U.S. lithium production

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Galane

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IMA SOL MAN said:

"The USA is trying to end dependancy on China. Do you think the domestic auto makers will allow PRC EV's into the market to cut their throats? Any politician that backed that would be in a lot of trouble with their constituents. Well, it'll probably happen, I think most of them have sold out to China already."

Except for the fields full of "sold" EVs that were just driven from the factory, had their batteries removed to run back to the factory then the powerless car pushed out into the field to rot. Then there are the fields of EVs parked from failed rental and car sharing companies.

Then there are the mountains of e-scooters and bikes piled up, with trucks bringing more. I assume they supposedly have guards but the video I saw showed a few people pushing some bikes away from the piles. I presume to hack away the payment system so they can have a free e-bike.

As bad as that are the empty fields tricked out so they appear to have crops when seen from a distance. In some places they've gone so far as to paint the ground and rocks green near the roads. I've no idea what crop they were faking with white painted rocks glued to lengths of rebar stuck into a field. The government inspectors don't care, as long as they can send in good reports, their jobs are safe.

But like any Ponzi scheme, it's going to collapse when people expect to plant or eat those nonexistent crops. Reminds me of when MiniScribe boxed up bricks to create $15 million USD in fake inventory. https://hackaday.com/2022/04/14/weve-heard-of-bricking-a-hard-drive-but/
 

Dave_H

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"Who Killed the Electric Car" while somewhat dated gives some insight (pun intended) into development/adoption of technology, and what/who can get in the way for their own purposes. It would have been fun to have an EV-1 if they had been available, even with their limitations (they weren't using Lithium at the time).

I liked the part with Elon Musk; or was that in the sequel "Revenge of the Electric Car"? itself also dated.

Ottawa Ont. has a trial (?) program with e-scooters on city streets, not sure where it's heading. Last I heard cost was 32 cents per minute. Scooter drivers often ignore good safe driving practice and there is a shortage of enforcement (such as driving on sidewalks). Technology looks interesting, Lithium is right in there.

Dave
 

jtr1962

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I've just come back from a 2+ week vacation to 2 very walkable cities: montreal canada and telluride colorado and can say no bleeping way is public transit superior to private transportation.

Nastier, smellier, no privacy, no transit capacity, etc.
Public transit would be much better if we funded it more. Unfortunately, when you kill the funding it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that private transportation is almost always better, at least in most metrics. It still fails miserably in terms of cost. Even a cheap car costs multiples of what it would cost to ride the subway every day.

That said, private transportation doesn't necessarily have to take the form of a conventional automobile. That's why I find micromobility exciting. In urban areas, and inner ring suburbs, they offer most of the speed of an automobile while being far less expensive, easier to park, and not needing a license.
Lithium production will follow what's always happened... as prices increase, extractable reserves will increase as well.

We didn't leave the stone age because we ran out of stones.
Or if the extractable lithium gets too expensive, we find alternatives, like sodium.
 

turbodog

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You're fooling yourself on the license part. Only reason some things are not required to have a license now is that they are fringe items. Let e-bikes (for one example) become the dominant transportation and they will be licensed/tagged/etc. Someone will want to 1) control them 2) get revenue from them 3) etc.
 

jtr1962

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Generally we only require licenses for activities which would be dangerous without a good amount of training. A small vehicle which can't go over ~30 mph at best really doesn't qualify.

I understand the revenue part, but realistically a lot of bike and e-bike users are broke. Any revenue you get you'll be lucky to cover the bureaucracy of the licensing procedure.
 

turbodog

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You're not thinking this through to maturation.

If a handful of e-bikes are on the streets... it's tolerated. If (and that's a big if) they are the majority, then you have a traffic control and public safety problem.

Take a 200 lb rider, 100 lb bike at 30 mph (or faster). Collide with another e-bike, pedestrian, plate glass window, etc.

And as far as licensure goes... fishermen would like a word with you.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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You're not thinking this through to maturation.

If a handful of e-bikes are on the streets... it's tolerated. If (and that's a big if) they are the majority, then you have a traffic control and public safety problem.

Take a 200 lb rider, 100 lb bike at 30 mph (or faster). Collide with another e-bike, pedestrian, plate glass window, etc.

And as far as licensure goes... fishermen would like a word with you.
So would GMRS licensees. They do not pass any test--just pay a license fee.
 

jtr1962

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Licensing though isn't going to make things safer. It certainly didn't work with automobiles. Most drivers are grossly incompetent. The general idea is people are going to act like a$$holes on the road anyway, so would you rather they do it on a ~300 lb total vehicle with a max speed of ~30 mph, or in a 3 ton SUV which can go upwards of 100 mph. Basically, you're talking over two orders of magnitude difference in kinetic energy. This isn't even getting into the potential energy of the power source. A battery on an e-bike explodes, maybe the rider dies worst case but that's exceedingly unlikely (most issues are when charging). A gas tank on an SUV explodes, you just took out an entire city block. Again, a difference of a few orders of magnitude.

