Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever
Aah, lithium. Great song. Really good element to use in batteries, too- except for the whole massive-scarcity problem. The industry has been working feverishly to replace lithium as a power storage ingredient for decades, and it seems that enough progress has been made that we can even swap out the word “soon” with a date- to wit, battery manufacturer CATL announced a 200 Wh/kg battery will be ready for large scale production this year.
Not just that- they announced at the Shanghai Auto Show that the battery will be installed in the Chery iCAR and sold by the end of 2023. iCAR is a new, quasi-independent brand of the China-based Chery- kind of like Scion was for Toyota. There are at least 6 car types that can benefit from this new battery which, while not initially cheaper than lithium, is far easier to produce on both workers and the environment.
It’s also far cheaper- estimates put lithium costs at $80,000 per ton to mine and produce, compared to sodium at [drum roll please] $300. That’s, um… less.