The United States has a lithium supply problem. Lithium-ion batteries are in everything we use — in phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and increasingly cars. Demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply in the past five years and is expected to grow from a $44.2 billion market in 2020 to a $94.4 billion market by 2025.

This is largely due to the boom in electric cars. Nearly every major automaker has announced a transition to electric vehicles. Tesla delivered almost one million cars in 2021, and electric vehicle companies like Rivian and Lucid are rolling new models off the line. In order to power all of these EVs, we will need batteries, lots of them. Electric vehicle growth will be responsible for more than 90% of demand for lithium by 2030, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. This vital mineral in rechargeable batteries has earned the name “white gold” and the rush is on.

Former Tesla CTO and Elon Musk’s right-hand man, JB Straubel, started Redwood Materials in 2017 to help address the need for more raw materials and to solve the problem of e-waste. The company recycles end-of-life batteries and then supplies battery makers and auto companies with materials in short supply as EV production surges around the world. Straubel gave CNBC an inside look at its first recycling facility in Carson City, Nevada.

Cobalt also deserves a lot of attention because it is one of the most expensive materials found in lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt extraction is largely concentrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is linked to human rights abuses and child labor, while cobalt refinement is almost exclusively done in China, making cobalt part of a tenuous supply chain. These are some of the reasons why battery manufacturers like Samsung and Panasonic and car makers like Tesla and VW, along with a number of startups are working to eliminate cobalt from lithium-ion batteries completely.

00:00 — How Tesla’s Battery Mastermind Is Tackling EV’s Biggest Problem
18:31 — Why The U.S. Has A Massive Lithium Supply Problem
34:39 — How Removing Cobalt From Batteries Can Make EVs Cheaper

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Why The EV Industry Has A Massive Supply Problem


22 thoughts on “Why The EV Industry Has A Massive Supply Problem”

  1. They should have Huge supply issues ? because colbolt is minded from human hands ✋️ in the Congo ?? un ethnically I would ban all electronics sold if the materials are brought and made from the Congo mines

  2. The fake news will tell us about all our problems except the ones they hide.
    The clot shot that the Fake News, venal politicians and paid off medical experts conspire to make us take is killing far more people than these Manchurian candidates that always spring up when they need to distract us.
    Fauci gave China the virus they created in the USA along with funding when it was no longer legal to do such work in America. The vaccine they force people to take is the real killer not the virus and it was all planned.

  3. It's the most stupid "solution" to a problem that doesn't exist, actually it's in no way or form a solution, it's a big problem being created, because of a lie. If we really want to go renewable there is a much better way, batteries solve nothing, but creates big problems. But fortunately electricity can be turned into fuels that can be used in the cars we have now, and in future electric cars of the future with fuel cell's.

  4. Human is the most dangerous species on earth. Greedy and selfishness destroy each other and the earth. Digging out for profit, then dumping all the waste on the earth. It must be stopped and several punishments. We need to get back to basics and be more humble. Development is heading in the wrong direction. It never fulfills people's happiness. From low-tech to hi-tech all benefit the rich, not the 90% of the world's people. Western corporations and gov,t are vain and greedy. We must turn from the wrong to the right way. Today IT is progressing ahead of people's needs, no need to spend more on it but put more into poverty problems, simple life, but only for sustainability, and put more into the environment.
    The sick nations who love murder, weapon productions, and war trade must be eliminated.

  5. Are they recycled batteries equal to new ones or is it another coverup like rating a car based on 100% charge but charge time advertised at 80%?
    Why is the battery material sent to China for processing? Because they can pollute more than anyone or slave labor?

  6. toyota hybrid is the best solution here, remember if you buy a tesla count on putting a side 50 cents a mile for a new battery, so it will cost you to go electric

  7. The truth is that the first time ever a battery used will now become a little more than a few inches long it will be a full more than a little bit more battery will eventually be able to provide you with a better solution for your following items !?

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