A Certain Confusion About Lithium Batteries

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall

“‘483m tons of lithium’ … That, apparently, is the annual required amount to give the US a battery powered car fleet if current suburban lifestyles, cars people desire to drive and so on are maintained. As we pointed out a decade back the total stock of lithium available to humanity, the Li content of the lithosphere, is: 2,850,000 billion … This being The Guardian of course they’ve got confused with numbers. 483m is not million, it’s mille. … Current production is around 100,000 tonnes. Or last year’s was at least. So that 435m tonnes is 435,000 tonnes, not 435 million (we can check this another way. There are 300 million-ish cars on the road, 435 million tonnes would require each to use 1.5 tonnes of lithium when in fact it’s more like 10 to 15 kg but agreed, that’s about the stock, not the annual consumption).” (01/25/23)