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JPVLeaf
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China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:04 am

Hope this is not some tragic foretelling on the control China will have over the market of rare earth metals that are used in the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/disp ... are-rarer/

"China scaled back its exports of rare earth minerals -- all those essential metals that make cell phones and hybrid (and electric) cars work -- and that's making several industries around the world nervous."

I suppose one might hope that the demand for these vehicles will actually increase to the point where this will become an issue. But, if that becomes the case, I hope the U.S. does not wait until then to find a way to deal with this.
-jp
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ttweed
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:04 am

The largest lithium reserves in the world by far are in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, not China, and the US has substantial reserves that are under-developed. If we have let China dominate the current production, it is because of the short-sightedness of corporate America, which runs our government. It is not the first industry to capitalize on cheap labor rates and ship jobs offshore, in the name of short-term profit.

I like this quote from that site:
Lifton: We've been outfoxed in capitalism by our friends, the communists!

Lifton blames decades of outsourcing by American businesses.

Lifton: They gave away the farm. They gave away the intellectual property, all of this technology given away, to get access to raw materials and cheap labor. And now all of the sudden, it's a problem. Fortunately for the Chinese, the same stupid people run the American economy that ran it into the ground.

Tell me again why "free market" capitalism w/ no government regulation or intervention is the way to go?

TT
Tom Tweed
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evnow
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:14 am

JPVLeaf wrote:Hope this is not some tragic foretelling on the control China will have over the market of rare earth metals that are used in the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Rare earths are not used in EV production.

BTW, Lithium is defintely not a rare earth - it is one of the most abundant. Companies have not closed US plants to ship production to China - but to Chile.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
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JPVLeaf
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:34 am

ttweed wrote:The largest lithium reserves in the world by far are in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, not China, and the US has substantial reserves that are under-developed. If we have let China dominate the current production, it is because of the short-sightedness of corporate America, which runs our government. It is not the first industry to capitalize on cheap labor rates and ship jobs offshore, in the name of short-term profit.
Yes, this is true. However, this article is not referring to lithium, which is not a rare earth metal.

" ... neodymium may be a more important metal today. What's that? You never heard of it? What about lananthanum? They're what're called "rare earth metals." There are about 17 of them. They're used pretty extensively in things like hybrid cars, and smartphones and a lot of other gadgets we are coming to depend on."

Neodymium is used in the production of AC synchronous motors, which many electric vehicles do use. If I'm not mistaken, this includes the Nissan Leaf.

Another more recent article:
http://www.energyandcapital.com/article ... etals/1266
-jp
.
R 4/20/10, RAQ 9/3/10,
O 9/10/10, D 6/6/11
72k mi @ 50 mo, #1 [new batt @ 39 mos.]
33k mi @ 34 mo, #2

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JPVLeaf
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:39 am

evnow wrote:
JPVLeaf wrote:Hope this is not some tragic foretelling on the control China will have over the market of rare earth metals that are used in the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Rare earths are not used in EV production.
JPVLeaf wrote:Neodymium is used in the production of AC synchronous motors, which many electric vehicles do use. If I'm not mistaken, this includes the Nissan Leaf.
Are you saying then that the Nissan Leaf is an exception and neodymium is not used in the production of its synchronous motor? But, is that true, not only for the Leaf but for other 'EV production'?
Last edited by JPVLeaf on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-jp
.
R 4/20/10, RAQ 9/3/10,
O 9/10/10, D 6/6/11
72k mi @ 50 mo, #1 [new batt @ 39 mos.]
33k mi @ 34 mo, #2

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evnow
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:39 am

JPVLeaf wrote:Are you saying then that the Nissan Leaf is an exception and neodymium is not used in the production of its synchronous motor? If that's the case, then that would be yet another feather in Nissan's hat. But, is that true, not only for the Leaf but for other 'EV production'? ;)
Only case of using neodymium I've heard of is in permanent magnet motors like in Prius.

BTW, neodymium is not actually all the rare and China is not the only place where you have it. Just that they are the lowest cost producers now.

There is definitely a lot of China scare mongering going on in the media ...

ps : Here is an analysis of all NNR scarcity (Nonrenewable Natural Resource) in TOD.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6345
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ttweed
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:22 pm

evnow wrote: BTW, Lithium is defintely not a rare earth...
Oops! My bad. I see lithium lumped in together with rare earths all the time on the exotic metals market and didn't realize it is not an actual RE element. I see now you are talking about far more exotic pieces of the car than the batteries.... :oops:

TT
Tom Tweed
La Jolla, CA
Plowshare Media
2011 SLe #1317 del. 4/1/11
1st bar lost at 31,953 miles
2nd bar lost at 38,685 miles
3rd bar lost at 50,711 miles
4th bar lost at 59,758 miles after 64 months
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DaveEV
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:20 am

JPVLeaf wrote:Neodymium is used in the production of AC synchronous motors, which many electric vehicles do use. If I'm not mistaken, this includes the Nissan Leaf.
Actually, AC motors typically use regular old metals - for example, the motor in the Tesla Roadster doesn't use any rare earth high power magnets to be highly efficient and powerful. I'd be surprised if the Leaf had any as it would significantly raise the cost with little benefit. If it were significantly beneficial even at moderate cost, I would have expected it to be used on the 6-figure Tesla.

[edit] AC induction motors tend to not need high power rare earth (neodymium) magents (like the Tesla Roadster). AC synchronous motors do tend to use high power rare earth motors. What the Leaf uses - not sure. If it's an induction motor then it is not likely to use neodymium motors.
Last edited by DaveEV on Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JPVLeaf
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:58 am

drees wrote:
JPVLeaf wrote:Neodymium is used in the production of AC synchronous motors, which many electric vehicles do use. If I'm not mistaken, this includes the Nissan Leaf.
Actually, AC motors typically use regular old metals - for example, the motor in the Tesla Roadster doesn't use any rare earth high power magnets to be highly efficient and powerful. I'd be surprised if the Leaf had any as it would significantly raise the cost with little benefit. If it were significantly beneficial even at moderate cost, I would have expected it to be used on the 6-figure Tesla.
Yes, I'm learning too. Would it be correct in saying then that while both the Prius and the Leaf have AC synchronous motors, they are different types: the Prius having the permanent magnet-type synchronous motor, and the Leaf a different type (subset of synchronous motors). Is the permanent magnet type useful for size and space considerations (among other factors as well)? Perhaps having to consider placement/fitment with the gas ICE? My guess, then, is that the GM Volt uses a similar permanent magnet motor? ;)
-jp
.
R 4/20/10, RAQ 9/3/10,
O 9/10/10, D 6/6/11
72k mi @ 50 mo, #1 [new batt @ 39 mos.]
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Re: China's share of the market of rare earth metals

Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:02 am

JPVLeaf wrote:My guess, then, is that the GM Volt uses a similar permanent magnet motor? ;)
No it doesn't. Not sure why Prius chose to use those ...

ps : From an ethical perspective I support China or Bolivia to use the resources they have to benefit the local population rather than as cheap resource for the west. Infact they would should be considered criminally negligent if they don't do so ...
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