Electric Vehicles: Arthur Berman, Pedro Prieto, & Simon Michaux | Reality Roundtable #1

Nate Hagens

On this inaugural episode of Reality Roundtable, Nate is joined by Art Berman, Simon Michaux, and Pedro Prieto to discuss the viability of scaling electric vehicles and what role they could play in the future. Electric vehicles have become increasingly more popular in recent years, and in tandem more polarizing and controversial. Art, Simon, Pedro, and Nate join together for a multi-faceted conversation jam packed with expertise and insight about the reality of EVs. Are plans for dramatically increasing the production of electric vehicles as a replacement for internal combustion vehicles materially, economically, or even infrastructurally possible? Are current EV initiatives taking a science-based systems approach towards this massive economic, environmental, and cultural shift or are they rooted in energy blindness?

About Arthur Berman:

Arthur E. Berman is a petroleum geologist with 36 years of oil and gas industry experience. He is an expert on U.S. shale plays and is currently consulting for several E&P companies and capital groups in the energy sector.

About Pedro Prieto:

Pedro is the vice president of the Asociación para el Estudio de los Recursos Energéticos (AEREN). AEREN is an open space for debate and communications on energy issues and their role in demography, development, economy and ecology. Pedro was a member of the board at ASPO International with AEREN representing ASPO in Spain. Since 2004, Pedro has led several solar photovoltaic projects in Spain, a leading world country in solar PV penetration. Pedro co-authored Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment, that challenged the conventional energy boundaries considered up to the moment for calculations.

About Simon Michaux:

Dr. Simon Michaux is an Associate Professor of Geometallurgy at the Geological Survey of Finland. He has a PhD in mining engineering. Dr. Michaux’s long-term work is on societal transformation toward a circular economy.

For Show Notes and More visit: https://www.thegreatsimplification.com/episode/rr01-berman-michaux-prieto

HT/silent runner

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June 18, 2023 6:12 pm
Bryan A
Reply to  schmoozer
June 18, 2023 7:12 pm

So, where Chinese EVs eventually wind up, just 3 years early.

Reply to  Bryan A
June 18, 2023 7:25 pm

Watch the video, they only have 31 miles on them, they were never really sold to the public, it’s a Ponzi scheme.

Reply to  schmoozer
June 19, 2023 3:59 am

There is at least one city in China that was built and no one lives there – real estate speculation plus central planning. It is beginning to fall apart but that is what most Chinese products do – fall apart.

Curious George
June 18, 2023 7:02 pm

No transcript of this 100 minute video?

Reply to  Curious George
June 18, 2023 8:32 pm

If you really are curious, watch the video…

Curious George
Reply to  schmoozer
June 19, 2023 9:18 am

No. Thanks.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Curious George
June 18, 2023 10:18 pm

The video works well at 1.75x speed [maybe 1.5x for Prieto].
The beginning has some nice graphs on minerals & mining and the scale of replacing
even a small portion of ICE vehicles with EVs (and by 2030 no less!),
They mention Vaclav Smil’s “4 Pillars” of civilization: steel, cement, plastics & fertilizer — all of which are dependent on fossil fuels to produce..
At ~1:23 a very important point was made about turning over an EV (and
renewable energy) based economy to Southeast Asian countries (China!).
China could crash our transportation market leading to a widespread economic
As mentioned elsewhere in the comments, the need to decarbonize is not
being questioned in this discussion: just the idiotic policies being promoted.
For this last piece, I think it is worth watching.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  B Zipperer
June 19, 2023 3:04 am

“As mentioned elsewhere in the comments, the need to decarbonize is not
being questioned in this discussion: just the idiotic policies being promoted.”

I haven’t watched it yet- but, if they aren’t questioning the need to decarbonize, then that’s the beginning of the idiocy.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 19, 2023 7:43 am

If we can overturn the attempt to decarbonise as infeasible then they can think what they like about climate, slowly coming to their senses one by one.

Mike McMillan
June 18, 2023 7:36 pm

Lots of good points about needed but non-existent infrastructure, but the participants buy the CAGW premise.

They do hit a point I’ve been thinking about – the used electric car market. Who would buy a 9 year old ev with an expired battery warranty, when the replacement batteries run $20+ grand?

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Mike McMillan
June 19, 2023 2:54 am

I wouldn’t buy a 5 year old EV, as the battery will not have the range it had when new or hold charge for as long, unless it has a new battery fitted (at the vendor’s expense) which will cost more than a 5 year old car would be worth.

June 18, 2023 8:19 pm

I’m not impressed. They are all smart, they all seem skeptical of an energy transition, they all see limits to raw materials available for any transition and they all see a lot of foolishness in the transition talk. My problem is they all feel we are on some precipitous without saying what it is. They speak of carbon when I think they should be referring to CO2. What exact catastrophe are we facing?

Rick C
Reply to  Bob
June 18, 2023 10:25 pm

Agreed. The perspective they’re missing is whether or not there’s an environmental (climate) problem that requires decarbonization to solve. At the end Art says he’s sure about the harm being done by the use of fossil fuels, e.g. “70% decline among animal species since 1970”. They need to have a discussion that includes someone who actually knows what’s really happening with climate. There are dozens of good candidates.

