US lithium mining: not if, but when – by Elle Farrell-Kingsley (Automotive World – November 8, 2022)


As electric vehicle (EV) demand surges so too will lithium battery usage. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) forecasts that the global semiconductor industry will increase manufacturing capacity by 56% in the next decade.

This expansion is driven by the worldwide boom in EV sales, with 23 million electric passenger vehicles expected to be produced by 2030, says a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Furthermore, the worldwide market of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, the most common rechargeable car battery, was estimated at US$7bn in 2018 and is expected to reach US$58.8bn by 2024—significant growth.

Accommodating this demand has led to new incoming regulations and policies surrounding the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) best practices for developing batteries.

“Often, a public policy perspective, as well as a regulatory perspective, will drive countries to look at what has worked for other countries—and what hasn’t,” says Craig Dillard, Litigation Partner at law firm Foley & Lardner. Dillard works with companies within the technology space and has published extensively on the supply chain shortages of Li-ion batteries.

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