Welcome to the Covexit Podcast. We bring you independent news and policy analysis about selected important issues in the aftermath of C19. Topics are to include but not be limited to electrical vehicles and sustainable food and human oriented economic development.
We cover key developments from all over the world. We strive at empowering you with the best available knowledge. The podcast is hosted by Jean-Pierre Kiekens, a development economist, engineer and former university lecturer.
Recent articles are now found at http://covexit.substack.com
(Important: The podcast is presented strictly for information purposes. For any medical advice, please contact your medical doctor or health care provider)
Renault Ampere CEO Luca de Meo Outlines Bold Vision for Electric Vehicles
When one thinks about electric vehicles, one thinks immediately about Tesla and Elon Musk. This has been so for the past 15 years.
Musk’s vision for EVs is dominant and extremely influential. But there is now a new, and important, voice, in the person of Luca de Meo, who is the new CEO of the Renault Group and its EV Ampere division.
The two CEOs have, on key points, very differing visions, and it’s important to contrast them.
The contrast is also somewhat geographical: Musk’s vision tends to be very American while de Meo’s vision is very European.
Source article: https://covexit.substack.com/p/renault-ampere-ceo-luca-de-meo
Tesla CyberTruck versus Dacia Sandero: Let’s Compare the Incomparable! Let's Compare Apples & Oranges!
Today, what about comparing the incomparable?
What about comparing apples and oranges? What a weird idea you will say! So let’s explain.
Both apples and oranges contribute to your nutrition. They largely fulfill the same function.
When it comes to cars, we need to think about their main function, which is to bring yourself and passengers, possibly with a cargo, safely, from A to B.
With electric vehicles, a major issue is that big, heavy, vehicles, such as large sedans, trucks, SUVs, lorries, etc. require especially heavy battery packs, because of the inherent low energy density of existing batteries.
Electric vehicles require therefore more energy to be displaced than their equivalent internal combustion engine or hybrid counterparts. And this increased energy obviously needs to come from somewhere.
In addition, while vehicles are essentially aimed at bringing you from A to B, there has been a trend, over the past 50 years or so, towards bigger, heavier, and pricier, vehicles, such as SUVs, even when such overweight, oversized vehicles were not needed to fulfill their core function.
It’s against this background that the present post needs to be seen. We contrast the big heavy CyberTruck, using the currently available (even if not official) specifications, with a relatively light, small and affordable internal combustion engine vehicle, that is very popular in France - the Dacia Sandero.
The analysis shows what common sense tells us, i.e. the small, light and energy efficient vehicle is much more environmentally friendly than the truck, even if the latter is full electric.
But guess which one of the two will be prohibited on the EU market in 2035?
The post can be found at: https://covexit.substack.com/p/cybertruck-versus-sandero
Enjoy the podcast.
Let’s Talk EVs! A New Series of Talks with Dan & JP
This new series of talks with Dan McTeague & Jean-Pierre Kiekens is about electric vehicles and their multiple implications for energy, mobility, affordability, economic development and public policy.
While electric vehicles are being vigorously promoted by governments, particularly in North America and in Europe, the implications of this rapid transition to such vehicles are little understood. This series of talks, geared towards both the general public and policy makers, aims at discussing those implications and help understand the issues, challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning to EVs.
The talks involve primarily Dan McTeague and Jean-Pierre Kiekens, yet guest experts will also participate. Dan McTeague is a well-known energy expert, President of Canadians for Affordable Energy and a former member of the federal parliament in Canada.
Jean-Pierre Kiekens is a policy analyst with background in engineering and economic development - a topic he lectured in Belgium prior to moving to Canada.
The talks will initially center on 10 topics identified as particularly important. The talks will be content rich yet be typically limited to 30 to 40 minutes.
Additional sessions, with guest experts, will take place afterwards.
The talks will be available both as videos and as podcast episodes, on platforms such as Apple and Spotify.
This first talk presents an introduction to the series of talks and to the 10 topics to be discussed afterwards.
View the video at: http://LetsTalkEVs.com
New Report Unmasks the "True Costs of Electric Vehicles"
Over a 10 year period, the report finds that EV ownership would cost a staggering $48,698 more without the billions of dollars of governmental favors to manufacturers and owners.
