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Elon Musk wants to create a new battery to prevent electric cars from stopping


Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX

The Tesla founder wants to stop using lithium because of its scarcity, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted depending on Western countries.

Elon Musk said he is working on a new battery that aims to solve the current raw materials crisis affecting the industry. An inevitable crisis because of The scarcity of these materials on earth.

The rise in the manufacture of electric cars led to higher prices in the international markets, which were accelerated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Musk admitted Tuesday — during the official opening of the Tesla plant in Berlin — that it would be impossible for an electric car to continue on its path without a change in battery technology, according to the report. secrecy.

According to the SpaceX CEO, it takes 300 terawatts to produce the battery cells to make the transition.

While his plan clearly ignores other solutions that are more reasonable and less polluting — such as hydrogen engines — Musk is right when he says it is impossible to continue this growth path without first finding a solution. Solid replacement for existing batteries which guarantees production.

As Musk emphasized in his interview with employees at his plant in Germany, he believes that “there is an interesting potential in manganese,” a transition metal element that, unlike lithium, is very common on Earth.

Estimated that there 1.5 billion tons of manganese in the world, For 73 million tons of lithium.

It is estimated that there will be a shortfall of 5,000 tons by 2022, and experts say we will need 20 times more than current production levels in the next 10 years.

By 2040, there will be no more lithium to extract, and even if we recycle all the lithium batteries in the world, as long as we keep extracting it from the dilute salts in the ground at a high cost of pollution, we’ll only get to 2100 before the crisis.

In addition to the scarcity of these and other materials for batteries, the Russian invasion of Ukraine highlighted the weakness of Western powers in the production of consumer goods.

Lithium largely comes from China and Russia is also a major producer. Like the New York times It indicates that Ukraine has one of the largest reserves of the precious metal.

Russia also dominates production of another major battery metal: nickel. Russian company responsible for 20% of the world’s nickel production Class 1 high purity is an essential material in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.

Without this type of nickel, there are no electric cars. As a result, Western retaliation against the invading country drove up the price of nickel on international markets: an increase of more than 30% just yesterday, a new record.

Estimated that Russia has 10% of all nickels in the worldIt is an extremely rare mineral, weighing 89 million tons.

The influence of geopolitics on these new minerals that became oil and the new fossil fuel has spilled over from crisis to crisis since the second half of the twentieth century, and Putin now uses it, along with gas, for exercise. pressure on europe.

As auto industry analyst Lauren Fix noted, “Relying on your enemies to supply you with critical materials is never in your favor. They have the power to control the price they pay and It can make it more difficult to get supplies to achieve its goals.”

Alice Karkija, ZAP //


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