It's an open secret that, the main aim of developing electric cars was to replace petrol and diesel cars, which are polluting for the planet, there have been many hidden secrets, the dark side in the newly booming industry that must be addressed urgently.

As per reports, consumers around the world are now showing interest in electric cars. Rapid change is occurring, the International Energy Agency predicts that electric vehicle sales will increase from 3.1 million in 2017 to around 125 million in 2030.

The use of lithium, which powers our phones, laptops, and electric cars, almost all the electronic devices has come under increasing scrutiny, and this has become a focal point of the growing opposition to the EV industry. For example, the battery of a Tesla Model S has about 12 kg of lithium.

Matter of fact, Lithium mining uses nearly 2 million litres of water to produce 1 tonne of lithium, making it one of the most water-intensive industrial processes in the world. 


The Chile Incident:

Lithium extraction by several enterprises in Chile's Salar de Atacama has used up 65 percent of the area's water supply. Extreme water shortages have resulted from this, which has also significantly impacted the local farmers' capacity to raise crops and care for cattle. As a result, locals in Chile's Salar de Atacama have been forced to leave their homes because of extreme water scarcity.

Guillermo Gonzalez, a lithium battery expert from the University of Chile, in a 2009 said "Like any mining process, it is invasive, it scars the landscape, it ruins the water table, and it pollutes the earth and the local wells. This isn't a green solution, it's not a solution at all"

Additional Concerns:

Air quality is also impacted by lithium mining, in addition to water. Toxic metals, such as uranium, may be present in the dust produced during excavation, which has been linked to health issues like respiratory diseases and birth defects.

There is also the possibility of sulphur minerals being present at former cobalt mine sites; these, when exposed to air and water, can produce sulphuric acid, which can have devastating effects on rivers, streams, and aquatic life for hundreds of years.

Leakage of toxic chemicals from the evaporation pools into the water supply is also a concern. Because of such instances, there have been rising clashes between mining companies and local communities, who say that lithium mining is leaving the landscapes marred and canals filled with contaminated water.

According to UNC TAD, these environmental disadvantages could be decreased if customers demand and raise awareness for investing more in sustainable mining practices and technology that can recycle more effectively the raw materials present in wasted lithium-ion batteries.

That's for today, please comment your thoughts and don't forget to subscribe to Vigyan Geeks newsletter.

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