How Electric Vehicles Are Driving Up Lithium Demand – Video


Throughout the video embedded above, Bloomberg discusses how electric vehicles are driving up lithium demand.

Ryan Popple regarding lithium and recycling - Proterra Buses.

Ryan Popple regarding lithium and recycling – Proterra Buses.

There are different views and opinions provided by a few people in the video.

As Ryan Popple, Tesla Motors Former Senior Director of Finance states in the video, lithium is recyclable and will always be there while oil is not once it is burned.

He adds that Tesla Motors is trying to solve the issue of our reliance on crude oil with its upcoming battery giga factory.

Of course, Popple’s viewpoint is but one of several.

Perhaps you have a view and opinion on the topic that you’d like to share?

Behold Some Beautiful Mounds of Lithium

Behold Some Beautiful Mounds of Lithium

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19 responses to "How Electric Vehicles Are Driving Up Lithium Demand – Video"
  1. Mikael says:

    “Lithium is incredible expensive” *lol*…

    Lithium is cheap, in abundance and 100% recyclable. Lithium will never be a limiting factor for EV’s in any way.

  2. Spec9 says:

    It is nice that Lithium is available in relatively friendly and stable states like Chile, Bolivia, and the USA.

    1. Mikael says:

      I wouldn’t call all those 3 friendly states.

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        I wouldn’t call the one friendly state.

  3. ClarksonCote says:

    What’s with the lithium mounds? I mean, I’ve seen them before in pictures and all, but what is the process that leads to there being these mounds of lithium in the article’s image?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Lithium are abundant in salt water.

      Those are typical “salt formation” in the dried up old salt water lake beds…

      Just about all the old sea beds or salt lakes have lithium deposits…

    2. JakeY says:

      The lithium ore naturally occurs in dry salt lakes. It’s very simple to mine: you just basically shovel that stuff into a truck. Then it is processed into lithium carbonate for use in battery factories.

      Unlike other types of mining, those salt lakes are uninhabitable and have no wild life in the first place, so ecological damage is almost nonexistent.

      1. Spec9 says:

        Yep, as far as mining goes, Lithium mining is one of the most low-impact types of mining. There is still some impact (plants, roads, trucks driving around, etc.) but is very low impact compared to other types of mining operations.

        1. Ambulator says:

          That only applies to brine mining, as in the picture. Spodumene mining is not so nice, but it is on the decline for now.

  4. Rob Stark says:

    Adjusted for inflation lithium prices have fallen 85% since 1950.

    Currently about $5500 per ton.

    That is about $2.75 per lbs.

  5. Nix says:

    Even if there are problems with lithium prices or supply, that does not at all impact the operation of any car that is already built (unlike an oil crisis). It would only impact cars being built, and batteries don’t have to be lithium-ion batteries in the future when big EV production numbers might start causing problems. There are other options besides lithium already today, and other options continue to be developed for electric cars.

    This is one of those future problems that either might not ever happen, or will solve itself through simple competitive development cycles. When lithium batteries aren’t the best option due to price pressures, another battery will be used.

  6. jmac says:


    ….. by the University of Wyoming’s Carbon Management Institute research team, according to a recent report.

    The deposit, located near Rock Springs in southwestern Wyoming, is physically located in brine—underground salty water. Researchers came upon this discovery in their quest to discover an environmentally friendly location to store carbon dioxide underground.

    The size of this new discovery has the potential to completely change the U.S. lithium market. According to reports from EV World, the Rock Springs uplift could contain as much as 18 million tons of lithium. In terms of current market prices, this find could be worth up to $500 billion. In other words, these potential reserves are roughly equal to 720 years of global production.

    Presently, the U.S. has only one lithium mining operation at the present time. Western Lithium’s (TSX: WLC) mine is located in Nevada and has current reserves of around 118,000 tons. However, other players may be ready to increase their presence in the U.S. market with the news of this new find…….

    Also, Abermale has a potential brine mining operation in Arkansas that is about to be brought on line.

    “Albemarle Corporation said Friday that it has developed a proprietary technology for lithium extraction from brine.

    This newly developed technology will allow the company to recover lithium that is present in the brines at its Magnolia, Arkansas bromine facility and utilize it to produce lithium carbonate.”………..

    1. kdawg says:

      So you’re saying the Gigafactory will be in Wyoming now…. 🙂

  7. Just_chris says:

    In 2012 the BGS did a list of the top 50 elements at risk in terms of supply shortages:

    Interestingly lithium isn’t all that at risk, with Graphite and the RRE being far higher up the list. This would suggest that the materials in the motors and the battery electrodes are more of an issue than the lithium. Especially since much more of the battery is graphite than lithium. I wouldn’t worry too greatly about it though as graphite can be made synthetically which they might do for battery manufacture anyway (I assume mineral graphite is dirty).

    The one element that always upsets me on the list is mercury which is in short supply because we have over the last few century’s been very successful in extracting it and then transferring via a hopelessly inefficient waste management chain into what we eat.

    IMO lithium prices will rise as we extract the cheap easy to get to stuff but then stabilize. Hopefully lithium is rare enough to make recycling a commercially viable practice so we don’t just end up dumping it in the sea, only to realize down the track that what we throw away is actually full of what we need to keep a modern society running.

    1. Just_chris says:

      Also of interest is that 5 out of 10 of the lowest risk elements are most abundant in Australia. Where as 8 out of 10 of the most at risk elements are in China. One can only assume this is because the BGS believe that China are protectionist and Australia are complete mineral whores who will sell it for virtually nothing to anyone who asks.

  8. jmac says:

    I think that the new (21st Century) mining paradigm will mostly be based on extraction of minerals from common, relatively accessible underground brines.

  9. krona2k says:

    It always amuses me when lithium gets so much attention. If the batteries were called cobalt batteries them maybe that raw material would get the attention it deserves!

  10. Suprise Cat says:

    Soon the american wallstreet speculants will jump on the train push up the prices.

    1. TomArt says:

      That’s not much of a surprise. 😉