How-To: Buying an Electric Car
Provided by Copper Development Association Inc.
John Hipchen doesn’t necessarily think of himself as a pioneer. But when it comes to buying an electric vehicle, he’s a consumer in a new world.
A former chemist, and now a technical marketing consultant for the Exel Consulting Group based in Palatine, Ill., Hipchen, 55, became an official l Nissan LEAF owner last month. He began the purchase process last year and blogged about his EV adventure in coppertalk, the CDA blog.
“Rising fuel costs are not only impacting our economy, but also the way we live,” Hipchen says in a blog entry. “As a big believer in human ingenuity, I am willing and even anxious to change my lifestyle in exchange for efficiency, a better environment and lower costs.”
In a series of blog entries, Hipchen covers questions all consumers should consider when purchasing an EV:
- What are my driving habits & how much do I pay for gasoline?
- Will my home accommodate an EV charging station?
- What are the features of the EV and how much will it cost?
- Is there infrastructure for charging stations in my geographic area?
“I learned about electric and insurance rates and all the variables -- it’s important for consumers to analyze the economics in detail before they make a purchase,” Hipchen says. “If the economics work, we’ll likely see the purchase of EVs exceed expectations.”
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Copper is a Key Component in EVs
Copper is a key resource for both the electric car and the infrastructure that makes them run. The average car produced in North America has 50-55 pounds of copper in it. In an electric car, that amount can triple.
Although EVs and hybrid vehicles don’t yet have wide consumer appeal, the emerging technology is good for the environment and the economy, says Bob Weed, CDA vice president OEM.
“Even if EVs are only a small percentage of the market so far, there now are fewer cars burning gasoline and releasing tailpipe emissions,” Weed says. “The copper industry is pleased to be an important part of this energy technology.”
Automotive Copper Facts to Consider
The average car produced in North America has 50-55 pounds of copper in it. In a hybrid vehicle, the amount will double. In a pure electric car, the amount of copper will triple.
More than two-thirds of the copper will be found in car’s wiring harness and electrical components.
Copper has the highest conductivity of any metal that can be practically used for conveying electricity.
Each year in the U.S., nearly as much copper is recovered from recycled material as is derived from newly mined ore.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.