Lithium mining needs to get greener for EVs to maintain their earth cred

There’s plenty of column inches given to the environmental advantages of electric vehicles, like reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emission. But there’s a salty little secret often obscured by those who wax lyrical about EVs — the environmental impact of the lithium mined to make EV batteries. 

So I decided to take a deep dive into what it is, where it comes from, how it’s mined, its environmental impact, and what we can do to make it greener. 

And don’t worry — no geology degree is needed. 

What is lithium?

Lithium is a naturally occurring substance found in ionic minerals such as petalite, lepidolite, and spodumene. These minerals occur primarily in two places: rock formations, or underground brine reservoirs.