Andrew Stuttaford of National Review Online pokes holes in the Biden administration’s arguments for electric vehicles.

The Biden administration’s continuing effort to argue that electric vehicles will help speed our way out of the current mess reflects a refusal to deal with the uncomfortable realities of the world in which we live. Magical thinking is so much easier.

The Australian:

“The Biden administration has been labelled ‘tone deaf’ after Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris spent the afternoon promoting electric vehicles in the wake of America’s highest gas prices since 2008. The Transportation secretary was joined by the VP to commemorate the one year anniversary from when the Biden administration passed the American Rescue Plan Act. Mr Buttigieg has been criticised for telling Americans electric cars are important for ‘cost savings.’ ‘Clean transportation can bring significant cost savings for the American people as well,’ he said.”

Cost savings?

The Daily Telegraph:

“Electric vehicle car makers are bracing for a setback as the price of nickel soars.

“As one of the most important components in lithium-ion battery cells, used in most electric vehicles (EVs), nickel is a vital material for the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla to build and sell cars. It is the third-largest component in a car battery, following graphite and lithium.

“Meanwhile, the metal is also essential for increasing how far electric cars can travel in one charge: the more nickel in the battery, the higher the energy density and the greater the range of an EV with the same weight.

“But as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adds to already surging raw materials costs, car makers will be forced to fork out more cash to make batteries, already the most expensive part of EVs – or find alternative sources.”

The price of nickel has gone berserk this week. That reflects a short squeeze after a bet by China’s Tsingshan Holding Group (a nickel giant) went horribly wrong. That’ll iron itself out quickly enough, but the underlying rise in nickel prices is not likely to be going away any time soon.