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· Resident topic drifter
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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This is a misleading statement. The lithium doesn't vanish after 17 miles. It's not a single use battery.
Not misleading but, perhaps, not well articulated. Lithium extraction has its issues as does the generation of the electricity to charge the batteries to drive those few miles.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
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Exactly! Lithium extraction is becoming as big of an environmental catastrophe as oil extraction or coal mining.
Well, I wouldn't say it's as big an environmental catastrophe, just because the production volumes for coal and petroleum are so much greater, and some of that is pretty horrific (looking at you, Alberta). But the environmental and economic and social costs of lithium are unquestionably pretty high on a per-vehicle basis, and the social issues (at least) don't get sufficient attention from EV advocates. And despite the research, I think the world is going to be in for a shock when the volume of used lithium battery reprocessing begins to explode in a decade or so.

Yes, varies widely could happen, but then again you're not using your vehicle so are you really saving or are you just wasting money down the drain for something you're not driving?

The point is that if a hybrid is driven on longer road trips, it's still producing less emissions than the ICE version of the Crosstrek doing the same thing. It is also better for emissions in less mileage than the standard Crosstrek as illustrated above so it makes more environmental sense (note that the whole lithium mining issue is not captured in any of this).
The point I was making there was that a hybrid that's driven 10,000 miles as a commuter will have very different environmental and economic savings curves than a car driven 10,000 miles on longer roadtrips. Everyone's personal situation is going to vary there, so when someone is looking at a personal buying decision they need to take those numbers with an appropriate grain of salt.

Which actually brings up a secondary thought, though it's more applicable to pure EVs than hybrids. EVs are more expensive than ICE vehicles, and will likely remain so for a while, so they tend to be purchased by folks with a higher disposable income. Anecdotally, at least, I get the impression that a lot of those EVs are second cars, because people still want/need ICE vehicles for longer roadtrips. So if someone's primary concern was to reduce their environmental footprint, they might be better off just sticking with a single vehicle than adding the EV and all it's associated manufacturing impacts.
 

· Electrified!
2019 Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Not misleading but, perhaps, not well articulated. Lithium extraction has its issues as does the generation of the electricity to charge the batteries to drive those few miles.
Yeah, but producing a battery is a one time thing to get you lots of miles, however long it will last. Generation of electricity to charge the battery is already accounted for as 'operating use' vs the battery which is a 'capital use'. That's why on the graph, the hybrid starts as a higher polluter than the ICE Crosstrek and over mileage usage, the hybrid then is greener.

If I charge my battery overnight and it takes 6.5 kWh to charge, that's equivalent to 2,413 g CO2 emissions (371g CO2 per kWh). 1 gallon of gasoline burned emits 8,887 g CO2. Assuming I can drive 20mi on electric and your car gets 20mi/gal, my car would have used 120g/mi for those 20mi whereas the ICE Crosstrek at 20mpg would have used 444g/mi for 20mi.
 

· Electrified!
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Well, I wouldn't say it's as big an environmental catastrophe, just because the production volumes for coal and petroleum are so much greater, and some of that is pretty horrific (looking at you, Alberta). But the environmental and economic and social costs of lithium are unquestionably pretty high on a per-vehicle basis, and the social issues (at least) don't get sufficient attention from EV advocates. And despite the research, I think the world is going to be in for a shock when the volume of used lithium battery reprocessing begins to explode in a decade or so.


The point I was making there was that a hybrid that's driven 10,000 miles as a commuter will have very different environmental and economic savings curves than a car driven 10,000 miles on longer roadtrips. Everyone's personal situation is going to vary there, so when someone is looking at a personal buying decision they need to take those numbers with an appropriate grain of salt.

Which actually brings up a secondary thought, though it's more applicable to pure EVs than hybrids. EVs are more expensive than ICE vehicles, and will likely remain so for a while, so they tend to be purchased by folks with a higher disposable income. Anecdotally, at least, I get the impression that a lot of those EVs are second cars, because people still want/need ICE vehicles for longer roadtrips. So if someone's primary concern was to reduce their environmental footprint, they might be better off just sticking with a single vehicle than adding the EV and all it's associated manufacturing impacts.
Another thing to think about is if you buy an EV, there would be lower maintenance costs (no need to replace an engine or transmission) and the motors and battery should last you maybe 15-20 years. Would people hold on to those cars for that long or would they be like most of those BMW, Mercedes, Audi owners that just lease for 3 years and get the next newest thing (which is much worse for the environment because it makes manufacturers produce more and more cars)?

I will likely hold onto my Crosstrek for at least 10 total years because that's how long I get Starlink for free. After that I'd have to pay for the subscription so depending on if I want to buy that or go without, it is still probably cheaper to keep the car than buy another car. Battery shouldn't be an issue since I just broke 18,000 miles after 3.5 years.
 

· Resident topic drifter
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Yeah, but producing a battery is a one time thing to get you lots of miles, however long it will last. Generation of electricity to charge the battery is already accounted for as 'operating use' vs the battery which is a 'capital use'. That's why on the graph, the hybrid starts as a higher polluter than the ICE Crosstrek and over mileage usage, the hybrid then is greener.

If I charge my battery overnight and it takes 6.5 kWh to charge, that's equivalent to 2,413 g CO2 emissions (371g CO2 per kWh). 1 gallon of gasoline burned emits 8,887 g CO2. Assuming I can drive 20mi on electric and your car gets 20mi/gal, my car would have used 120g/mi for those 20mi whereas the ICE Crosstrek at 20mpg would have used 444g/mi for 20mi.
I don't believe the researchers considered the environmental cost of mining Lithium or generating that electricity.