June 18, 2023 8:31 pm

What is not talked about is the globalist plan to reduce cars from 2.1 billion to 500million by 2050. This throws a large wrench in their analysis, plus what are we going to do with 1.6billion junked vehicles?

Curious George
Reply to  schmoozer
June 19, 2023 9:24 am

Should there be a similar reduction of the population?

June 18, 2023 9:15 pm

A very interesting discussion. Dr. Simon Michaud’s opening slides blow the whole renewable/EV scheme to very tiny pieces. The world’s metal mining industry is insufficient to provide the materials required by several orders of magnitude in ALL of the critical minerals needed. No amount of cleverness can dodge the fundamental fact that the material requirements for this are and always will be insufficient.

This is entirely aside from the fact that the existing transmission and distribution systems are inadequate by at least two orders of magnitude for transmitting and distributing the electricity required for complete EV market penetration. In addition, existing cities cannot be “rewired” on the scale needed for obvious reasons.

Finally, it should be stunningly clear to anyone with at least a grade school education that the only deployable non-emitting energy generating technology capable of providing any fraction of the needed power is nuclear power generation. Since solar is net negative in terms of EROEI, it can be disregarded immediately. The net power generation for wind power is little better.

Rod Evans
Reply to  cgh
June 18, 2023 10:47 pm

Electric vehicles as the favoured option for those allowed to travel by car works fine providing you remove the concept of everyone having the right to travel by car.
If, as is the plan revealed in 15 minute cities, only the elite members of society and those licenced to travel are given permits to use cars, then you only need a fraction of the car fleet we currently have.
Wake up world and smell the coffee. £100billion+ being poured into HS2 here in the UK, i.e. a system only the elite will use while the road infrastructure is being destroyed and allowed to collapse, supposedly because of lack of funds….?

June 18, 2023 9:53 pm

Everyone is missing the 8,000lb gorilla. Since they can’t produce the material, everyone will have to suffer with less. “Back to the caves and tents everyone, our bad.” Oops…

June 18, 2023 10:06 pm

A sensible person tends to buys a product that is best suited for their intended use and purpose. For many people, including myself, the main disadvantage of the BEV is the very high initial cost. If the purchase price were comparable to the current price of an ICE vehicle of equivalent size and capacity, I would buy one, after my current ICE vehicle warranty period of 7 years, expires.

My current vehicle is a Kia Cerato which I bought a few years ago for A$20,000. The updated Kia Cerato in 2023 costs around A$28,000. The equivalent Kia BEV, named the Kia EV6 Air, currently costs around A$80,000, which is almost 3 times the price of the equivalent Kia ICE vehicle.

The range of the EV6 Air on a full charge, is less than the range of the Cerato on a full tank, but not by much. 650km for the Cerato and 520km for the EV6 Air. This would not be an issue for me.

The linked article provides and interesting review of this new Kia EV.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Vincent
June 19, 2023 3:12 am

with an ICE car, you might be willing to go rather close to empty in some situations- knowing the car won’t stop until it’s 100% out of fuel- but with an EV, will you do the same? I would think you’d never want to get close to the 520 km so, the usable range is actually less- I dunno, just speculating

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 19, 2023 4:38 am

I have read that 100% charge is not good for EVs ….so apparently it is only between 20% discharge and maybe 90% charge or 70% of the battery is desirable. They are always talking about a “new” battery which means current lithium bats will be obsolete anyways. Some good news is that Shell and BP just announced that more investment will be made in conventional energy.

Reply to  antigtiff
June 19, 2023 6:33 am

The Search For The Magic Battery continues…

John Hultquist
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 19, 2023 8:25 am

Some early ICE models had the fuel intake at the front of the tank. Thus, going up a steep grade could cause loss of liquid to the engine even with fuel in the tank. Solution: Turn the vehicle around and “back up” the hill.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 19, 2023 5:03 pm

Daughters EV was loaded onto truck and taken to the nearest charging station 40km away. The local charging station had been hit by a car (an ICE I assume). The journey from her home used to take 5 hours in their ICE car. It now takes around 8 hours in their EV. Seems the accepted paradigm of incremental improvement has been junked at the alter of climate alarmism.

James Snook
Reply to  Vincent
June 19, 2023 4:13 am

You hit the nail on the head – price.

A normal development cycle in a demand economy is for a product to be launched that offers clear benefits over the product that it seeks to displace but at a premium price that reflects the value of the benefits plus an indefinable ‘status’ benefit that will accrue to the early adopters. As volumes increase, costs and sale price invariably drops and this feeds the virtuous circle of rising adoption and reducing prices. The smart phone is a classic example.

