Insight Report

McKinsey & Company Lithium mining: How new production technologies could fuel the global EV revolution

18 Apr 2022

Lithium is the driving force behind electric vehicles, but will supply keep pace with demand? New technologies and sources of supply can fill the gap.


Lithium is needed to produce virtually all traction batteries currently used in EVs as well as consumer electronics. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are widely used in many other applications as well, from energy storage to air mobility.

Satisfying the demand for lithium will not be a trivial problem. Despite COVID-19’s impact on the automotive sector, electric vehicle (EV) sales grew by around 50 per cent in 2020 and doubled to approximately seven million units in 2021.

So will there be enough lithium to cover the needs
of a new electrified world? This article highlights the direct lithium extraction and direct lithium to the product which will offer the significant promise of increasing lithium supply, reducing the industry’s environmental, social, and governance footprint, and lowering costs.

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