Batteries, Renewable Energy, and EVs

Jim Le Maistre

What is a battery? Tesla said it best when he called them ‘Energy Storage Systems’. They do not make electricity inside . . . they store electricity produced somewhere else. Primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas, bio-fuel or diesel-fueled Electric Power Plants. Therefore, to say an Electric Vehicle (EV) is a Zero Emission vehicle is not even remotely true! Since about forty percent of the electricity generated in the United States comes from coal - fired generating stations . . . you could say that forty percent of the EVs on the road are Coal-Powered . . .

Americans use three billion of these two types of battery every year. The vast majority do not get recycled. Most end up in landfill sites. California is the only state requiring all batteries be recycled. When we throw our small, used batteries into the trash, this is what happens to them. The battery continues to run down long after it can no longer power a smoke alarm, toy or light . . . we think of them as dead. Well, that is not true. They continue to leak small amounts of electricity. Then, as the chemicals inside run out of electricity, pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, they rupture. Then, those ‘toxic heavy metals’ left inside will ooze out. The ooze is environmentally toxic.


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