Unfortunately the West has ditched demand economics for command economics in their ludicrous race to net zero. They have have forced automotive companies to introduce BEVs at prices that necessarily represent a massive premium over existing vehicles, whilst not offering commensurate benefits to the user. Only by giving away tax payers money to manufactures and to buyers and giving user perks such as no road tax, free parking etc, have any meaningful sales, other than ‘status’ purchases, been achieved. They are effectively trying to make water flow up hill, which is a characteristic of command economics.

Command economies always result in an economic crises and pain for the population. This will be no different.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Vincent
June 19, 2023 5:03 am

A high initial price imposes higher ongoing costs as well. In the US many states/municipalities impose an ad-valorem tax as part of annual registration. As a vehicle depreciates over time, this tax starts out higher and gradually declines. Georgia, where I live, charges a 6.6% Title Ad Valorem Tax (TATV) on the initial purchase so they get their total tax in a lump sum up front. If you finance the purchase, which most people do, you will pay more interest over the life of the loan. Insurance rates for collision coverage, which is required by the lender if you finance the purchase, will reflect the higher cost of repairing or replacing the car if damaged.

So, taking Vincent’s numbers above and financing 80% over 5 years at 5%, the Kia Cerato conventional (MSRP $28,000) would cost:

  • $7,468 at purchase (20% plus 6.6% TATV)
  • $423 per month for 60 months
  • $2,963 Total interest over 5 years
  • $32,831 total 5 year cost, not including fuel, maintenance and insurance.

The Cerato EV (MSRP $80,000) would cost:

  • $21,300 at purchase (20% plus 6.6% TATV)
  • $1,208 per month
  • $8,466 Total interest
  • $93,766 total 5 year cost, not including electricity, maintenance and insurance.

So roughly three times the cost to own for the first five years.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Vincent
June 20, 2023 6:14 am

The linked article provides and interesting review of this new Kia EV.


Wow! a total of 726 km (454 miles) with only two charging stops at the blistering pace of 100-110 km/hr (62-68 mph)

For comparison my 2013 Toyota Avalon hybrid will easily go over 550 miles (887 km) on a single full tank doing (conditions and traffic permitting) 70-75 mph (112-120 km/hr) with the AC keeping me comfortable all the way.

The driver (me) however, will need at least two rest stops to cover the distance.

June 19, 2023 4:24 am

I believe that Bjorn Lomborg’s comment captures the entire idiocy of the EV, when he states that if all vehicles were EVs by 2030, the resulting change in temperature by 2100 would be only 0.0002F. Why the heck are we even bothering when absolutely nothing will be achieved?

June 19, 2023 5:14 am

If the Just Stop Oil loons get their way and the government bans all further oil exploration and drilling how many years would it be before our roads become dirt tracks or we need to go back to the old Roman style block paving (which, I suppose, would be great for the unemployment statistics!)?
In Europe it’s going to be a ‘scrap’ to see who can get to the bottom first!

June 19, 2023 6:30 am

EVs use tires that require 5 to 10 gallons of petroleum to produce….tires can be made w/o oil but will cost more and require more agriculture to produce.

Scarecrow Repair
June 19, 2023 7:14 am

“Electric vehicles have become increasingly more popular in recent years” is a bit misleading, methinks. Government mandates and subsidies have increased sales, but that’s not quite the same as the vehicles themselves becoming more popular. We pay more taxes every year too; that doesn’t make them more popular.

June 19, 2023 9:45 am

More about China….they had a program of share a bicycle….it resulted in millions of bicycles being produced….and junked. There are cheap EV motor bikes in China and very cheap autos….the cheap autos are really just expanded enclosed golf carts that meet no safety standards available with lead acid batteries or lithium.

June 19, 2023 1:28 pm

The biggest drawback to EVs, is the battery. Of course there are arguments regarding the sourcing of the exotic materials, how they’re mined, processed and resultant pollution etc.

For me, the arguments against them is the charging infrastructure. The range claimed by manufacturers is to be taken with a pinch of salt (do you ever achieve the stated mpg?).

The batteries deteriorate if they’re constantly charged above 80% or fall below 20%. So range is automatically reduced to 60% usable. Then of course that range is further reduced by driving style, weather, traffic, highway topography etc.

In five minutes I can fuel up my car, or campervan (RV) and I’m good for 400 – 500 miles. To charge up a BEV, on standard charger will be at least a couple of hours (depending on battery size), and I sure don’t fancy having to charge up again after 200 miles or so.

Of course there are a few fast chargers, which will charge up in around 20 minutes. But an implication of fast charging is it shortens battery life. I just wonder how many people would use a fast charger all the time. As was mentioned in the discussion about buying a nine year old EV. Worse than that, statistically most vehicles depreciate by 75% in their first three years!

As we’ve already seen, slow chargers, will cause queueing problems. So the temptation is to install fast chargers, but what about the supply infrastructure? A 60Kwh car, would require a three phase 450A circuit, imagine a charging station with a bank of ten charging points. And following that, where will they get the supply from?

In consideration of these logistical issues, BEVs are not a solution.

June 19, 2023 6:12 pm

Wait, what…..

Somebody help me out here.

The guy said 69% of the animals on the planet have disappeared since 1970 at the end of this video?

Say what!

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