Lithium Outlook Bright with Auto Electrification
Source: Reuters, Chris Kelly (10/27/09)
". . .lithium is perhaps the Holy Grail of the electric vehicle. . ."
"I think that the future of transportation and energy is in electrification and smart grids. For electrification to really take place, you need a number of drivers, and we are seeing these catalysts today in Beijing ... in Washington, in terms of energy independence and 'green' air quality requirements," said Jay Chmelauskas, president of Western Lithium Corporation (TSX.V:WLC).
"Will it happen? Yes it will, but where is that inflection point? I think it is in the next 5–10 years from what we see happening," he said last week at the Managing Supply Chain Risks for Critical & Strategic Metals conference in Washington.
Light weight, energy efficiency and ability to quickly charge should drive demand from the auto industry for lithium-ion batteries past demand for batteries made from other metals such as lead, nickel and cobalt.
"We are recognizing that lithium is perhaps the Holy Grail of the electric vehicle and variations of the electric vehicle," said David L. Trueman, consulting geologist with Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX:AVL, OTCQX:AVARF).
The United States produces just 3% of the global lithium supply, but with support from $2 billion in government stimulus, suppliers of the minor metal are betting on a future transportation sector that will run on electric battery technology.
Bolivia owns about 50% of the world's lithium deposits at about 5.4 million tonnes.
As industrialized nations make strides in cutting dependence on fossil fuels and reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses, electrification of automobiles is an inevitable goal.