Lithium is the lightest weight metal in the periodic chart. It has the greatest electrochemical properties, which allows for efficient energy to weight performance, such as mobility devices and electric vehicle batteries.
Lithium Industry Trends
The need for lithium continues to accelerate, with demand from companies that produce batteries to power electric vehicles, laptops and other high-tech devices.
- Price forecasted to increase exponentially over the next decade.
- Overall lithium demand is forecast to rise from 200,000 tons of lithium carbonate to possibly more than 2,000,000 tons lithium carbonate by 2025.
- Automotive industry is forecasted to have the biggest demand for lithium batteries that may become 70% of overall demand for lithium.
- Volvo has committed to build 5 million electric cars by 2020.
- There are 45 gigafactories either built or in the planning stages to be built that may consume an estimated 2 million tons of lithium carbonate annually.
- At this time, there is no commercial replacement for lithium.
- Bloomberg said, “even if the price of lithium soars 300 percent, battery costs would rise by only 2%.” Tesla (TSLA), CEO, Elon Musk calls lithium “the salt on the salad.”
- Vehicle manufactures are spending $365 billion USD before 2025 to produce electric vehicles.
Why Lithium is Green
Lithium is a key component in the green energy storage industry with no known replacement.
i) Production of lithium from underground brines have a nominal carbon footprint.
ii) Of course, the ultimate green revolution, which has already started, is the replacement of vehicles burning fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide to electric vehicles that simply don’t. there are currently 1.7 million electric vehicles which is expected to increase to approx. 30 million electric vehicles or more than a 25% market share by 2030; simply put there is a race to replace fossil fuels.
iii) 80% of all carbon dioxide emissions come from burning fossil fuels of which 19% comes from vehicles which suggests if all vehicles were electric there would be 19% less carbon dioxide emissions.
iv) Production of lithium at the Salar del Diablo could be sustainably green.
v) The use of either separation or replacement technologies may eliminate the environmental disruption of evaporation ponds.
vi) From an environmental perspective there will be no salt piles, waste water, rock piles, open pits or tailings.