They don't explode in a ball of fire in an accident;
Ummm.... I don't think you know all that much about Lithium Ion batteries. I'd suggest you familiarize yourself with the causes of the Samsung Note 7 battery failures
, and read up on many of the documents available from NTSB, NASA and other organizations on Li and similar batteries' safety. You will read about cascading failures, and learn that a short circuit of a Li battery can be caused not just by tapping the positive and negative terminals together, but also by puncture, leakage or crushing of cells. Much like in a vehicle accident.
To put a fine point on it, watch this video from June of last year. Richard Hammond of The Grand Tour rolled a Rimac Concept 1 electric vehicle - stunning car, as you point out - reducing the total number of copies from 8 to 7. Note that firefighters repeatedly thought the fire was out, but it continued burning - for four days
. That's one vehicle.
I don't have the bugaboos that you do, but my country wasn't the target of 911, is no longer much involved in the operating theatre of the war on terror, and isn't subject to the daily rhetoric that comes from the White House. We have our own problems, of course. What I do take exception to, however, is the fact that in all of the arguments over "foreign oil" including the issue that certain wars are simply a war for oil and not for political expediency, it's convenient to forget that nearly 40% of the United State's foreign oil comes from Canada
. (It was easy, we twinned the Maple Syrup Pipeline.)
As to other's concerns about the human cost of Li mining, it's actually recovered by solar evaporation of brine taken from brine pools. It's not pretty, but neither are the brine pools.
The salts then get further extracted to obtain the refined lithium used elsewhere.
I also don't get a jazzy feeling about electricity production in North America. 65% of electricity in the US is generated by fossil fuels
- coal, oil and gas. In Canada, over 60% is from hydro-electric generation
, and we are a net exporter, with our excess power going to the US. Given that America is roughly 10X the population base of Canada, what we generate in electricity is kind of inconsequential, when the US is so reliant on fossil fuels for electricity generation. I'm a big proponent of nuclear and hydro electric power, and the US has more electricity generating reactors than any other country - they'll put them in their battleships and submarines, close to "their boys", but they won't put them close to their cities that need them.
Please don't get me wrong. I'm stoked about electric motorcycles too. I don't think they will bring about world peace, especially when Li is primarily mined in the Andes, with Chile and Argentina the primary suppliers. I'm afraid the USA would have issues with that - total foreign supply - if that remains the main chemical in batteries. However, battery technology will change. Someday we may know how to carry electricity in deionized water - who knows. Oh, wait - that would be hydrogen fuel cells, a technology that's actually smarter than electricity in my opinion. The point is that what we see now as electric vehicles are the rough equivalent to the steam-powered cars of the early 1900s. Future generations will look back on the technology we had - they used LAPTOP batteries, can you imagine?!?!?! - and think we were crazy.
Bring on electric bikes, sure. Heck, you can be excited about it. There will be lots of tech on them too, like the come to me feature on the Falcon X. And, make no mistake, there will be gyroscopes to keep you upright at stoplights. That stuff is already here, as you will see in the video below. I for one am still a fan of actual driving, and running an ICE. I have a manual transmission car - because I enjoy driving
. What I forsee about electric bikes is that they will add tech for the sake of tech... it won't be the motorcycle you're thinking of, not for long. Bring on the electric bikes! That will make a healthy resale market for the ICE bikes.