A rare mineral that could spell doom for the electric car market

Thomas Catenacci

Lithium – a key mineral for electric car batteries – continues to rise in price, jeopardizing the ongoing transition to renewables energy sketched by the west governments.

The cost of lithium has skyrocketed more than 250% in the past 12 months, hitting an all-time high, follow into an industry index from the benchmark Mineral Intelligence. While the cost of producing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) has plummeted over the past decade, the decline has slowed in recent months due to rising lithium costs.

The average cost of an EV battery pack has dropped to $157 per kilowatt hour, a measure of energy capacity, by 2021, the Department of Energy speak in October. That means a typical EV battery costs between $6,000 and $7,000, BloombergNEF analysis shows.

Battery costs will need to drop to $100 per kilowatt-hour for overall EV price to compete with cars with traditional internal combustion engines, according to Bloomberg. The price of lithium will play a big role in achieving that goal.

“It’s like being in a hot real estate market,” says Lithium Americas CEO Jon Evans told Wall Street Journal. “There was a frantic scramble.”

Lithium America has offer to mine lithium on a dormant volcano in Nevada. However, the company has yet to mine any lithium due to opposition from environmentalists and happenning litigation related to allegations that the federal government approved the company’s mining license too quickly.

If the mine does begin production, it could help the United States reduce its dependence on foreign lithium and increase supply at a time when demand for the mineral is soaring.

The US has about 750,000 tons of lithium that can be mined, but it produces very little and imports tens of thousands of tons of valuable lithium from Argentina, Chile, China and Russia. follow for the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS report withheld US-specific data to avoid disclosing proprietary information about companies like Lithium Americas.

Converting and processing lithium into actual components of EV batteries could also prevent prices from falling, Bloomberg reported. China currently dominates the battery processing market, and it is responsible for about 80% of the global battery chemical refining capacity.

Meanwhile, Western leaders have vowed to support aggressive measures to spur consumers to buy electric vehicles as their next new vehicle. In the United States, President Joe Biden draw up a plan make 50% of new car purchases zero-emissions by 2030.

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https://www.tampafp.com/a-mad-scramble-one-rare-mineral-may-spell-doom-for-electric-vehicle-market/ A rare mineral that could spell doom for the electric car market


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