Lithium mining is an essential aspect of producing EVs. Unfortunately, it comes with a high environmental cost. The process of extracting lithium from the ground releases harmful chemicals into the air and water. This can lead to local water shortages and respiratory problems for those living near mines. In addition, lithium mining is often done in countries with little environmental regulation, meaning that the damage to the environment is often worse than it could be. The high cost of lithium mining is one of the reasons that EVs are still more expensive than gas cars, and it is also making it difficult to produce enough EVs to meet rising demand. With the world’s supply of lithium finite, we need to find a way to mine it more sustainably or find an alternative source of this vital element.
Major auto manufacturers like GM have issued mandates to sell only electric vehicles by the year 2035, but this is placing an incredible amount of pressure on the already overburdened lithium supply chain.
Lithium shortages are making EVs more difficult to produce at the same time that demand is skyrocketing. This is because it takes a great deal of lithium to produce a single EV battery. In order to meet the needs of the EV market, mining operations would need to increase significantly, which would cause even more damage to the environment.
We need to find a way to mine lithium sustainably or develop an alternative source of this vital element if we want to maintain the momentum of the EV market. Otherwise, we risk doing irreparable damage to the environment in our quest to save it.
A change to regulatory measures for Lithium mining and new battery technology that improves the efficiency of production for lithium batteries is a crucial step that will ensure a brighter future for EVs internationally.
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 electrical control system 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.