TomSaidak wrote:The first issue is that there are only 35 million tons of proven reserves for lithium. Of that reserve, 25 million tons of it are in either China or Russia.
There is much dispute (just like with oil) as to how abundant this resource is.The Saudi Arabia of Lithium
William Tahil, the founder of Meridian International Research, a technology consultancy in Martainville, France, has argued that there simply isn't enough economically recoverable lithium on the planet to support the auto industry's ambitious plans. Tahil estimated that only 4.4 million tons of the world's lithium resources can be extracted without prohibitive cost, a supply he believes will be quickly exhausted if lithium-ion batteries become a staple of next-generation cars.
Tahil reserves particular skepticism for SQM. The company states that it has already discovered 5.7 million tons of lithium in the Salar de Atacama and that only 45% of its lake-bed claim has been explored. But Tahil, who is not a geologist, scoffs at that assessment; he believes that the brine starts to run out below 130 feet under the salar.
But there is another guy:
R. Keith Evans, a geologist who has worked in the lithium business since the 1970s, has been Tahil's most vehement critic. In a rebuttal to Tahil published in March, Evans pegged global reserves of lithium carbonate at 165 million tons. He also argued that if demand spikes as anticipated, higher prices will make it cost-effective to extract lithium from clay and wastewater.
"Well, geez, it's only the 33rd most abundant element in the world," says Ener1's Gassenheimer. "We're quite certain the world will not run out of lithium."
As for China and Russia having all the good stuff...Global & China Lithium Carbonate Industry Report, 2008-2010 (Updated Version)
China is one of the countries with the largest lithium reserves in the world. China's proven lithium reserves (converted into pure lithium) have reached 3.35 million tons, meaning China ranks the third in terms of salt lake brine lithium reserves and ranks the fourth in terms of lithium ore resources. China's prospective reserves of lithium resources will be more substantial.
What is the truth? Who really knows...here is a nice report on the subject matter...World Lithium Resource Impact on Electric Vehicles
One interesting quote:
Future lithium extraction methods may use sea water as the source. Scientist at Saga University estimates that globally, seawater contains an estimated 230 billion tons of lithium. Current research is being done in this area by Saga University's Institute of Ocean Energy, Japan. None of the resource estimates discussed use sea water as a source for their analysis. The potential environmental impact of Li mining in the oceans is still unknown and the current technology is not economically competitive and is not expected to mature enough in the short term.
Oh by the way, I have stated in previous posts, the Volt hybrid technology is not new, it's 100 years old!
Modern locomotives have been using Diesel-Electric tech since the 1900's.
IMO, hybrids are the next gen because of the battery issue and also because we have such a large gas station infrastructure already in place. Once battery tech + infrastructure is "up to speed", only then will it replace oil. But with PO just around the "corner", I'm not so sure if we will ever see it happen.
I'd rather be the killer than the victim.
The Money Badger don't care. Sucks to be poor!