How Much Lithium Is In Car Battery?

How Much Lithium Is In A Car Battery?

The lithium car battery is a powerful source for an electric car as it has various advantages over any other electric car battery. But How Much Lithium Is In Car Battery?

Generally, the amount of lithium in an electric car varies, but a single-car lithium battery pack consists of 8 Kg of lithium. Some newer types of car batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries, do contain lithium. The amount of lithium in a lithium-ion car battery can also vary but typically ranges from around 2 to 4 grams per cell.

Several other elements are required to manufacture the car battery, including 35 kg nickel, 14 kg cobalt, and 20 kg manganese (as per Argonne National Laboratory).

Other materials36%


What Is A Lithium Car Battery?

Many hybrid and electric car models use lithium-ion batteries, commonly known as li–ion batteries. 

Lithium car batteries have lithium ions as the active material of the car battery chemistry. Here the ions in a car battery move from anode to cathode to produce electricity.

However, the exact battery chemistry of lithium car batteries can vary, and cars only use lithium batteries with very high energy density. This car battery variety includes

  1. Lithium Titanate
  2. Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide
  3. Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC batteries)
  4. Lithium Manganese Oxide
  5. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4 batteries)

Power of Lithium Batteries.

These lithium batteries have very high energy efficiency, high-temperature performance, low self-discharge, and a high power-to-weight ratio. 

Due to these qualities, lithium-ion battery technology is a revolutionary alternative to traditional car batteries (flooded lead acid batteries).

Only some lithium car batteries can directly replace lead-acid batteries in many electric cars.

Lithium Car Technology Research

Lithium battery car researchers are still looking into methods to reduce cost and extend the life span. They are also working to prevent battery overheating.

Also, many companies are looking into making lithium-sulfur car batteries as they can be energy dense and are also made from economical materials.  

Do You Know How Much Lithium is in Car Battery?

Lithium car batteries usually use a graphite anode and cathode made of lithium metal oxides like

  1. Lithium–titanate oxide (LTO)
  2. Lithium–manganese oxide (LMO)
  3. Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA)
  4. Lithium–nickel manganese cobalt (NMC)
  5. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) 

An electric car battery usually contains 10 Kg of lithium. Typically the amount of lithium varies as per the shape and size of the battery.

The lithium battery cell is assembled in modules, and these modules are further assembled in battery packs. The voltage from the power batteries supplying current to the electric car’s motor can be around 300 volts to 600 volts.

The Percentage of A Lithium in Car Battery

Let’s talk about weight percentage, i.e. (g material / g battery).

A normal lithium car battery consists of 7% Co, 7% Li (expressed as lithium carbonate, which is 1g of lithium, i.e. 5.17 g LCE), 16% graphite, 15% Al, 10% Cu, 5%Mn, 4% Ni, and 36% other materials.

Grams Of Lithium In An Electric Car Battery?

Lithium car batteries which are non – rechargeable, are loaded with 2 grams of lithium per battery. And the rechargeable lithium-ion car battery is limited to a rating of 100 watts per hour for every battery. 

Tesla gets lithium for its car batteries from both hard – rocks and brine sources. 

A Tesla electric car battery can contain around 5 to 75 KG (11 to 165 pounds) of lithium. It also depends on the Tesla car model.

According to researchers, around 500,000 pounds of the earth must be moved to get the right amount of lithium for a one-tesla electric car battery. 

But for spodumene mining, less than 10,000 pounds of ore to get around 2,000 pounds of spodumene. 

Will We Run Out Of Lithium For Car Batteries?

Lithium is a powdery metal, white in color, used in many rechargeable batteries to power electric cars. 

Why Lithium Metal Is So Critical?

With the decreasing cost of lithium car batteries and improved performance over the last decades, there has been a significant force in driving the adoption of electric cars. 

The expectation that these trends will continue is a great reason why BCG has forecast that electric cars powered purely by electric batteries will surpass those with gasoline-powered internal combustion engines as the popular type of light vehicle sold worldwide by 2028. 

Also, it is estimated that 59% of cars sold by 2035 will run on electric batteries. 

Because of the need for more critical materials and the vulnerable supply chain, producing precious lithium elements for car batteries could fall short of demand. 

It is recommended to take coordinated actions to boost supply sustainably to keep the transition to renewable energy on the course.

What Can Replace When Lithium Is In Car Battery?

Electric car batteries need lithium as a power source, but the lithium present is facing severe sustainability challenges.

A great alternative to lithium in a car battery can be Hemp, Magnesium, Silicon, Iron, Sal,t, and Aluminium.

Lithium batteries are a very common battery storage choice for grid operation today as they supply more than 90% of the global grid market.

It is only because they can store energy efficiently without losing it for a long time duration.

Let’s check out how the lithium alternative is capable of its replacement

  1. Hemp 

Hemp is already well known for its versatility, carbon sequestration ability, and growth speed as a fiber stock. 

