The company Lithium de France will invest 44 million euros to exploit lithium deposits in Alsace. This will reduce Europe’s dependence on Africa and Asia while producing less polluting batteries for electric cars.
As the market for electric cars grows at breakneck speed, to the point where sales are outpacing those of diesel cars, a new hurdle arises. These are the risks of lithium shortages, as the demand is constantly increasing. So much so that some claim that we will run out of raw materials to produce enough batteries to meet growing needs in the future.
A more ethical extraction
Certainly, battery recycling It is a solution to be developed, as Mercedes and Tesla, among others, have already done. But we also need to be able to produce new lithium batteries. If sodium batteries (totally devoid of lithium and cobalt) start to develop, most manufacturers like Stellantis still believe in LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) technology which contains lithium but no cobalt.
And this despite the constant rise in the price of lithium, again due to strong demand. Not to mention the fact that the extraction of this material is carried out in part in Asia, in a very harmful way for the environment. But that could change very soon, thanks to Lithium de France.
As announced in a press release, the company has just announced that it has raised 44 million euros to continue with its exploration work from the Alsatian subsoil. The goal ? Search for new lithium deposits to produce heat and extract this raw material. Therefore, these are not less than 1,500 tons to be taken each year as of 2026.
The AFP agency, relayed by the site. Knowledge of Energiesnotes that Lithium de France has also applied for three other exploration permits which are currently being investigated by the authorities. According to the company, the first results of these explorations in Alsace are already very promising. Now it must start the drilling work, before being able to produce heat from 2025 with a goal of 20 megawatts per year.
Cleaner and cheaper batteries
The company, which had already raised 8 million euros in November 2021, is not the only one looking for lithium under French soil. This is also the case for Vulcan, which also applied for a first exploration permit last November. in an area of 155 square kilometers east of the city of Haguenau, also located in Alsace. The company is already working with certain manufacturers such as Renault and Stellantis.
The parent company of Peugeot, Citroën, DS but also of Fiat and Jeep has invested no less than 50 million euros in the company, which will operate a geothermal brine tank in Germany. So, lithium mining, due to start in 2026 it will produce energy at the same time, which will be used in the process. As a result, this operation will be carbon neutral.
Enough to make the production of European electric cars much less polluting while prices could fall. Because if the demand is strong, Lithium supply will also increase, which should drive prices down. Unless manufacturers take advantage of this to increase their margins. Meanwhile, some like Ford and Renault recommend downsizing their car batteries.
In addition to lithium mining, many companies are also going manufacture batteries in europe. We think in particular of Tesla in its Gigafactory in Berlin, as well as the Chinese giant CATL. However, many manufacturers such as Volkswagen prefer to relocate production to the United States, due to the more attractive tax advantages thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act launched by the US government.
In India, a gigantic lithium deposit has just been found. In France, a mining project is already being considered in Auvergne.
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