More on Peak Lithium

Now everybody is beginning to notice Bolivia's key position

1 min read

Quite some time back EnergyWise contributor Peter Fairly shrewdly noted that the future of hybrid and electric cars might be subject to a "peak lithium" problem, analogous to the peak oil issue that has been the subject of so much debate for so many decades--and that tiny Bolivia might find itself in the position of Saudi Arabia. This week's New Yorker carries an article on Bolivia and lithium by one of the magazine's star contributors, Lawrence Wright. Meanwhile, Tech Review has carried a photo essay showing what Bolivia's nascent lithium industry might look like.

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We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

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Green

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

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