Hemp research has also developed a boron carbide car battery that is made of hemp. 

This battery still needs a small amount of lithium as lithium-sulfur car battery technology; however it is easier to recycle, shows better performance, its lighter and cheaper than any lithium-ion car battery.

  1. Magnesium

Theoretically, magnesium can carry a significant charge of+2 which is more than sodium or lithium.

Due to this property of magnesium, car batteries have a higher energy density, lower cost, and more stability than lithium batteries.

Atoms of magnesium can also release two electrons during battery discharge; however, lithium can release only one. 

So, magnesium also has the potential to transfer twice as much energy as a lithium battery. 

  1. Silicon

Silicon cannot replace lithium completely from batteries; however, if you are adding lithium, then it can make car batteries cheaper and can give a more extended performance.

Lithium currently includes graphite as a key component; however, lithium slips through the carbon layers’ gaps, resulting in a loss of battery storage.

With the help of silicon, you can quickly reduce the leakage and can make lighter batteries. 

  1. Iron

Iron has higher ‘redox potential,’ i.e., the tendency to lose efficiency. Nowadays, iron flow batteries are larger than lithium batteries which are suitable for electric cars.

  1. Salt

In terms of chemical composition, salt is similar to lithium, but its environmental impact is minimal. 

Basically sodium – ion car batteries are a potential solution to lithium batteries.

  1. Aluminium

Aluminium is readily available and is a perfect recyclable material. It is also significantly cheaper as compared to lithium. 

Batteries developed from aluminum give better performance than lithium batteries. 

As per Australian company Graphene manufacturing group, the aluminum ion car battery can charge 60 times faster than lithium batteries. 

Can A Lithium Battery Last For 20 Years?

Lithium is considered the best metal for car batteries as it can give you better performance compared to other battery options. 

If the lithium-ion battery is used in the correct way, then it can easily last for 20 years. 

The lithium car battery is capable of giving high efficiency, high power density levels, and a slower rate of capacity loss. Due to this, it is best to power electric cars.

How Can I Know When I Need a New Lithium-ion Electric Car Battery?

You should strictly keep an eye on the below warning signs of a deteriorating battery.

  1. Age

It is better to replace an old lithium car battery that has passed the recommended age.

If the battery is aged, it can show signs like poor vehicle performance and depleted battery capacity.

  1. Damaged battery case

If you notice any bulge or crack in the battery, you should immediately replace it.

  1. Flashing check engine light

If the battery is weak, it can trigger the check engine light.

And if you are still unsure, you can get a mechanical check-up of the battery every few years.

What Is The Capacity Of A Lithium-Ion Electric Car Battery?

The capacity to store energy in a lithium electric car battery generally depends on the car battery functions and material of the vehicle.

Usually, the capacity of an electric lithium-ion car battery ranges from 40 kWh to 200 kWh.

The battery’s capacity is measured in kWh (kilowatt–house) or Ah (Ampere – hours). It also impacts how far an electric car can travel with a single charge.

  1. The tesla model X and S own a battery of 100 kWh and can travel around 320 to 340 miles on a single charge.
  2. The Chevrolet Bolt EV 2022 (General Motors) is equipped with a 66 kWh battery that can give power for 259 miles with a single charge.

Car ModelBattery CapacityDistance covered in a single charge
Tesla X and S100 kWh320 – 340 miles
Chevrolet Bolt EV 2022 (General Motors)66 kWh259 miles

How Much Does A Lithium Car Battery Cost?

Depending on the capacity and brand of automotive battery, the cost of the lithium battery can vary, but if compared to non-lithium batteries, the price range is very high.

Antigravity batteries range from $399.99 (30 Ah) to $1199.99(80 Ah) for lithium batteries. On the other hand, GreenLIFE automotive lithium car battery ranges between $87.99 (6 Ah) to $3,299 (300 Ah).

Battery TypePriceAh of battery
Antigravity$399.9930 Ah
Antigravity$1199.9980 Ah
GreenLIFE automotive$87.996 Ah
GreenLIFE automotive$3,299300 Ah

As per the international energy agency, the high price is because of supply chain disruption along with the cost of raw materials. 

But, according to a nature study, the cost of lithium car batteries will drop by 20% in 2023.

Additionally, many brands like General Motors and tesla promote the production of electric vehicles. With the increasing popularity of lithium-ion car battery technology.

It is worth keeping an eye on car battery technology companies that are listed in the stock market, like Dow Jones or Nasdaq.

What Cause A Lithium Battery To Go Bad?

If the lithium car battery has degraded and has exceeded acceptable limits, it is recommended to get a new battery before it is completely dead.

Many factors can result from an electric car battery deterioration, like fast charging, extreme temperatures, age, etc.

  1. Fast charging

If you are doing excessive DC fast charging, it will indeed degrade your electric car battery as it creates a heavy load on the car battery pack. Fast charging is advisable only in case of emergencies or long trips.

