The recent documentary “À Contresens : Electric vehicler, the great intoxication“, reveals that the Koch Brothers, Texan oil billionaires, activists and financial supporters of Donald Trump, have invested 10 million dollars in documentaries mediatizing that the CO2 balance of electric vehicles is worse than that of thermal models thanks to arguments such as : the “rare metals” and rare earths used in batteries, and subsequently the near depletion of these mining resources, the dependence of the electric car on child labor in the cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, lithium from South America, etc… All these arguments raise eyebrows among experts on metals and the geopolitics of natural resources.
The fact is that for the past two years these same elements created by the pro-oil have been propagated by the anti-electric car in a strong media offensive: the same arguments on “rare metals” and “rare earths”, the same pseudo-scientific studies, the same books or the same reports. The recent analysis of the magazine EnerGeek bears witness to this.
Adopted by the political world, the anti-electric car thesis is taken up again and again by mainstream media, cable news channels, and radio, which favor sensationalism, deleterious emotion, and caricature of the anti-electric car without examining, without studying the contradictory, without looking at the facts, without questioning. All this has recently led to an alternative to thermal and electric engines, the hydrogen car, without saying that natural gas would be the main winner.
In fact, the accumulation of the advantages of the electric car propelled by electricity produced, for example, by the circular economy of nuclear power had every chance of running up against the interests of the pro-oil, coupled with those of the anti-nuclear. Quite logically, the result of these two currents crystallized in the form of the movement of the anti-electric car armed with the fake news of “rare metals”. Built to discredit factories and the technical progress of electric mobility in Europe, without ever proposing an alternative if not to stop everything, this “rare metals” hoax makes companies flee, makes the industrialist look like a thug and science a curse.
Deconstructing the anti-electric fake-news
In addition to the revelation of this media offensive common to the pro-oil and anti-electric car, our interest is the deconstruction of this anti-electric fake-news by the facts: on cobalt and child labor in the DRC, on the shift from oil to metals, on lithium, on battery recycling, on the unreal “metals war” confused with the “Great Game of Metals“, on “rare metals” which do not exist -it is rather necessary to speak more intelligently about strategic or critical metals according to the state or industrial options- and on “rare earths” which are not rare, and contrary to what is hammered out, they are little mostly out and event absent from electric vehicles which is far from being the case for gasoline and diesel cars. In short, to refute the “rare metals” fake-news against electric vehicle that will no doubt be extended later on to hydrogen. This last solution has all the attractions of a political miracle thanks to green energy, but all the flaws of an environmental mistake since it will work in reality thanks to natural gas, not to mention its technical efficiency when we look closely at its energy efficiency?
That’s why this alliance between oil pros and anti-electric “rare metals” anti-electricists is losing the battle against the proponents of electric mobility: the electric vehicle is less polluting than the combustion engine. If electric vehicles do not contain rare earths, if on the other hand neither lithium, nickel nor cobalt from batteries are rare, and if finally technical progress is already replacing these metals by other abundant materials such as iron or manganese, there is little left for pro-oil to kill the electric car. In fact, whatever the origin of the electricity, thanks to its energy efficiency, the electric motor is less polluting than the combustion engine.
The other reality is that the success of battery-powered cars is gaining ground around the world. In Europe, the market share of electric cars doubled in 2019, and then doubled again in 2020. By country, at the end of the year it was 50% in Norway, 20% in Germany, 16% in the UK and 15% in France. With nearly 1.4 million electric cars sold in 2020, representing 8% of sales, the European market is the world leader, and it will double to 15% in 2021. In second place, China’s 400 automakers sold around 1.3 million electric vehicles on their domestic market. The United States lagged far behind with 350,000 units sold, and Japan peaked at 40,000 sales. In total, global sales are around 3 million vehicles, or 4% of the world market, but are expected to reach 30% in 2025 and 70% before 2040 as soon as the United States of Joe Biden’s accelerates thanks to the Democratic “green deal”: abandoning the pro-oil rhetoric of his predecessor, returning to the Paris agreements of COP 21, implementing incentives and setting a date such as 2050, after which the sale of internal combustion engines will be banned.
This intoxication carried out by the pro-oil, with the help of the anti-electric of “rare metals”, makes the experts of the metal sector smile. It will remain in our country from its beginning to its next end, an interesting case study of conspiracy that will serve as a teaching aid for the manipulation of information and media integrity in journalism and info-war schools.