DETROIT — Innovation and collaboration are the keys to scaling the lithium supply chain in North America, said Eric Norris, president of the lithium business unit at Albemarle Corp.
Albemarle, a top global lithium producer, expects demand to more than double worldwide from 2025 to 2030. Almost all lithium sales will be for batteries, up from just 20 percent a decade ago, Norris said Wednesday at The Battery Show in Novi, northwest of Detroit.
"That's transformative," he said.
Lithium is used in nearly every EV battery cell chemistry. Today, it is part of the cathode, but it could play a greater role. The industry is testing lithium to improve energy density in different parts of the battery cell. Lithium could be part of the anode, which could boost EV range significantly, Norris said. Companies are also experimenting with lithium metal, a thin foil that can lead to 50 percent greater energy density, he said.