Researchers at the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company have just released a study stating that there is enough lithium in existence to power electric vehicles at least until the year 2100. The study assessed the global availability of lithium contained in 103 known deposits and compared it to the projected demand for the substance in applications such as lubricating grease, air conditioning, portable electronics batteries, and batteries for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. How can the researchers accurately predict demand for lithium that far into the future? We’re not so sure about that part, but as lithium ion batteries are currently the best option for green vehicle batteries we are encouraged to hear that the global supply of lithium is currently estimated at 39 million tons.
The study estimates that even with increasing demand for electric cars over the next century, the total demand for lithium in automotive applications will be just 12-20 million tons–only half of what’s available: “Even with a rapid and widespread adoption of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries, lithium resources are sufficient to support demand until at least the end of this century,” the study led by Paul Gruber and Pablo Medina concludes. Adds Gruber, “We believe our assessment is a timely and comprehensive study that settles the question of whether the global resources are sufficient for electric vehicles using lithium-ion technology.”
Via AutoBlog Green