The U.S. Needs a Strategic Plan to Avoid an Energy Materials Shock
- Apr 6, 2019 3:46 am GMT
The push for vehicle electrification in the early part of the 21st Century initially came, not from concerns about climate change, but from concerns that the U.S. economy was becoming dangerously dependent upon a single natural resource (petroleum), the supply of which forces outside the United States could disrupt. As vehicle electrification moves from theory to reality, it is important that the United States not repeat past mistakes and become dependent upon foreign supplies of strategic energy materials it does not control.
Although scientists keep working on alternatives, the best judgment of those involved in advanced battery technology is that for the next twenty to thirty years electric vehicles will rely for propulsion on lithium-ion batteries containing at least some amount of cobalt. For those batteries to be manufactured domestically, manufacturers in the United States will need access to stable supplies of lithium, high grade nickel and cobalt.
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