The electric car industry is facing a looming supply shortage

But my head hurts when running the numbers. The equivalent of 15 million cell phone batteries are needed to make one battery for an 80 kWh electric car. So, ramping up raw material inputs to build millions of car batteries a year fills the back of the envelope with scalability issues.

Lithium, like oil, is found in the earth’s crust. So are other raw materials—like cobalt and graphite—that are needed to build a typical rechargeable battery. Supplying these for cars, home storage and other potential high-growth markets will require vast global supply chains of extraction, refining, distribution and recycling, not to mention the financial infrastructure to trade the commodities.

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