The place’s the lithium? NYT Notes A lot Extra Lithium Is Wanted For Biden’s Electrical Car Enhance – Watts That?
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h / t Neil; NYT has determined that a lot of toxic minerals must be extracted and extensive wholesale ecological destruction is required to fulfill President Biden’s vision for a clean electric vehicle.
The electric vehicle race creates a gold rush for lithium and raises environmental concerns.
May 7, 2021
The United States needs to find new supplies of lithium quickly as automakers push electric vehicle manufacturing.
Lithium is used in electric car batteries because it is light, holds a lot of energy, and can be recharged repeatedly. Other ingredients like cobalt are needed to keep the battery stable.
However, the production of raw materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, which are essential to these technologies, is often ruinous for land, water, wildlife and humans, report Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton for the New York Times. Mining is one of the dirtiest companies out there.
“At the moment, if China decides to cut off the US for various reasons, we are in trouble,” said Ben Steinberg, an Obama administration official who became a lobbyist. He was hired in January by Piedmont Lithium, which is working on the construction of an open pit mine in North Carolina and is one of several companies to form a trade association for the industry.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/business/the-electric-vehicle-race-is-creating-a-gold-rush-for-lithium-raising-environmental-concerns. html
NYT failed to give a figure for lithium deficiency, but I’ve seen estimates that a 2000% increase in lithium recovery rates would be required, along with a wide range of other toxic minerals such as rare earths (which are used in highly efficient electric motors). There would be no opportunity to ramp up production to this extent – once readily available lithium brine was depleted, lithium miners had to tear up the landscape and dig up low-grade lithium with minerals in huge open pit mines, creating enormous toxins in landfills in their quest to to supply the market for the production of electric vehicles.
And none of this would be unique – the search and extraction process would continue.
Good thing the motive for this planned wholesale destruction of the planet is to save the environment, right?