Critics of electric cars will often claim that we’re trading dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on lithium. According to GLG, this isn’t a problem.
Nissan revealed that its 24 kWh battery for the all electric LEAF will require 4 kg of lithium. Using that figure as an average for all electric car batteries GLG’s “expert contributor” figures that producing 500,000 electric and plug-in electric car would require 2,000t of lithium. That’s less than 10% of the lithium production in 2008.
Right now lithium producers are operating at just 75% of their capacity. Leading lithium producers are cranking up production, and we could have enough lithium for over two million cars by 2015, says GLG. If additional production comes from China, and other producers, over supply might be a problem.
With all this lithium readily available in the near term, GLG says “questions on lithium supply need not be asked.” Lithium suppliers might even end up in a price war to provide the cheapest source to capture the market.
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