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Monday, March 27, 2023

Smaller EV batteries would reduce lithium-mining mess

Lowering the dimensions of EV batteries and customarily decreasing ranges of automobile possession and use may have a big environmental impression, in keeping with a brand new research.

The research, commissioned by the Local weather and Group Mission, a local weather coverage assume tank, used UC Davis analysis (first noticed by Inexperienced Automotive Congress). It discovered that limiting the dimensions of EV batteries whereas sustaining present U.S. ranges of automobile possession may reduce lithium demand by as a lot as 42%. It additionally discovered that, if automobile possession and use had been decreased, lithium demand could possibly be lowered 18% to 66%.

Lithium demand for U.S. light-duty vehicles (from Climate and Community Project study)

Lithium demand for U.S. light-duty automobiles (from Local weather and Group Mission research)


Lowering lithium demand would restrict air pollution from mining, and supply advantages each political and economical. Lithium has change into a part of an vitality safety debate within the U.S., which now imports massive portions of the mineral after letting its manufacturing falter.

Smaller battery packs may additionally assist stabilize EV costs. After a number of years of value declines, the price per kwh for batteries is now hampering EV affordability due to a uncooked materials value surge.

Audi battery assembly at Brussels, Belgium, factory

Audi battery meeting at Brussels, Belgium, manufacturing facility

Vary is an obsession and a crimson herring in EV discussions, and with the infrastructure enhancing by the day, EVs do not essentially want larger and greater packs. Getting shoppers to just accept that could be tough—though the concept of minimizing battery packs has extra of a change with fleet automobiles, even perhaps incorporating battery swapping.

It could be extra of a stretch, however one other research means that larger batteries may result in a large increase in particulate emissions, owing to their further weight inflicting elevated tire put on. Added weight has by no means been a very good factor for automobiles, at any charge.

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