Lithium: The Heart of EVs

Gray Joshua
3 min readAug 27, 2021

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Lithium-ion batteries are the default choice for most personal electronics and most electric cars today because they have a higher energy density than other technologies. The lithium-ion battery revolution began in earnest in the early 1990s after Sony and several other categories released the first commercial version of the new battery technology. Now that lithium-ion batteries are the predominant choice for many applications, particularly electric vehicles, questions about the global supply of lithium are timely. In short, could lithium-ion batteries scale up with potential demand?

With over a million electric vehicles (EVs) anticipated to be on the road globally by the end of 2015 and a developing number of jurisdictions around the world focusing seriously on the development of EV vends, we could anticipate strong emergence in lithium-ion battery potential demand. Costs have come down steadily since the early 1990s. A recent peer-reviewed analysis found that lithium-ion battery values have come down about 14 percent per year since 2007 and the long-term trend is also quite clear, in a standard learning curve effect, of approx. 6 percent to roughly 9 percent reduction in value for every doubling of production capacity.

Furthermore, by 2030, the world could see over 125 million EVs on the road, only driving potential demand for lithium supply. In fact, according to Resource World, it is a potential anticipated demand for vehicle battery metal might improve sharply over the next several years as automakers abandon internal combustion engines for EVs. (1) Lithium exploration could be the solution to fuel the potential demand for EVs in near future! Have you ever wondered why lithium production appears to be so wedded to the prominence of EVs? I’m excited to share this story I discovered!

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change hosted by the UK policymaker in Glasgow from November 1–12 is likely to see countries further enhance commitments on carbon emissions. This might come on top of already announced policies such as U.S. President Biden’s green stimulus and the European Union’s Green Deal. The good news for consumers and lithium’s potential demand is that the values of EVs and conventionally powered cars are rapidly converging. Industry experts anticipate them to be broadly at parity in 2025. That is large because the cost of batteries has been shrinking rapidly. A report by BloombergNEF states lithium-ion battery packs stumble in value by nearly 87% between 2010 and 2019. Though that pace of technological advancement might be difficult to maintain, the broad trend of value is predicted to continue. Lithium miners have not been oblivious to the rapid adoption of EVs. Vends went from close to zero in 2012 to around 1 million units just five years later. Reports began appearing extrapolating exponential development far into the future.

Unfortunately, there’s just not enough lithium supply. Even the International Energy Agency just warned: at least 30 times as much lithium, nickel, and other key minerals might be required by the electric car industry by 2040 to meet global climate targets. In line with this, these other realms could play a vital role in lithium exploration. They currently have extensive operations in Nevada — arguably the hottest North American jurisdiction for lithium exploration. (2) Lithium-ion batteries seem to be more efficient and cost-effective than gasoline in conventional vehicles. New methods for lithium mining and extraction are now popping up! Wondering how EV moves in the global market? Let’s strive for a zero-carbon goal, get down to nuts and bolts. This is a great place to extend your horizons!

Fundamentally, the technology underlying lithium-ion batteries has remained the same since the 1970s. Car manufacturers have been working on a rapidly emerging new battery technology, however, lithium might continue to play a central role. These additional scopes could be the beacon of hope for Ev’s future! Shed some light in your thoughts by exploring the finest foundation for electric vehicles on this amazing site.

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