don't think it's gonna be for mass market. I really don't. I think batteries are moving at such a pace. And, uh, you know, we're already up to a 400 or 500 kilometer battery and you can charge that in like, 20 minutes. It's pretty good
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