Saturday, December 12, 2009


"Lithium could bring us prosperity."
At 4,085 square miles, Salar de Uyuni in Southwest Bolivia is the world's largest salt flat. Those salts contain large amounts of sodium, potassium, magnesium and lithium, and these days, it's the last element on that list that is attracting attention. According to the USGS, Bolivia has 35% of the world's lithium resources, and since in the coming years, electric cars and plug-in hybrids that use lithium-ion batteries are expected to greatly increase in numbers, this could mean big changes for Bolivia, South-America's poorest country.

Peak Lithium Not in Sight
Bloomberg has a very interesting feature piece on Bolivia's lithium reserves, and the obstacles that it faces to actually create a lithium mine there (the country has so far rejected investment offers, but that might change if it can't raise the money on its own), but the most interesting piece of information to me was that these lithium reserves would be enough for about 4.8 billion electric cars.

4.8 billion!

See also: Bolivia's Lithium Reserves Could Power Electric Car Boom

More Battery Tech
Breakthrough? Ordinary Paper + Ink + Nanotubes = Battery
Lithium-Ion Batteries for EVs to Grow from $878 Million Market in 2010 to $8 Billion in 2015
Nissan Working on New Battery to Double the Leaf's Range by 2015

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