South America Doesn't Love EVs

(edited)

I think this is a somewhat unfair assessment of South America by Reuters being that Brazil and Argentina are the only countries mentioned in the article.  I realize that Brazil is the largest economy in South America, but it's still not representative of the continent as a whole.  

Chile is one of the worlds top lithium producers, and the Chilean government is now pushing to create value-added lithium products which means batteries.  I think Chile would very much be in favor of manufacturing cars with lithium sourced from their own country.  

The article mentions that natural gas is the energy source of Argentina but it fails to recognize that Argentina also has large lithium reserves.  I'm sure Argentina would be happy to manufacture vehicles using their own lithium.  Natural gas has many applications, and can be used as feedstock for petrochemicals, electricity, cooking, residential and commercial HVAC, and be exported as LNG.  While natural gas makes sense in replacing diesel for big rigs and locomotives, the cost of implementing CNG infrastructure for passenger cars would be prohibitively expensive, in addition to the significant increase in cost between a CNG vehicle and gasoline vehicle.  It would be easier for them to generate cheap electricity with their abundant natural gas to charge electric cars.  Even if they wanted to make their grid emissions-free, they can still use their cheap natural gas to lure in investment for manufacturing plants that require cheap feedstock or export it as LNG at a higher price.  

Brazil might be heavily invested in ethanol, but they are also a significant nickel producer.  Brazil Minerals, Inc. is expanding it's nickel production and hopes to also produce associated cobalt and copper.  I'm sure Brazil would be happy producing vehicles with EV batteries using their own nickel and cobalt.  I think Toyota has the best game plan so far compared to all the other automakers operating in Brazil.  It is very smart of them to locally build plug-in hybrids that can run on pure electricity or 100% ethanol or 100% gasoline and every mix in between.  They cover all bases by avoiding import tariffs and are fully prepared for any direction the country decides to go regarding passenger car fuel sources and infrastructure.  These plug-in ethanol hybrids will be able to withstand an extremely slow rollout of EV charging stations but will also greatly benefit from a fast rollout of EV charging stations.  

It would be interesting to get the opinions of Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (guess which country I left out).  I'd actually be curious about other Latin American countries' stance on EVs, like Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands.  I know Costa Rica has reduced import tariffs on EVs compared to conventional vehicles.  

Maybe the U.S. should ban all non-EVs from crossing the border, as we want to reduce our own footprint without importing pollution from foreigners' cars.  If that means including the southern, northern, and Alaskan borders to make the law unbiased and uniform, so be it.  It can be our way of incentivizing other countries to buy EVs without a single subsidy.

 

Edited by GeoSciGuy

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6 minutes ago, GeoSciGuy said:

Maybe the U.S. should ban all non-EVs from crossing the border, as we want to reduce our own footprint without importing pollution from foreigners' cars.  If that means including the southern, northern, and Alaskan borders to make the law unbiased and uniform, so be it.  It can be our way of incentivizing other countries to buy EVs without a single subsidy.

 

That would be a total disaster for the Northern border States, which survive on the Canadian tourist trade.  You have lots of Canadians crossing into upstate New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire for the skiing.  Those ski hills and communities would wither and die if you ban the cars.  Meanwhile, lots of folks in Greater Toronto barrel down the I-75 to Florida, where millions of Canadians either own second homes or rent places for the winter vacations.  You have another big group that cross at Buffalo and roll down to Washington DC and the I-95 to hotels in the Carolinas and coastal Georgia.  That trade will disappear.  I don't see Canada going to EVs any time soon, far too cold for five months of the year, plus outside Quebec the price of electricity is horrendous.  Ain't gonna happen. 

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(edited)

26 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

That would be a total disaster for the Northern border States, which survive on the Canadian tourist trade.  You have lots of Canadians crossing into upstate New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire for the skiing.  Those ski hills and communities would wither and die if you ban the cars.  Meanwhile, lots of folks in Greater Toronto barrel down the I-75 to Florida, where millions of Canadians either own second homes or rent places for the winter vacations.  You have another big group that cross at Buffalo and roll down to Washington DC and the I-95 to hotels in the Carolinas and coastal Georgia.  That trade will disappear.  I don't see Canada going to EVs any time soon, far too cold for five months of the year, plus outside Quebec the price of electricity is horrendous.  Ain't gonna happen. 

Yes, I realize that.  It was a sarcastic remark.  A 'Green New Deal' of sorts that would stop the Caravan in its tracks.

Edited by GeoSciGuy

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