Elon Musk warns the US and the EU about this delicate problem
Elon Musk completely changed the automotive industry.
With Tesla (TSLA) – Get the report from Tesla Inc., the manufacturer of premium electric vehicles, the richest man in the world has caused a real green revolution in the automotive industry marked by the promises of almost all car manufacturers to produce less polluting vehicles in the current decade . Offering more electric models has become the watchword of (GM) – Get General Motors company reportford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company reportvolkswagen (VLKAF) Nissan (NSANF) hyundai (HYMLF) Stellantide (STLA) – Get the Stellantis NV reportparent company of Fiat Chrysler, and even luxury brands like Ferrari (RACE) – Get the Ferrari NV report.
This ongoing revolution has just come into its own with the recent surge in oil prices and its corollary, which is the rise in gasoline prices at the pump. This new situation leads rich countries like the United States and the European Union to turn once again to Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter, to beg it to produce more oil in order to reduce the impact on consumers. already affected by inflation at unprecedented levels. for several decades. The highlight of President Joe Biden’s recent tour of the Middle East was his visit to the kingdom ahead of the midterm elections.
Gas used as a weapon
But as he faced former President Donald Trump, Biden vowed to call Saudi Arabia a “pariah”, not least because of the 2018 assassination of journalist and critic of the Saudi regime Jamal Khashoggi. Once elected, he had declassified a damning report on the responsibility of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in this murder.
The European Union is for its part confronted with the Russian nightmare after the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow on 24 February. The EU has taken sanctions against Russia but finds itself trapped: Russia supplies the EU with 40% of the natural gas it imports. Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of the grip this gives him over European countries.
Putin demanded that the “hostile” nations of Europe pay for their gas in rubles, to help him prop up the value of that currency. Poland, Bulgaria and Finland refused to do so, and Russia cut off their supplies. The EU said it viewed Russia’s action as a form of blackmail.
In March, the EU pledged to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds within a year. However, it has been difficult to reach agreement on other measures, such as an outright ban on imports. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, depends on Russia for almost half of its gas supply.
Many European countries could see their oil supplies reduced by the ban on Russian imports. In November, Lithuania and Finland got around 80% of their oil from Russia.
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It is in this context that a discussion took place on Twitter between the famous entrepreneur and investor in tech companies and startups David Sacks and Musk. It was Sacks who started by posting a post summarizing the year on geopolitics. This message was followed by another of the same order commenting on an article in the Wall Street Journal according to which Russia intended to use its gas as a weapon against European economies.
“Lithium batteries are the new oil”
“If this year proves anything, it’s that there can be no security without energy independence,” Sacks wrote on July 13. “In particular, Europeans have learned the hard way.
That’s when Musk stepped in.
“Absolutely,” agreed the tech titan. Then he added, “And lithium batteries are the new oil.”
Batteries are ubiquitous in our phones, laptops and cars. Lithium-ion batteries have been the dominant storage technology for years and demand is expected to increase tenfold over the next decade.
The advantages of lithium-ion batteries are their very high energy density and high specific energy. In addition, this type of battery is not affected by the memory effect and its self-discharge is reduced.
Lithium batteries are popular because they are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and can be used on most devices and gadgets. According to experts, these are the best current solutions for supplying electricity to mobile devices (camera, mobile phone) or vehicles (hybrid car, electric car). They do not need maintenance.
Lithium batteries can charge and discharge quickly, according to the same experts. They are lightweight and have a lower environmental impact than disposable batteries.
Asia dominates the consumer battery market, with more than 90% of production taking place in China, Korea and Japan. The Japanese group Panasonic, the South Koreans LG and Samsung and the Chinese groups CATL, BYD and Grepow are the main manufacturers of lithium batteries. Tesla is the only non-Asian company to slip between these Asian giants.