The ones getting nervous about micromobility are the automakers. If it catches on big, they stand to lose a lot of sales. So of course they'll try to spread FUD and get e-bikes regulated out of existence. Require a license for an e-bike, you basically just killed them off. We required licenses for mopeds which can only go 20 to 40 mph. See how well that worked as far as getting people to use them. Those who would tend to have used mopeds (i.e. mostly young and/or broke) just don't have the money/time to get a license. Once you had e-bikes requiring no license, insurance, or registration, they caught on big time, for good reason.

The thing is legislators might favor licensing solely to extract money from e-bike riders, without even making a pretense it's for safety, but the hard fact is there isn't much money there to extract. Charge what most could afford, maybe $10 or $20, that probably doesn't even cover the bureaucracy. Charge much more, most people either give it up, or take their chances with no license. A few places in the US tried bike registration. In all cases it failed. The fees weren't much, plus it gave cops more work to do, and the type of work most of them despise. Nobody becomes a cop to give cyclists tickets.

A lot of the reckless riding I see on e-bikes is delivery people with an economic incentive to cut corners. That could be fixed by paying them a flat hourly rate instead of per delivery but the restaurants fight that tooth and nail. Also worth noting, there is a difference between reckless and illegal behavior. A lot of cyclists, both on pedal and e-bikes, engage in lots of stuff which is technically illegal but not dangerous, like treating red lights/stop signs as yields. I do that myself. To let enforcement focus on the dangerous riders, we should legalize yielding on reds/stops (and do the same for pedestrians).

For what it's worth, NYC has more people using bikes/e-bikes regularly than the entire rest of the country but I'm not seeing a big public safety problem. About 1 person on average is killed by a bike in NYC annually, versus ~200 for cars/trucks. The delivery people are the largest source of complaints but that's a fairly easy fix.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Licensing though isn't going to make things safer. It certainly didn't work with automobiles. Most drivers are grossly incompetent. The general idea is people are going to act like a$$holes on the road anyway, so would you rather they do it on a ~300 lb total vehicle with a max speed of ~30 mph, or in a 3 ton SUV which can go upwards of 100 mph. Basically, you're talking over two orders of magnitude difference in kinetic energy. This isn't even getting into the potential energy of the power source. A battery on an e-bike explodes, maybe the rider dies worst case but that's exceedingly unlikely (most issues are when charging). A gas tank on an SUV explodes, you just took out an entire city block. Again, a difference of a few orders of magnitude.

The ones getting nervous about micromobility are the automakers. If it catches on big, they stand to lose a lot of sales. So of course they'll try to spread FUD and get e-bikes regulated out of existence. Require a license for an e-bike, you basically just killed them off. We required licenses for mopeds which can only go 20 to 40 mph. See how well that worked as far as getting people to use them. Those who would tend to have used mopeds (i.e. mostly young and/or broke) just don't have the money/time to get a license. Once you had e-bikes requiring no license, insurance, or registration, they caught on big time, for good reason.

The thing is legislators might favor licensing solely to extract money from e-bike riders, without even making a pretense it's for safety, but the hard fact is there isn't much money there to extract. Charge what most could afford, maybe $10 or $20, that probably doesn't even cover the bureaucracy. Charge much more, most people either give it up, or take their chances with no license. A few places in the US tried bike registration. In all cases it failed. The fees weren't much, plus it gave cops more work to do, and the type of work most of them despise. Nobody becomes a cop to give cyclists tickets.

A lot of the reckless riding I see on e-bikes is delivery people with an economic incentive to cut corners. That could be fixed by paying them a flat hourly rate instead of per delivery but the restaurants fight that tooth and nail. Also worth noting, there is a difference between reckless and illegal behavior. A lot of cyclists, both on pedal and e-bikes, engage in lots of stuff which is technically illegal but not dangerous, like treating red lights/stop signs as yields. I do that myself. To let enforcement focus on the dangerous riders, we should legalize yielding on reds/stops (and do the same for pedestrians).

For what it's worth, NYC has more people using bikes/e-bikes regularly than the entire rest of the country but I'm not seeing a big public safety problem. About 1 person on average is killed by a bike in NYC annually, versus ~200 for cars/trucks. The delivery people are the largest source of complaints but that's a fairly easy fix.
You can't go by walking city traffic needs to prescribe transportation for the rest of the nation. The only walking city that I have spent any time knocking about in was Paris, France back in 2005. Busted out laughing when I first saw a 2-door SMART car there. I was using public transportation, primarily the Metro (subway). Shopping was difficult. I wanted to buy a box fan, (heatwave that summer) but couldn't figure out how to get it back to my apartment. How do big city people shop without a car or pickup to get stuff home? Public transportation just isn't practical in flyover land.
1690407652231.png
 
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jtr1962

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How do big city people shop without a car or pickup to get stuff home? Public transportation just isn't practical in flyover land.
View attachment 46688
We have a lot of stuff delivered. Since there are lots of people here without cars, there's demand for store delivery.

That said, I've watched videos in the Netherlands where people are bringing home a fridge or stove on a cargo bike. So it can be done. It might be more problematic in NYC because we're not flat like the Netherlands. You would need a cargo bike with motor assist to lug 500 pounds up some of the hills here.
 

turbodog

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Licensing though isn't going to make things safer...