The report estimated at US$17.33 per gallon the “true cost of fueling an EV, including extra charging costs and subsidies.”
See article and report link at: https://covexit.substack.com/p/the-true-costs-of-electric-vehicles
Now is the Time for Sodium-Ion Batteries in Electric Vehicles!
Recent progress with Sodium-Ion batteries makes them suitable for electric vehicles, with decisive advantages over existing technology. Production of EVs with these new batteries has started in China. This podcast episode explores this extremely important development for mobility.
Here is the Substack article's last section, offering concluding remarks:
Sodium-Ion batteries may be, or actually are, the EV revolution in the making.
All the EV manufacturers should now aggressively work to introduce this technology into their vehicles line-up, similarly to what Tesla recently did with LFP technology.
Talking about Tesla, the company can certainly phase in efficient Sodium-Ion batteries within a reasonable time frame of one or two years, and implement it for all its base-models, including its CyberTruck.
BYD is leading the way with the Seagull and the Dolphin but will likely pursue the Sodium-Ion route with additional models.Likewise, other producers such as Ford, VW, Stellantis, GMC, should adopt this technology, and further improve it.
While the energy capacity gap with Lithium based batteries has already been reduced, there is still scope for improvement of the technology.
It must be noted that existing battery factories can be retro-fitted to produce Sodium-Ion batteries. No big capital expenditures would be needed.
Sodium-Ion batteries is a major technological change in the world of EVs, and should have huge, positive, impacts for all EV manufacturers.
Of course, adopting these batteries will have considerable implications in terms of the supply chain for the required minerals and for future investments.
For example, the multi-billion $ investments recently decided upon in Canada for battery manufacturing will need to be thoroughly revised or reconsidered, in light of this new technology.
Without any reliance on minerals such as Lithium and Cobalt, which have well documented negative environmental and social impacts, like child labor in Africa in the case of Cobalt and watertable depletion in South America in the case of Lithium, EVs will become much more acceptable to the public.
Of immediate concern to EV users are the fire risks, the slow charging time, the range loss in the cold, among other issues, which are making EVs less and less desirable, as there is growing awareness of these issues in the population.
The Sodium-Ion technology has the considerable advantage of simultaneously addressing several of those issues, while at the same time reducing the vehicles’ prices.
From a public policy perspective, Sodium-Ion batteries can be expected to make EVs much more appealing to growing numbers of drivers. Free and informed choice would rule consumer decisions rather than the mandates, subsidies and other market distortions presently implemented by governments.
The very reputation of EVs is actually at stake, as there are just too many issues with them and their current batteries. Anyone can easily understand they are not the “clean” or “green” vehicles that governments and other EV promoters pretend.
If adopted, the Sodium-Ion battery technology may well be the decisive factor that will make the EV experiment succeed.
See the full article at: https://covexit.substack.com/p/now-is-the-time-for-sodium-ion-batteries
Saving the CyberTruck -- My 2 Cents to the World's Richest Man
“We dug out our grave with CyberTruck” declared Elon Musk just days ago.
This baffled many, yet did not come as a surprise to others. It’s nearly 4 years ago that the vehicle was unveiled.
There was huge excitement at the time. Imagine: an electric truck, with a completely novel look, a decent range and competitive pricing.
But while there is still excitement, there appears to also be real problems with the vehicle - as Musk would not have used used the expression "We dug out our grave."
In this podcast episode, we review the huge problems experienced by Tesla's competitors in the nascent EV truck market.
Then we move to the issue of batteries, which are the Achille heel of EVs in general, and (heavy) EV trucks in particular, which require lots of power to be displaced.
While Tesla is using a house-made lithium-based battery for the CyberTruck, we argue that another technology would be much more appropriate, especially for its base version.
Actually, the technology would be much more appropriate for the base versions of all Tesla models, and also for other automakers.
The technology, which is already used by China-based leading EV producer BYD, consists of lithium-free Sodium-Ion batteries, which are much cheaper and much safer, among many advantages.
Sodium-Ion batteries appear to be the future of EVs, and Tesla may be missing the boat.
It's all explained in this podcast episode, and in this article
Let's talk Omicron
Appreciate this podcast host and all the guests for having the conscience and courage to speak up and educate