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Why Production of Hybrid Cars are Not the Solution to Global Warming or Pollution

Updated on December 30, 2010

Hybrid Car Facts - Not Enough Natural Resources For All

There are simply not enough raw materials to convert all the Worlds Automobiles to Hybrid Technologies, nor electric for that matter. As the availability of scarce metals rises so will the costs. At one point the hybrid will simply be so cost prohibitive that gasoline will look like a bargain.

So the solution is not one technology. I follow and write about the Automotive Industry quite extensively. The real problem that we have as humans is we are consumers, we want and want then want some more. When we look at “solutions” to problems we view them from our own perspective and out own short life spans.

Often we overlook the micro details for the macro picture and in this case the micro details are simply lack of supply.

I did not write this article, it’s a Reuters News Release and is being published all over the web today. But this is exactly the kind of Automotive News that needs to be reported BEFORE the media jumps on the Hybrid Bandwagon.

Alternative Transportation solutions are complex and challenging at a level that the average consumer can not even begin to comprehend. We all want “green cars”, we want to breathe clean air, and feel like we are doing our part. But there is a tradeoff for every solution. And is it safe to introduce these metals into the environment in which they are required to mass produce Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Is anyone planning for how to properly dispose of all the batteries and components? And what will the cost of recycling these metals be if they can be recycled? What damage to the environment is being created by mining these materials? Man questions remain to be answered. Who will answer these questions - the manufactures of the Products? Government? Scholars?

So please with out further introduction consider one alarming truth about the production of hybrid electric vehicles.

Shortage of Rare Metals Foreseen as Hybrid Cars Increase Demand

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods.

That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells.

Worldwide demand for rare earths, covering 15 entries on the periodic table of elements, is expected to exceed supply by some 40,000 tons annually in several years unless major new production sources are developed. One promising U.S. source is a rare earths mine slated to reopen in California by 2012.

Among the rare earths that would be most affected in a shortage is neodymium, the key component of an alloy used to make the high-power, lightweight magnets for electric motors of hybrid cars, such as the Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Focus, as well as in generators for wind turbines.

Close cousins terbium and dysprosium are added in smaller amounts to the alloy to preserve neodymium's magnetic properties at high temperatures. Yet another rare earth metal, lanthanum, is a major ingredient for hybrid car batteries.

Production of both hybrids cars and wind turbines is expected to climb sharply amid the clamor for cleaner transportation and energy alternatives that reduce dependence on fossil fuels blamed for global climate change.

Toyota has 70 percent of the U.S. market for vehicles powered by a combination of an internal-combustion engine and electric motor. The Prius is its No. 1 hybrid seller.

Jack Lifton, an independent commodities consultant and strategic metals expert, calls the Prius "the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world."

Each electric Prius motor requires 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of neodymium, and each battery uses 10 to 15 kg (22-33 lb) of lanthanum. That number will nearly double under Toyota's plans to boost the car's fuel economy, he said.

Toyota plans to sell 100,000 Prius cars in the United States alone for 2009, and 180,000 next year. The company forecasts sales of 1 million units per year starting in 2010.

As China's industries begin to consume most of its own rare earth production, Toyota and other companies are seeking to secure reliable reserves for themselves.

Reuters reported last year that Japanese firms are showing strong interest in a Canadian rare earth site under development at ThorLake in the Northwest Territories.

A Toyota spokeswoman in Los Angeles said the automaker would not comment on its resource development plans. But media accounts and industry blogs have reported recently that Toyota has looked at rare earth possibilities in Canada and Vietnam.

FYI: Here is a FACT that people need to understand about Global Warming:

Today the Earth warms up and cools down in 100,000 - year cycles. Geologic history reveals similar cycles were operative during the Carboniferous Period. Warming episodes caused by the periodic favorable coincidence of solar maximums and the cyclic variations of Earth's orbit around the sun are responsible for our warm but temporary interglacial vacation from the Pleistocene Ice Age, a cold period in Earth's recent past which began about 2 million years ago and ended (at least temporarily) about 10,000 years ago. And just as our current world has warmed, and our atmosphere has increased in moisture and CO2 since the glaciers began retreating 18,000 years ago, so the Carboniferous Ice Age witnessed brief periods of warming and CO2-enrichment.

There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.


The Planet is Warming? No Wait it's Cooling! Which is it?

If you want to know even more about the FRAUD that the Global Warming Agenda Proponents are creating I'd suggest you read this article in Time Magazine from 1974 called Another Ice Age.

Quote from Time Magazine Article:

Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth's surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.

Now wait a minute... hmm the suns rays are being blocked and that is making the planet cooler? I thought the CO2 emissions were trapping the heat? Did "scientists" in 1974 not know anything? Those dummies. Good thing we have scientists that really know their stuff now right? Right? Global Warming is a fraud, it's all about imposing taxes. We need to worry about pollution, destroying water supplies, and breathing clean air. Man can not control the temperature of the Earth... it's way beyond the scope of man. What man can control is the destruction of forests, the killing of species, and the pollution of necessary resources.

Corporate America is Destroying the Planet not Cow Farts!

Most people have no idea what Chevron/Texaco has done to Ecuador in the name of profit.

Today, a swath of the Ecuadorean Amazon the size of Rhode Island remains contaminated beyond imagining. At one site after another, oil hangs in the air, slides on the water's surface and saturates the land. Pipelines and waste pits left behind years ago still drip and ooze. Advocates for the plaintiffs have called the former Texaco concession area the "Amazon Chernobyl." Were it in the United States, it would easily qualify as a Superfund site. Neither side in the case disputes the devastation, only who should pay for it. Chevron says it is the state-owned oil company's responsibility; the plaintiffs say it is Chevron's.

Toyota Prius Hybrid Car

This is a picture of the Toyota Prius Hybrid Car 3rd Generation
This is a picture of the Toyota Prius Hybrid Car 3rd Generation


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  • profile image

    Conversion Vans 6 years ago

    Where are the Hybrid Transportation Vehicles?

  • JakeAuto profile image

    JakeAuto 8 years ago from Calif.

    Hydrogen cars have an equally difficult problem with the limited supply of the strategic metal platinum used in fuel cells.

    I just read up on the state of compressed air engines, ultimately not very efficient, but the low tech tank in place of batteries is more sustainable. Seeing and hearing a prototype run reminds me of some mad max like future.

  • Jeromeo profile image

    Jeromeo 8 years ago from Little Rock

    Very informative