We can never mine enough lithium to run 1.5 billion electric cars by 2035

Basic math shows that Net Zero is an impossible goal

By Roger Arthur, “Climate crisis? There is no climate crisis,” Facebook, April 28, 2024

There are over 1.5 billion cars globally and since 40 kilograms of lithium are required per battery, 60 million tonnes is required, i.e., 6 million tonnes each year on average over 10 years to reach the UN’s goal of producing only electric cars by 2035.

But the current rate of mining globally is less than 150,000 tonnes a year, at which rate it would take over 400 years to obtain the lithium needed to make batteries for 1.5 billion EVs.

Even if the average lithium mining rate is raised by three times to 520,000 tonnes a year over the next 10 years, then that would only see 130 million EV batteries produced.

That would leave a shortfall of over 1.370 billion EVs (1.5 billion minus 130 million), so we return again to the fact that we have neither the materials, the skilled resources nor the money to achieve Net Zero for cars and the grid by 2035.

The recycling rate is around 5% so that could provide lithium. But recycling cannot even begin to move the dial until EV batteries end their lives. But since a battery life of around 10 years is claimed, clearly recycling cannot begin to make a real contribution to the lithium shortage until after 2035. If ever….

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