Lithium’s Shrinking Reserves

As the earth continues to industrialize, holding onto natural resources has become a top priority. There is only so much that can be done with what exists on this planet. This means that what is here has to be used carefully, efficiently, and deliberately. For something like lithium, historically, this hasn’t been an issue. Although very recently that has started to change.

This change is promoted by a few key uses, the most important of which is, by far, batteries. Batteries currently are used for energy storage, phones, and other complex electric products. Although one key product is changing the scope of lithium use dramatically. Electric cars. Electric cars are rapidly becoming more popular all across the globe.

At first glance, this may not seem like a big deal. Electric cars are charged using one battery pack, how much lithium could that use? The answer is undeniably a lot. Each electric car utilizes an eight kilogram lithium battery. This is sizable to say the least. Currently there are 22 million tons of usable lithium reserves worldwide. If every bit of that lithium was turned into batteries there would be 2.5 billion batteries available. 

Naturally this is no small amount. There are less than 1.5 billion cars on the planet currently. Even if all were made into their electric alternative that would leave a lot of lithium left. Yet lithium is used for a wide range of processes. It’s used in science, industrial spaces, for ceramics, and for glass. 

This is why lithium is suddenly becoming a massive commodity. The reserves, while perfectly capable of supplying the planet for now, are shrinking. Not only are they shrinking, but they’re shrinking faster year after year. Lithium, like a range of other natural resources, has now been added to the list of things to preserve. 

Lithium In The Energy Economy