With major automakers like GM set to produce only electric vehicles by 2035, it is estimated that we will have over 250 million electric vehicles on the roads worldwide by 2035.
That means a lot more mining for the lithium that goes into their batteries. In fact, demand for lithium is expected to increase six-fold by 2025, according to the International Energy Agency, with much of that growth coming from electric vehicles.
With EV sales growing rapidly, companies are racing to open new mines and increase production. However, mining lithium is a water-intensive process that can have a significant environmental impact. It is also becoming increasingly expensive as demand grows and supplies tighten.
Lithium shortages could make it difficult for automakers to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. In fact, several major automakers, including Tesla, have found production delays as a result of their inability to secure enough lithium.
As electric vehicles become more common, we will need to ensure that we have a sustainable supply of lithium. That means finding ways to reduce the environmental impact of mining and increasing production to meet future demand.
Innovation in battery technology will need to coincide with our finding greater access to materials. The challenge is to make sure that as we electrify our vehicles, we do so in a way that is sustainable and doesn’t put a strain on the planet.
Our new green revolution, as we work towards transportation that is more sustainable, will require us to harvest materials from the ground and find new deposits to keep up with the increased demand. The good news is that there are already a number of companies working on more sustainable ways to mine lithium and other critical materials. With the right policies in place, we can ensure that the transition to electric vehicles is a clean and green one.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best Portable Substation in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.