# Forums

## How much is the enery cost of extracting Lithium ion for a Model 3 battery?

I've read that it take 8 years average use of a EV lifespan to compensate for the energy cost of extracting lithium.

Will this energy cost be reduced once processes become solar generated or mine trucks become battery powered

Anybody has articles on when EV will become environemental friendly on an Lithium extraction perspective?

Troelshin | 25 juni 2018

Hard to find any unbiased data, however I always felt the argument was a bit like refusing to leave a burning building because running would only generate more heat! We need to get the ball rolling. Lithium can be recycled and Electricity is becoming cleaner every day.

Kathy Applebaum | 25 juni 2018

I read another source that said the LR model 3 will be a net environmental gain over an ICE in just 18 months. I wish I'd saved the link. :\

TeslaTap.com | 25 juni 2018

Ok, let's do some backwards math. Let's say the pack is designed for 16 years and costs \$15,000 to make and weights 1,000 lbs. About 1% of the battery is made out of Lithium or about 10 pounds. Current price for battery grade Lithium is about \$10K/ton or \$5/lb. So the cost of the Lithium used in a Tesla battery pack is about \$50. Since we don't know how much of that \$50 is energy and costs for the mineral rights, land, equipment, transport, separation, cleaning, the mining company labor and profit - we'll allocate all the \$50 as energy, even though it's clearly a much smaller number.

So that 16 years of battery cost is \$15,000 or \$15,000/16 =\$938/year . So \$50 of Lithium energy extraction represents \$50/\$938 = 0.053 of a year. .053 * 365 days = 19 days. So the energy to extract the Lithium in a large battery pack is paid off in less than 19 days, not 8 years.

Cool how I did that without having any knowledge of the energy required to extract Lithium. Another crazy myth shot down.

DTsea | 25 juni 2018

teslatap yes, first order analysis is that money is a good proxy for carbon footprint and resources.... so if model 3 as a whole makes economic sense the lithium has to fit inside that!

Should_I | 25 juni 2018

That is a very creative way of looking for the energy use in mining, and reasonable absent any evidence of massive subsidy elsewhere.
Now something like oil that can be it's own energy source to extract it wouldn't work atall.

Shesmyne2 | 25 juni 2018

@TT
Cool indeed!

Still Grinning ;-)

Earl and Nagin ... | 25 juni 2018

@TT +1 well done!
I can't seem to dig out an article I saw many years ago that discussed how Lithium is so cheap it isn't worth recycling or shipping from long distances (hence the reason most Lithium mining is in China - close to its usage). It is a waste product in many areas.
The other materials, Copper, for example, are much more expensive but we already use tons of it all the time.
The recyclability aspect pretty much means that whatever one pays for an expensive material on its first use, handles many future uses. Contrast this with burning gasoline or coal.

Ross1 | 26 juni 2018

Might it not cost more to recycle cells from old material than to produce new cells?

markaiid2017 | 27 juni 2018

I think this depends on the EV. An EV with only a ten kWh battery might produce less CO2 overall since it needs no fuel tank, exhaust system, engine...

Demixl | 21 maart 2020

I was wondering how much does he pay for the electricity as I heard in Tennessee(I am living in Tennesseee) is a very high price for the electricity and people can usually pay hundreds of dollars per month. I mean, we can calculate how much it will take to extract the Lithium here in thenesee. But I moved to the Tennessee last year and I was wondering if the rumors are right. I lived in London before and I paid less for the electricity. I wish you had a service like https://usave.co.uk/energy/ this is the best service I have ever used, I changed my supplier more than a year ago, using this service of course. They made all by themselves, and that was the best thing about this service. So, could I change my electrical supplier in my state if I would like to, and could I use this service in your state?

Orthopod | 22 maart 2020

I have read 20 000 miles for greenhouse gas
40 000 miles for fine particles emissions

WW_spb | 22 maart 2020

Fake doc is back yahooo

stingray.don | 22 maart 2020

Just another spam necropost