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Resource Investor says: No Lithium For You!

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by tonybelding, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    By way of EV World. . .

    http://www.evworld.com/general.cfm?pageIDENT=greatwesternmineral.cfm

    Summary:  Lithium-ion batteries won't be practical for cars anytime soon because. . .

    • There's not enough lithium production or exploitable resources to meet the demand.
    • Lithium-ion batteries aren't safe, they burst into flames and explode.
    • Lithium-ion batteries can't be recycled, there is no known way to recover lithium from them.

    As a result, GM and Toyota and other car makers will soon abandon plans to use Li-ion batteries and will stick with proven NiMH technology.  Therefore, we should all invest in a major Canadian producer of nickel!

    My analysis:

    • Lithium is not a rare element, it's actually the 14th most abundant element in the Earth's crust.  Production will follow demand.
    • Multiple approaches have already successfully resolved problems with Li-ion safety.
    • Google turns up multiple companies in the business of recycling Li-ion cells and recovering lithium from them.

    Furthermore. . .   Nickel is not such a common element.  Nickel prices have been shooting up, providing car makers with a strong incentive to move from NiMH to Li-ion.  Furthermore, the major Canadian nickel producer that Resource Investor wants us to put our money into is notorious for the ecological devastation their mining and processing facilities have caused.  The whole area has been described as a "moonscape" and was, in fact, used by NASA as a testing ground for Mars landers.
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  3. rphooper

    rphooper New Member

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    Here is a great article on the so called Lithium Crisis and the Car industries potential future use of Lithium batteries.
    http://www.ady.com.au/uploads/news/ea5d2f1c4608232e07d3aa3d998e5135.pdf

    I agree with most of your points.
    1.The Lithium supply exists, if needed production could be increased, but demand has to grow first, before companies will invest in increasing production
    2.Tesla's battery pack goes a long way to increasing the safety of Li-ion batteries.
    3.Have to disagree with both you and the original author here, it is more economical to mine new Lithium then to recycle it, the only reason there are companies doing recycling of Lithium is that environmental Laws prevent companies dumping old batteries in a hole. Tesla has mad a big point in mentioning the the costs of recycling are included in the car price, I'm not sure on the details of this, but I assume when the batteries reach end of life there is already some company that has already been payed to take them and recycle the Lithium. This might become a problem with less environmentally aware car companies in countries that do not have Laws requiring the recycling of batteries, as they will be able to dump electric cars on the market without consideration for the costs of recycling.
     
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I have read -- I think it was somewhere on the Tesla website -- that lithium-ion batteries are non-toxic and landfill-safe, so there is effectively no problem with dumping them in a hole. The reason they aren't dumped in a hole is because it makes economic sense to recycle them and recover the lithium and other materials (cobalt, etc.).
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Re the Lithium, Elon or one of the Tesla Marketing Mooks said you could eat it (but would not reccomend it)

    As for the recycling, legislation requiring new EV car companies to recycle lith like Tesla would work well. Kudos to Tesla anticipating the backlash the Evos regarding "what would happen to the to all that Lithium?"

    By the way, lead automotive batteries have a great recycling (in the 90 percentile range) rate. With Lith we could start with 100 percent recycled from day one.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Hopefully they don't need any:
    Lithium as a drug
    Lithium as a drug #2

    Toyota to delay introduction of lithium ion batteries in the Prius
    Toyota Puts Off New Type Of Battery for Next Prius
    Japan Report: Toyota Postponing Lithium-Ion Prius?
     

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