Plenty of lithium after all?

Nissan recently announced that the 24 kWh battery for the LEAF, its electric car, would use approximately 4 kg of lithium. Some industry observers were concerned that lithium availability would be a bottleneck for the budding electric car industry, but via Green Sheet, an expert contributor to the Gerson Lehrman Group runs an analysis based on the Nissan announcement and concludes that there may be plenty of lithium after all:
Lithium supplies from exisiting and expanded operations are therefore more than sufficient to meet potential demand for 500,000 lithium-ion battery powered vehicles in 2015 and could potentially meet demand for up to 2 million lithium-ion battery powered HEV and EV vehicles in that same period... Oversupply might be a more pressing question than lithium availability.
This is great news for companies planning to make electric cars, promoters of electric cars in general (e.g. some major cities), and probably the overall fight against climate change. It is not such good news for Evo Morales and Bolivia, who possess about half of the world's known lithium reserves and had grandiose dreams of major companies and country governments begging for minority stakes in lithium extraction operations.

If it's any consolation to them, resource wealth is often a curse and doesn't have a great track record of bringing long-term prosperity anywhere else...

No comments:

Post a Comment