To reduce both climate-changing emissions and exposure to air pollution, the United States must greatly reduce tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. This makes the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) vital to meeting targets for both climate and public health. Using fully electric vehicles in place of conventional gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles enables the complete elimination of tailpipe emissions. While electric vehicles can eliminate tailpipe emissions, the total emissions from their use include emissions from two other sources: the electricity used to recharge EVs and the processes and materials used to manufacture them. Thus, the value of switching from gasoline and diesel cars and trucks to EVs will increase further as the electricity grid and manufacturing become cleaner. - UCS
Booming electric vehicle sales have spurred a growing demand for lithium. But the light metal, which is essential for making power-packed rechargeable batteries, isn't abundant. Now, researchers report a major step toward tapping a virtually limitless lithium supply: pulling it straight out of seawater. "This represents substantial progress" for the field, says Jang Wook Choi, a chemical engineer at Seoul National University who was not involved with the work. He adds that the approach might also prove useful for reclaiming lithium from used batteries. Lithium is prized for rechargeables because it stores more energy by weight than other battery materials. Manufacturers use more than 160,000 tons of the material every year, a number expected to grow nearly 10-fold over the next decade. But lithium supplies are limited and concentrated in a handful of countries, where the metal is either mined or extracted from briny water.- Science
Are EV Batteries Recyclable?
As electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to increase, questions about how these cars and their batteries will be disposed of have been top of mind for current owners, future buyers, policymakers, and many experts in the automotive industry. EVs are a newer technology, and their batteries require different end-of-life processing than gasoline vehicles. Luckily, lithium-ion battery recycling research and development has been going on for years and there is an existing and growing repurposing and recycling system in North America for these components. The map below is from recent research that explores the network of companies already recycling and repurposing batteries – these include recycling companies such as Redwood Materials, Li-Cycle, and Ascend Elements. The industry is quickly growing capacity for future recycling, with planned facilities in Nevada, New York, and Georgia, to name just a few. - UCS
Duke Energy has proposed an electric vehicle (EV) charging program that could allow some residential customers in North Carolina to charge a vehicle for a fixed monthly fee as low as $19.99. In exchange, the customer would allow Duke to manage the vehicle's charging, in order to avoid grid stress and higher costs. The utility is trying to provide a "seamless customer experience and an ecosystem of EV products," while also avoiding costly grid upgrades necessary to meet rising peak demand, Duke Vice President of Rate Design and Strategic Solutions Lon Huber said. The proposed pilot is "all you can charge," said Huber, though some limitations apply. - Utility Dive
Berkeley, California-based carbon transformation company Twelve and Tulsa-based Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) today announced that they have produced the first fossil-free jet fuel from carbon dioxide using an electrochemical process. The project received funding from the US Air Force. The new biofuel, which is called E-Jet, can be used by both commercial and military aviation. Biofuels are notoriously expensive. But where many processes have proven the ability to yield 65% of jet fuel from initial feedstock, EFT says its process yields more than 80%. EFT has also signed a licensing agreement with Norwegian company Nordic Electrofuel, which also makes fossil-replacement fuels. Twelve and EFT state that fossil-free jet fuel E-Jet is a drop-in replacement for petrochemical-based alternatives, and no changes are required to existing plane design or commercial regulations. - Electrek
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