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Interest In Electric Vehicles Is Growing, And So Is The Demand For Lithium

A truck is parked between brine evaporation ponds at Albemarle Corp.'s Silver Peak lithium facility, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Silver Peak, Nev. The ponds use evaporation to help separate lithium from brine pumped from underground. The Biden administration on Wednesday, Oct. 19, awarded $2.8 billion in grants to build and expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles in 12 states. A total of 20 companies, including Albemarle Corp., will receive grants for projects to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components and strengthen U.S. supply of critical minerals, officials said. (AP Photo/John Locher)

John Locher/AP

Interest In Electric Vehicles Is Growing, And So Is The Demand For Lithium

A truck is parked between brine evaporation ponds at Albemarle Corp.'s Silver Peak lithium facility, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Silver Peak, Nev. The ponds use evaporation to help separate lithium from brine pumped from underground. The Biden administration on Wednesday, Oct. 19, awarded $2.8 billion in grants to build and expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles in 12 states. A total of 20 companies, including Albemarle Corp., will receive grants for projects to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components and strengthen U.S. supply of critical minerals, officials said. (AP Photo/John Locher)

John Locher/AP

Interest In Electric Vehicles Is Growing, And So Is The Demand For Lithium

The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Biden this year includes incentives for buying an electric vehicle, ideally to persuade people to ditch cars that run on gasoline and switch to EVs. And as interest in electric vehicles grows, so is the demand for lithium - a key component of electric vehicle batteries. One way to get more lithium is to open new mines — which could pose various environmental concerns. But as NPR's Camila Domonoske reports, new mines aren't the only option. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

A truck is parked between brine evaporation ponds at Albemarle Corp.'s Silver Peak lithium facility, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Silver Peak, Nev. The ponds use evaporation to help separate lithium from brine pumped from underground. The Biden administration on Wednesday, Oct. 19, awarded $2.8 billion in grants to build and expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles in 12 states. A total of 20 companies, including Albemarle Corp., will receive grants for projects to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components and strengthen U.S. supply of critical minerals, officials said. (AP Photo/John Locher)

John Locher/AP

 

The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Biden this year includes incentives for buying an electric vehicle, ideally to persuade people to ditch cars that run on gasoline and switch to EVs.

And as interest in electric vehicles grows, so is the demand for lithium - a key component of electric vehicle batteries.

One way to get more lithium is to open new mines — which could pose various environmental concerns.

But as NPR's Camila Domonoske reports, new mines aren't the only option.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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