The signs are clear that clean energy will dominate the world within the next 20 years, creating bold impacts in the everyday lives of people all over the world. As such, the next step for leading tech firms is to produce a “super” clean and environmentally-friendly battery that will dominate in a new electrified world.
Experts say that the real environmental costs come early on in the process, when companies obtain lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese, and nickel for their batteries.
Former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson recently revealed that he will build a $4.5 billion electric battery plant to power electric cars, trucks, and ships. “We will produce a battery with significantly lower carbon footprint than the current supply chains,” Carlsson said.
According to Wired, his startup firm Northvolt has already raised $120 million for the first phase of the project, which will produce 32 Gigawatt-hours when fully operational in 2023.
Elon Musk’s Gigafactory, to be positioned in the Nevada desert, will also produce “super” batteries to power the world’s growing electric markets. Both bold ideas are helping to push the world toward a greener future.
At least eight US states have recently outlined plans to ditch gas and diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles, including California, New York, Texas, and Washington state. The United Kingdom, France, India, and Norway have all announced that they will ban gas and diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles by 2040. At least 10 other countries around the world have set targets for the sale of electric cars, and the clean energy revolution is really starting to take shape.
Organizations and leading energy firms right across the globe are switching their focus toward the future, clean energy.
Carlsson is determined to lead this clean energy revolution by creating green batteries from raw materials like graphite and nickel, both of which will be sourced from Sweden, and cobalt from Finland.
Carlsson says Northvolt’s lithium-ion batteries will have a carbon footprint close to zero, and hopes to appeal to green-minded drivers who not only look at the benefits of driving an electric car, but also count the energy consumed to build the lithium ion battery in the first place.
Northvolt will also make its own anode and cathode chemical mixes instead of buying from European or Asian manufacturers. Sweden has clean hydropower in abundance from the northern mountain rivers that can be used to power Carlsson’s battery factory without burning fossil fuels or using nuclear power.
“The point is to support Europe’s green energy transformation,” Carlsson says. “Right now the flow of batteries to Europe would mainly come from Asia. If you take the [coal-powered] energy grids of China or Japan, both of their carbon footprints are pretty high. When you accumulate that into a battery pack for a vehicle, that’s a significant footprint.”
Experts say that the real environmental costs come early on in the process, when companies obtain lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese, and nickel for their batteries. If manufacturers follow this clean policy all the way from the beginning to the end of the supply chain then the world can really start to adopt clean energy totality.