Automakers Funding New Tech Aimed at Making Greener Lithium for EVs

Automakers, investors and even oilfield giant Schlumberger NV are beginning to embrace environmentally friendly technologies to produce lithium that could help meet 25% or more of global demand for the electric vehicle battery metal by the end of the decade.

Ernest Scheyder, Reuters

Automakers, investors and even oilfield giant Schlumberger NV are beginning to embrace environmentally friendly technologies to produce lithium that could help meet 25% or more of global demand for the electric vehicle battery metal by the end of the decade, Reuters reported on Oct. 7.

Stellantis, Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures and others have invested millions of dollars or signed supply agreements with so-called direct lithium extraction (DLE) start-ups in recent months in an attempt to propel the technology to commercial production, expected within the next year or two.

DLE technologies use less land and groundwater than hard rock mining and brine evaporation ponds—the traditional ways to process the white metal. Industry analysts see it as a new way to help ensure lithium supply for the EV industry—if the technology can work on a large scale.

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