Sunday, November 21, 2021

So, what could go wrong with electric cars? Well, Tesla just had a server die, and now some Tesla cars around the planet won't turn on. Also, cobalt supply has become a problem. So... ok politicians, now what smart idea have you got? Internal combustion engines don't rely on a server, or cobalt, so... I think you need a new master plan

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was informed of this issue by one of these unlucky people, over Twitter, and replied that he is checking in on it. 

The people attempting to start their vehicle or connect it to their phones are receiving an unexplained "500 Internal Server Error."

Oh, that reminds me, there isn't enough cobalt to make the needed amount of batteries for the electric cars, so, they put the proverbial cart before the horse, once again, when declaring that internal combustion engine cars won't be sold after 2030, or whatever idiotic time frame they thought would happen after they got out of elected office

the Biden administration warned that China might use its growing dominance of cobalt to disrupt the American push toward electric vehicles by squeezing out U.S. manufacturers. In response, the United States is pressing for access to cobalt supplies from allies, including Australia and Canada.
American automakers like Ford, General Motors and Tesla buy cobalt battery components from suppliers that depend in part on Chinese-owned mines in Congo. A Tesla longer-range vehicle requires about 10 pounds of cobalt.

Deadly rioting in July near a port in South Africa, where much of Congo’s cobalt is exported to China and elsewhere, caused a global jump in the metal’s prices, a surge that only worsened through the rest of the year. 

Last month, the mining industry’s leading forecaster said the rising cost of raw materials was likely to drive up battery costs for the first time in years, threatening to disrupt automakers’ plans to attract customers with competitively priced electric cars.

As more electric vehicles are produced by more automakers worldwide, the International Energy Agency expects a cobalt shortage by 2030, based on an analysis of existing mines and those under construction. Other forecasters say a shortage could hit as soon as 2025.

As of last year, 15 of the 19 cobalt-producing mines in Congo were owned or financed by Chinese companies

And Steve pointed out some crucial things I hadn't even thought of....

There is still not a decent recycling system for lithium battery, its way cheaper to make a new one.

And the poor buggers in Congo a lot of them kids digging by hand away from large mines local areas close to mines polluted by dust and rivers polluted by waste. Incidence of badly malformed babies increased many fold due to heavy metal poisoning... cobalt Not good. 

Oh a lith battery loses capacity with age 10 years ago was 50% drop in 5yrs (10% a year so at 10 yrs not much left) So using old battery for house leccy storage is bollocks too. 

It seems batteries are lasting longer but leccy cars do not charge to 100% this makes battery last longer but allows % charge to increase as battery gets older thus eliminating warranty claim. As gauge in car says capacity still 100% And allows for being parked for months before sale. So how much longer they are lasting is ? I have heard some battery cars have 130% actual capacity when new. It takes at around 60 000 miles for leccy car to out green a combustion car assuming its average Joe type car According to Volvo

Thanks Steve!


  1. Nice summarization of the issue. Short, concise, easy to read.

    Another example of the how the smartest people are not in charge of this country. Although, I'm surprised Musk didn't have a fail safe for the server issue.

  2. There was a item on Fox news this am about the first Crackhead and his corruption dealings with China over Cobalt.

  3. The people locked out needed to have their physical key card with them. It's a credit card with a chip that the car treats as a physical key for opening the doors and driving the vehicle. It is the backup to using ones phone as a key. The convenience of using a phone as an automatic key is great but I would always want a physical back up in case my phone is stolen, lost, dropped/broken. The cars themselves were not affected and would have been drivable if the owners would have followed the directions from Tesla and the Owners manual that instructs owners to keep the card with them.

    The remainder of the article also really puts Tesla's research and development on making it's battery cathodes without cobalt in focus.

    1. good point! Not being familiar with Teslas, I didn't know about the card.

  4. Just a thought but any internal combustion engine be it petrol diesel or LPG can be converted to run on Hydrogen.
    There would be no need for tankers to delivery the hydrogen because it can be generated at the refuel station.
    It takes about the same time to refuel as a normal car.
    The bulk of a cars carbon footprint is in its initial production so converting old cars to run on alternate fuels is better for the environment than buy a new car.

