>With the hybrid boom in full swing in the United States, where the heck are we going to get all the heavy metals to make those batteries? And what are we going to do with all those toxic metals when we are done with them? We’ll save the latter question for another day, but right now experts say we will have plenty of Lithium to manufacture batteries for the hybrid boom. Lithium is the new substitute for the older Nickel based batteries of your mothers’ Prius. In an article in Tire Business (http://www.tirebusiness.com), Hans Greimel reports that oversupply of Lithium may be more of a problem than under supply. In fact, Bolivia now supplies 0% of Lithium to the world market but holds nearly 40% of the worlds reserves. If such countries increase production global Lithium demands would easily be met.
However, metals are finite resources and Lithium ore will eventually run out especially if more hybrid cars are produced in addition to increased demand for electronic devices. All the recycling in the world can’t put more Lithium in the ground. On the upside, Nissan’s new “Leaf” electric vehicle only uses 8.8 lbs of Lithium costing $24 per battery. That is a far cry from the $10,000 for other electric vehicles batteries. I wonder how much the “Volt” battery will cost? Leave it to the Asian car manufacturers to get it right. No wonder GM can’t compete.