Friday, April 23, 2010

Daily Tech: One more reason not to buy a Prius

In addition to being an outrageous waste of money, goofy-looking Priuses make us even more beholden to the communist Chinese:

The electric vehicle movement may move mankind away from relying on one scarce resource, but into relying on another, believes Robert Bryce, author of "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future" (PublicAffairs; 2010). Bryce addressed journalists at the 2010 Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in La Jolla, California detailing the industry's growing addiction to rare earth metals.
Most electric vehicles and hybrids heavily rely on a series of elements called the lanthanides, which rarely occur on Earth, and thus are aptly nicknamed "rare-earth metals". The Toyota Prius, the world's most popular hybrid, for example, uses 2.2 pounds of neodymium and about 22 pounds of lanthanum, in addition to cerium, yttrium, and zirconium. …
One headache for the U.S. is not only that the elements are so scarce, but where they primarily come from. According to an April 1 report, China by the Government Accounting Office, entitled "Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain", states, "Most rare earth material processing now occurs in China. In 2009, China produced about 97 percent of rare earth oxides."
When it comes to production sources, there is some hope in the near future, says Bryce. The U.S. does have substantial rare-earth reserves of its own, but it just hasn't exploited them.

That's probably because the Democrats don't approve of exploiting resources, except when it's done behind the bamboo curtain where they can't see it.


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