    1. Read a while back that the future is not electric. Too many problems that you're seeing now. Smart people say the future is hydrogen. Not only can you refill, you can make it on board out of water. But, you know, follow the science and not the money.

  5. You are wrong in one point. There is no matter of what type of engine you have in car, most of them nowadays are controlled by on board computer, many have constant connection to internet and some type of service. If you put there a specific program that is slaved to some server they can have similar problem. That is not in any way exclusive to electric cars.

    1. I am only blogging to be told I'm wrong, about everything. Thank you for doing your part.
      Anyways, I don't know what you're basing your opinion on about "many have constant connection to internet and some type of service" unless the "many" you refer to are unique to your area.
      Here, where I am, in Southern California, San Diego to be specific, I do not have any reason to believe that other than the Tesla, there are ANY that are connected to a service, or have an internet conection.
      Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Nissan, Honda, BMW, Mercedes, etc etc, are all around me, and not that many are technologically sophisticated enough to even be connected to the internet, so, when you say "many" perhaps you meant, "few"
      And when you say "If you put there a specific program" well, no one has, no one is likely to, and you just made that up.
      You might as well make up " if my imagination runs wild, I can imagine that you would be wrong, and I will tell you you are wrong, and then you would be wrong"
      But, that's not reality.
      So, lets just stick to what is real. And if you think many cars are constantly connected to the internet, tell me what ones are. Then, I can learn something.

    2. I read something somewhere, maybe here, that most if not all of the modern electrics, when they lose power, can't freewheel. When they lose power, the wheels lock up.

    3. I didn't realize that! Wow, dang! Well, you read that somewhere else, because you are informing me on it.... I bet you don't realize how much I learn from everyone else!

    4. Jesse FFS chill, you don't have to react so allergically right away, it's not shit-posting after all. If you have GPS you are connected to the servers of ground stations mostly by the same lines that you receive internet. You can connect your car with your app in phone, you can play a TV or Netflix, that's all is connected by wireless with receivers and servers. Some cars have direct connection with manufacturer service or insurer. Nobody is "madding up things", Hyundai just put on a market the Venue series that is always connected to internet and work like you app. You can unlock "share-cars" with you phone and use the, you think that would be possible without constant connecting to the company servers? I ride that one, local Panek, a few of their models include Toyota C-HR, Yaris, Corolla, Mercedes GLA, Seat Arona, Fiat 500 and couple others. Is City CarShare not working in California by any chance? The car-sharing is supposedly big thing in US. And for real, ask any infotech guy you know, if car is receiving ans sending packages to it own operational system, you can send there such data that it will turn the engine off... just like some silly fault in some part can block your ignition. I speak about new cars, at least 10 years in market where everything is controlled by on board computer. Damn Jessie, my buddy can in real time check where his Audi A3 is at that moment on his phone. Ford have something they call FordPass Connect where your car can work like a massive WiFi node. Dodge Dart have wifi node ect.

      C'mon man, don't be so angry I'm not here bashing you, just giving some info.

    5. I haven't heard of car share, maybe that is a east coast thing, 3300 miles away.
      I don't know people with GPS, everyone I know has their Google Maps on their phone, or doesn't need any mapping for 99% of their driving.
      I'm also of the age demographic that doesn't app everything.

      You simply are in a much different life than I am.
      You're referring to many things that don't apply to mine, and I'm doing the same it seems.
      You ought to realize I don't do new car stuff.
      Here's my blog, it's mostly old car stuff.
      I don't know infotech people.
      Like you said, you speak about new cars... you already know I don't.
      I'm glad there's cool stuff like "find my car" for your buddy with the Audi, and I've heard of cars with wifi mode.... but I'm a single guy, with no passengers and kids to use a car like a living room while being driven about.
      I do find that your reference to "many" cars being connected to the internet, not to be true of the world around me. It certainly is around you, but the parking lot here at the job I have fixing public utility locators is mostly 5-15 year old vehicles.
      When I leave and get on the interstate 15, or interstate 8, or 5, or 805, or 163, 125, 52, etc etc I am not often seeing such new cars that are like what you've referred to, there are some Teslas, Ferrari are rare, Lambo are rare, nice new Audi are rare.

  6. @Shas,with the exception of the car sharing unlock example, everything you mentioned was basically infotainment, not vehicle control. Big difference.