We need 700 times as much lithium as we are currently mining to electrify global transport


Mining professor Simon Michaux has done a mammoth study on electrifying the global transport sector. He worked out how many cars, trucks, ships there were and how far they travel. Since most are still ICE(internal combustion engines)  vehicles he figured a great many things from there. Among his calculations were:

  1. We need 31,670 TWH of electricity for the global fleet (Yes, terrawatt hours!)
  2. We need 221,594m new power plants (a mixture of types)
  3. We need 2.78 billion tonnes of lithium for the lithium batteries, but current production and reserves are nowhere near enough.
  4. Taking the 2018 year of production, we need for  lithium 707.8 years of production at the current rate.
  5. We need 655.9 years of graphite at the current rate of production.
  6. We need 552 years of cobalt at the current rate of production.
  7. “Just remember it takes twenty years to bring a mine from a discovered deposit to a functioning mine.”
  8. And this is just to produce one generation of batteries, when in ten years time they need replacing.

So for anyone who wants to watch a short presentation of Simon Michaux, you could go to a Youtube seminar held recently.  Wise Response is a Limits to Growth NGO largely comprising academics from Otago. They partnered with the head of the School of Government at Victoria University to run a seminar where the speakers were Simon Michaux, economist Steve Keen, economist Tim Jackson and transition engineer Susan Krumdieck. Simon’s is the first presentation and I suggest you start at 4.20 minutes.

And, because Simon currently works for the Finland Geological Survey, he has met and talked with many key bureaucrats and politicians from European countries, including from the E.C and UN. (His insights are for those who can stick out the whole long session!)