During recent human history, oil has been the most sought reserve, and that too in abundance.
However, as our lifestyles change, the dramatic increase in demand for lithium has sparked a new debate.
The agenda of this debate is whether or not Lithium is the new oil, because if it is, countries with Lithium will rule the world. They will be the ones who shape what the future looks like.
Increase In Demand Of Lithium
The recent push to go electric has significantly increased the demand for lithium.
Most countries have urged their citizens to reduce their carbon footprint. Thus, the transition to electric vehicles appears to be the only way out.
Some countries have gone so far as to ban gasoline and diesel variants entirely over the next few decades.
The graph above shows the forecast for new car sales until 2040. It depicts how sales of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will increase over time. This means that the demand for lithium will continue to rise in the coming years.
How Much Lithium Does An EV Battery Require?
To put this in context, a single Tesla Model S vehicle requires approximately 140 pounds of Lithium for its batteries.
This amount would otherwise be sufficient to manufacture 10,000 smartphone batteries.
Size Of Lithium Market
The global Lithium market had a total worth of US $ 4.09 billion in 2019. However, it is expected to be worth US $ 8.24 billion by the year 2027.
The lithium market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.2% between 2020 and 2027. This market was worth 280-kilo tonnes in 2020.
Rates Of Lithium Extraction Vary
In the past, many countries increased Lithium extraction rates. This was done to offer ample amounts of Lithium to the industry.
Resultantly, the price of Lithium plunged. After this, the production rates were intentionally brought down.
Nonetheless, 2021 has been a completely different story in that demand is once again on the rise. However, this time, the growth is not for the manufacture of cellphone batteries.
Rather, the trend of EVs is causing the high demand. As a result, many countries have gone so far as to completely prohibit the export of lithium to Asian countries.
Which Countries Extract Lithium?
This brings us to the next question regarding the countries that are sitting on top of tons of Lithium.
The list is very vast and diverse but the most significant countries include but are not limited to:
Which Countries Consume Lithium?
It is also vital to take a look at the countries that consume this chemical element. So, here are some of the key consumers:
– South Korea;
Here is how the Lithium market growth rate will look during the years 2021 and 2026:
What Is The Source Of Lithium?
Everyone wants to have more of this precious commercial element, but there are just two sources of Lithium that can be commercially used. These include:
– Mineral Ore Deposits;
– Underground Brine Deposits.
An EV battery is a technological marvel. It promises to keep the planet green and pollution-free. However, we must avoid a race to extract lithium due to its negative consequences for the planet.
Yes, I believe lithium is the “New Oil.” However, lithium deposits, like oil reserves, are perishable resources. So, the world must conserve this precious resource.
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