Automobile

Toxic California Lake Has Lithium to Power EVs for Decades, Make US Less China-Dependent

Lithium is essential for the production of electric cars. Battery packs in EVs utilize the metal element. Also, lithium is the lightest naturally occurring metal element, which helps keep the weight down for electric vehicles. However, there is a limited supply of lithium, and the United States is highly dependent on other countries to obtain it. Much of the lithium supply is extracted in an environmentally harmful way from the salt flats of Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. Also, most of the lithium processing is in China. However, there might be a solution: a toxic lake in California, which has enough lithium to power EVs for decades.

Massive supply of lithium in California’s Salton Sea for use in electric cars

Salton Sea, California | Greg Bulla via Unsplash

The Salton Sea, located in Southern California, around 40 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, is actually not a sea at all. It’s the largest lake in California and was once a thriving resort community. However, over the years, the water level of the Salton Sea significantly dropped. This left behind large barren stretches and desolate gray beaches. Also, toxic dust blows off of the lake. This causes health problems for the predominantly Mexican-American community.

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