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How the US lags behind in lithium, EV “white gold”

There is a lithium supply problem in the United States. Almost all major automakers have announced the move to electric vehicles. Tesla delivered nearly 1 million cars in 2021, And a few new electric vehicle companies like Rivian When Lucido The new model is off the line.

To power all these EVs, you need a battery — many EVs.

According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, electric vehicle growth will account for more than 90% of lithium demand by 2030. However, lithium is also found in our phones, computers, ceramics, lubricants and medicines and is essential for the storage of solar and wind energy.

“It’s like the blood in your body,” he said. Lithium America “The chemistry behind the mechanics of lithium-ion batteries,” said CEO Jon Evans. “This remains a common denominator for all battery technologies, even if you are currently considering next-generation batteries. This is a really important factor. “

This important mineral in rechargeable batteries is named “White Gold” and is in a hurry.

The The price of lithium is soaringEstablishing a domestic supply of lithium, an increase of 280% from January 2021, has become a modern version of oil security. However, according to the United States Geological Survey, the United States is far behind today, with only 1% of the world’s lithium mined and processed in the United States.

Over 80% of the world’s raw lithium is mined in Australia, Chile and China.And China controls more than half of the world’s lithium processing and refining According to the International Energy Agency, there are three-quarters of the world’s mega factories for lithium-ion batteries.

But until the 1990s, the United States was a leader in lithium production.

“The lithium industry started in the United States and has been doing well for 50 years,” said Erick Neuman, International Business Manager at Swenson Technology. “We have a lot. The challenge is whether we can produce what we need at an economical and competitive price. It’s difficult.”

Lithium is not a rare element. According to the USGS, the United States has about 8 million tonnes of reserves and is ranked among the top five countries in the world.

However, only one lithium mine is operating in the United States. AlbemarleSilver Peak, Nevada.

Last June, The administration has released a blueprint With the rapid growth of domestic lithium production and refining, and battery production, we have set the national EV sales target to 50% by 2030.

Several domestic lithium projects are underway in Nevada, North Carolina, California, Arkansas, and more.

Lithium Americas workers are processing lithium at an R & D lab in Reno, Nevada.

Controlled Thermal Resources is developing a lithium project on the Salton Sea, California. The project will extract lithium from brine pumped through a geothermal energy plant in the region.Salton Sea was once Hot tourist destinationHowever, it has become one of the worst environmental and public health crises in modern history. Because the dry condition dried much of the lake. California is calling the region the “Lithium Valley” and is trying to transform it, hoping to generate the income needed to revive the region.

last summer, GM Announces Millions of Dollars Investing in Controlled Heat Resources, Secured the first right to buy domestic lithium for EV.

Piedmont Lithium We want to revive an old lithium mining area in North Carolina near Charlotte.Piedmont signed a contract to supply Tesla with lithium supplied from its deposits in 2020, but the project was a hit Delay due to permission.

Lithium Americas is planning an open pit mine at Thacker Pass, one of the largest lithium reserves in the United States, within an extinct supervolcano about 200 miles north of Reno, Nevada. Lithium and it is in the final licensing stage.

But no one wants a mine in their backyard, and football passes and other projects have been stalled by lawsuits and opposition from environmentalists, forgiving delays and receiving opposition from Native American tribes in the area. I am.

Watch the video to learn more and take a look inside some of the works’ domestic lithium projects. How the US lags behind in lithium, EV “white gold”

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