Sustainable management of lithium and green hydrogen and long-run perspectives of electromobility

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The present paper assesses the prospective role of lithium in the long-run development of electromobility. Based on the existing data, the study shows that the geographical concentration of global lithium riches and rather an oligopolistic market structure of the worldwide primary supply makes the global lithium supply vulnerable to unexpected shocks. Furthermore, the work finds that the current transition to lithium-based electromobility does not exhibit traits of strong or long-term sustainability. This is attributed to the limits of lithium endowments, the negligible recycling capabilities of lithium-ion batteries, and environmental degradation induced by the transition to lithium-ion battery-based electromobility. We conclude that lithium-ion battery-based electromobility is a meaningful bridging technology until the time when lithium-ion batteries could be reliably replaced by the strong sustainability paradigm of road mobility, epitomized by the green hydrogen fuel cells-based electromobility.

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Technological Forecasting and Social Change



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