That's a lotta words. Not about safety. It's about a reasonable justification to enact regs on something.

On the practical side... regulation: license, tag, insurance will keep underage drivers off them largely.

If my umbrella policy didn't cover my biking liabilities I'd go get a policy that did.

But I digress. The market's not going to wait around for a Na-based solution to finish r/d, testing, certification, scaled-up mfg, etc.

As adoption increases, recapturing Li from the recycle/waste stream will develop. This is self-limiting issue, not one to spiral into a positive feedback loop.
 

idleprocess

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The ones getting nervous about micromobility are the automakers.
Hardly. Read on.

For what it's worth, NYC has more people using bikes/e-bikes regularly than the entire rest of the country
NYC also has density and a physical layout retaining much of its pre-automobile roots. This is present in some other cities to a varying degree, largely in their core areas.

Anyway. Let's contrast NYC with my local core city and burb of residence:
CityPopulationArea (mi²)Density
New York, NY8,804,19034025,895
Dallas, TX1,304,3793004,348
Lewisville, TX113,760373,075

NYC is roughly a factor of 6 more dense than Dallas, a factor of 8 more dense than Lewisville.

I've never visited NYC but a friend has and spent a few weeks in this general area. Retail, commercial, residential all blend together - and I gather the surface parking lot is rather the exception. Can walk to a local eatery, grocery, other retail in a distance that might be shorter than the distance from your car to the entrance of the local megalomart in suburbia; as best I can tell this is commonplace throughout most of NYC. Speed limits - and actual speeds that vehicles realize - look to be considerably lower than in other metro areas I've visited.

Now let's take a snapshot of Dallas proper. Here's a somewhat typical confluence of a residential area with a neighborhood shopping plaza; that block wall between the residential area and the shopping center is par for the course. Or looking the other way from the intersection (that's pretty typical traffic). The 6-lane stroads are >99.9% about automobiles and drivers know it. Even at a signalled intersection with a crosswalk and pedestrian signals you've got to keep your wits about you as a pedestrian.

Another scene in uptown Dallas that I see ~weekly as my employer's office isn't too far away (of mild infamy in 2020 for a pile of bricks people got way excited about during some unrest months later, disregarding its presence predating said unrest by some time). While far superior to the bulk of low-density Dallas for walkability, it's still a product of the automobile - the underground parking garage to the left and parking lot to the right are all too common even in downtown proper.

And now my berg, Lewisville. Here's the approach to one of the shopping plazas. That dude in orange is one lonely, unfortunate fella walking into the wash of 50MPH traffic that largely will not see him ... and judging by his trajectory he's going to have to walk at least half-mile (assuming he's going to the next most proximate cluster of apartment buildings as opposed to crossing the highway further west). Better can be had in Old Town which is trying to approximate something like urbanism ... but the radius of reasonable walkability is short and the short/intermediate-term potential to improve said walkability is rather limited.

The outcomes of a ~century of government policies and the resulting financial incentives can be undone of course, but it would be a slow roll - decades - even if consensus existed that we need to do something about automotive dependency. But said consensus does not exist so it's going to be even slower. Assuming of course that economic trends don't force the likes of Long Beach upon suburbia with organic densification through subdivision of properties and small-scale consolidation reducing the pressure to own automobiles.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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I flew in and out of Dallas-Ft. Worth back in the early '80s one night. Good grief that metro is huge! Lights for miles and miles. I flew from there into Waco. Waco has really wide streets, and that was explained to me that when the town was created, the streets were made wide to drive cattle through. I was impressed.
 

Galane

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A big issue with public transportation / mass transit in the USA is there are only a few places with enough population density where it makes sense to implement. America is littered with small towns of a few thousand people and less. West of the Mississippi those small towns are also widely spaced. People in those towns often have to travel 20 to 75 miles to get to the "big city" that's over 10,000 people where there may be bigger stores.

The town I live in has around 5,000 people. Many currently in use cruise ships hold more people than that.

Another angle on it is when the Emerald Belles high school dance troupe competed on America's Got Talent, they said they were from a "small town" in Texas. I looked it up and their idea of "small" was well over 30,000 people.

So for the vast majority of the area of the USA, there is exactly zero mass transit "solution" that will work because there will never be large groups of people all needing or wanting to go to the same place at the same time, and even if there are, it's at least a 20 mile trip.

I'd love to see the idea of a "legislative wall" around all population zones of 100,000 or more people. They get to pass all the crazy laws they want, to only affect the people inside the virtual wall. Leave us out here in the hinterlands the hell alone.
 

turbodog

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Oh, this "green" new world! Sure, marxists will never lie to you!




It is green because they will kill anyone if it smells green dollars. And the moronic mob will extol them for introducing the new slavery.


What you are seeing is not the mining... you are seeing lack of 1) environmental regs 2) corruption 3) people that are desperate for work 4) etc. Yes mining is dangerous (history of it in the US can tell you that). But it doesn't have to be _deadly_.
 

orbital

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There's a gravel mine not far from me, went to a couple meetings on it.
Mines really don't have to do much at all, to reclaim the land back to original.

Just the way the Mining Act is in the ol' USA.
 
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