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MRTTF is as PhD chemist working in R&D for a domestic Li-ion battery manufacturer.
  • There's plenty of lithium, but what about everything else... 4 comments
    Oct 20, 2009 10:03 AM
    While I always see debate on if there is enough lithium to support all of the new Li-ion battery initiatives, I see very little debate on other material constraints that might occur. Li-ion cells contain large amounts of stainless steel, nickel, aluminum, and copper. When looking at the overall percentages of each of these materials, they are far greater than any amount of lithium present. At the pack-level (full battery), this problem will be exacerbated from all of the tabbing, wiring, and BMS component raw material needs. I wonder if anyone has considered this being the major bottle-neck?
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  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30707) | Send Message
    Last spring Argonne was promising an that update of their May 2000 report on "Costs of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Vehicles" would be published in mid-summer




    I've been waiting with bated breath for the update, but so far I've seen absolutely nothing; which leads me to speculate that the update does not support the prevailing happy talk about lithium-ion battery prices collapsing due to "economies of scale." I've already taken myself out of the lithium supply debate by acknowledging that there's lots of lithium deposits, but not enough working mines to fill the anticipated demand. The other battery components (as far as I know) are basic industrial commodities that can only increase in price as 6 billion former have-nots demand their fair share of the global resource pie.
    20 Oct 2009, 11:28 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (1103) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » John,
    Thanks for the link. Now I just have to find time to read it...


    While you know my position on the "economies of scale arguement (pure and utter delusional fantasy)," and I do agree that some materials are simple commodities, there are sure to be some that pop up that are not. More critical to me is the bottleneck for the material components. There are only several reputable suppliers for most components. I could see a problem akin to what Jack has hinted at for lithium mining, i.e. not enough refining capacity.
    22 Oct 2009, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • NanooGeek
    , contributor
    Comments (226) | Send Message
    Feb2008, report on LiOn battery in the PRC. B.15 seems to show that ANL estimates several Lithium technologies might reach $250/kWh by 2015:
    22 Jun 2010, 02:13 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (1103) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thanks for the link. I had started to read it 3 months back and wiped it off of my drive before I finished it. There are a number of commodity-type cells for consumer applications that are already $250/kWh or less. The bigger problem is the large format cells that people are chasing for other applications.


    In the end, my bigger concern is that there aren't enough other raw materials to go around to making cells beyond lithium salts.
    25 Jun 2010, 11:20 PM Reply Like
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