The time dimension and lithium resource constraints for electric vehicles
The availability of lithium resources for a transition to electric vehicles is a vital topic for transport technology strategy. Recent debate seems to have concluded that there is ‘sufficient’ lithium available, but for the purposes of a technological transition, time matters. It is not simply the quantity of resource that is relevant—the flow rate into society may be a much more difficult constraint and transient events have disrupted heavily concentrated material supply chains in the past. Furthermore, critical assumptions such as the presence of recycling systems may not be justified without policy support. Complacency is therefore not an appropriate stance for a robust evaluation of material risks in the case of lithium.
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