How is the electricity you use generated?
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
2020 Crosstrek Limited
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They are not overlooking the 'problems' of obtaining lithium. These calculations are for operating emissions, not vehicle construction. The emissions associated with lithium for this battery is contained in the battery production value of 1.034 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.
How exactly do they include in those calculations, the environmental impact of the land laid waste and water poisoned in the third-world countries where the Lithium is obtained?
 

· Electrified!
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I don't believe the researchers considered the environmental cost of mining Lithium or generating that electricity.

How is the electricity you use generated?
They might be considering that emissions factor, but I haven't been able to find a paper that goes through all of the detail from soup to nuts. Here's something I found from MIT that is pretty interesting.

.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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I have said before in this forum, that if technology was advanced enough, I would be almost the first in line to purchase an EV powered by a fusion reactor the size of a breadbox- if I could afford it. But the current state of battery technology using Lithium is in my opinion a horrible solution to a bad problem.
 

· Administrator
2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
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Another thing to think about is if you buy an EV, there would be lower maintenance costs (no need to replace an engine or transmission) and the motors and battery should last you maybe 15-20 years. Would people hold on to those cars for that long or would they be like most of those BMW, Mercedes, Audi owners that just lease for 3 years and get the next newest thing (which is much worse for the environment because it makes manufacturers produce more and more cars)?

I will likely hold onto my Crosstrek for at least 10 total years because that's how long I get Starlink for free. After that I'd have to pay for the subscription so depending on if I want to buy that or go without, it is still probably cheaper to keep the car than buy another car. Battery shouldn't be an issue since I just broke 18,000 miles after 3.5 years.
Yep, my guess is that the cars they'll be building in a decade or so will definitely have greater overall longevity than what's typical today ... but maybe not the ones that are being built now, since a lot of the engineering is still very much a work in progress, and a lot of the EVs that are being made now are going to seem obsolete pretty quickly.
 

· Resident topic drifter
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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They might be considering that emissions factor, but I haven't been able to find a paper that goes through all of the detail from soup to nuts. Here's something I found from MIT that is pretty interesting.

.
"The vast majority of lithium-ion batteries—about 77% of the world’s supply—are manufactured in China, where coal is the primary energy source."
 

· Electrified!
2019 Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
How exactly do they include in those calculations, the environmental impact of the land laid waste and water poisoned in the third-world countries where the Lithium is obtained?
Do you not realize that oil production is much worse than mining lithium and has a far reaching negative impact than lithium?

4 Billion tons of crude oil were extracted form the ground alone in 2020. That's 11.19 Billion tons of CO2 emissions. Drilling, refining, and transporting oil are still much worse on the environment, especially since it is a single use material that is burned and everyone in the world breathes air.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Do you not realize that oil production is much worse than mining lithium and has a far reaching negative impact than lithium?

4 Billion tons of crude oil were extracted form the ground alone in 2020. That's 11.19 Billion tons of CO2 emissions. Drilling, refining, and transporting oil are still much worse on the environment, especially since it is a single use material that is burned and everyone in the world breathes air.
You are running into economics of scale there too- 99.8% (WAG) of the world runs on gasoline and diesel, so yeah, the impact is a little larger than for EV's.
 

· Resident topic drifter
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Do you not realize that oil production is much worse than mining lithium and has a far reaching negative impact than lithium?

4 Billion tons of crude oil were extracted form the ground alone in 2020. That's 11.19 Billion tons of CO2 emissions. Drilling, refining, and transporting oil are still much worse on the environment, especially since it is a single use material that is burned and everyone in the world breathes air.
Do you have any stats comparing the use of a hybrid to a gas Crosstrek which is what this thread is about?
 

· Electrified!
2019 Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
You are running into economics of scale there too- 99.8% (WAG) of the world runs on gasoline and diesel, so yeah, the impact is a little larger than for EV's.
Scale doesn't matter. But since you're talking about scale:

In the event of an oil supply crisis, all consumers driving gasoline cars or diesel trucks are affected by higher prices. By contrast, a shortage or spike in the price of a mineral affects only the supply of new EVs or solar plants. Consumers driving existing EVs or using solar-powered electricity are not affected. In addition, the combustion of oil means that new supply is essential to the continuous operation of oil-using assets. However, minerals are a component of infrastructure, with the potential to be recovered and recycled.
 

· Electrified!
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Evidence you are using? Cites please.
Here's a good report that discusses the roles of critical minerals in clean energy


It only gets better once mining companies switch to more efficient fuels for mining and the trickle down effects.
 

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· Electrified!
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Haven't answered my question yet. I don't see how hybrids are better.
Seriously?

Hybrid Crosstrek produces 11.034 metric tons of CO2 emissions
ICE Crosstrek produces 10 metric tons of CO2 emissions

Hybrid Crosstrek produces 240 g CO2 for each mile driven (gas/electric production and tailpipe)
ICE Crosstrek produces 400 g CO2 for each mile driven (gas production and tailpipe)

Hybrid Crosstrek becomes more efficient after 1100 miles (12.618 tons CO2 vs 12.64 tons CO2)

Hybrid Crosstrek at 100,000mi: 251 tons CO2
ICE Crosstrek at 100,000mi: 410 tons CO2

Difference of 159 tons CO2.

Not to mention the savings from having to go get gas more often. If I had a car that got 27mpg, I would have had to get an additional 145 gallons of gas last year and spent an extra $600.
 
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