  1. Extreme temperatures

If the temperature is above 100°F or below 32°F (subfreezing), then it can badly impact the capacity of the lithium battery and can also cause irrevocable damage.

It happens due to extreme heat, which causes internal corrosion, and extreme cold can result in internal resistance.

  1. Age

Every battery starts declining with time, and lithium car batteries are no different. This process is also known as calendar aging. Here the degradation is gradual.

Usually, electric car batteries experience sharp declines initially and at the end of their life. 

Future Of Lithium

The primary challenge for researchers is to decrease the number of metals that are required to be mined for an electric car battery.

The amount varies typically and is based on the type of battery and vehicle model; however, a single battery pack of lithium contains around 8 KG of lithium, 14 kg of cobalt, 20 kg of manganese, and 35 kg of nickel.

Analysts do not anticipate the move away from lithium car batteries soon, and their cost has also plummeted so dramatically that they have become the dominant technology for the near future.

These lithium car batteries are less than 30 times cheaper as compared to their original price in the 1990s. Not only this, but their performance has also improved over time.

Cost Prediction Of Lithium-Ion Car Batteries

BNEF projects that the cost of a lithium car battery will fall below USD 100 per kWh by the year 2023. It will be roughly 20% cheaper than the current cost.

This will impact the cost of electric cars. So electric cars, which are very expensive than conventional cars, will reach price parity by the mid of 2020s.

Electricity Production From The Lithium-Ion Battery

To obtain electricity from the lithium-ion car batteries, shuttle the lithium ions internally from every layer, known as the anode, to the other layer cathode. 

These two rods are further separated by another layer known as electrolyte.

Cathode tubes are the major limiting factor in the electric car battery performance, where the most valuable metal – lithium, lies.

The cathode of a typical lithium-ion battery cell is of a thin layer with micro-scale crystals, generally similar in structure to the minerals that occur in the mantle or crust of the earth, like spinal or olivines.

Here, the crystals pair with the negatively charged oxygen, the positively charged lithium, and many other metals in many electric cars, which are a mix of cobalt, manganese, and nickel.

When recharging an electric car battery, it rips the lithium ions out of these oxide crystals. It pulls ions into a graphite base anode where these are stored and sandwiched between layers of carbon atoms.

Is There Enough Lithium For All Cars To Be Electric?

Automakers have already made it very clear that there are no mining operations in place for electric car battery material required for the growing number of electric cars.

As per US federal government, electric car batteries should be made with materials sourced domestically or from a country with a free trading agreement with the United States.

These rules are flexible today, but by 2026, these rules need to be made strictly as the electric cars need to have 80% of critical material, including lithium, based on these rules.

With the help of these rules, the US will be less reliant on other trading countries.

But it is going to take lots of time for the country to catch up when it comes to the extraction and processing of lithium metal for electric car batteries.

Yes, we’ll [eventually] have enough, but not by that time. There’s going to be a real crunch to get the material. We don’t have enough in the world to turn that much [lithium] production in the world by 2035.

Piedmont Lithium CEO Keith Phillips told Yahoo Finance Live

Planning By Automobile Companies

To deal with the situation, automobile companies are trying to do what they can to obtain a solution.

However, there is nothing simple, or there needs to be more workers or facilities that can simplify the situation and make the task easy.

The Goal Set By President Biden For Lithium Car Batteries

US president Joe Biden has set a goal that every new car sold in the United States by the year 2030 should be electric.

To encourage people to switch to the electric car, they will be afforded a credit of up to USD 7,500. 

But once the rule is applicable many electric cars sold in the United States will not be eligible for credit. 

It will take time for automakers to put the right things in place to ensure that electric cars are eligible for a tax credit.

Electric Car Companies Want To Get Involved In The Lithium Mining Business

Batteries of electric cars are metal intensive and lithium is not scarce; however, the average electric car battery needs around 10 KG of lithium metal.

Generally, 5.3 tons of lithium carbonate ore generates one ton of lithium metal.

Similarly, nickel and cobalt ores must be clawed out of the earth, and then they are heavily processed to get the requisite purity levels of metals.

The mining industry is not ready yet to produce supplies of these precious metals in the purified and vast quantities that electric car battery manufacturers require.

As per RJ Scaringe, the CEO of Rivian automotive, 90% to 95% of the supply chain of precious metals does not exist. 

Because of this, electric car battery, manufacturers are trying to meet the supply chain by bringing their own source closer to them.

This Is How Automotive Companies Have Done

  1. General Motors has invested in a lithium extraction project in California.
  2. BMW has invested in a lithium extraction project in Argentina.
  3. Volkswagen has signed a binding purchase agreement for lithium metal with a German mine.
  4. Tesla already has the right to a lithium claim deposit which is spread across 10,000 acres in Nevada.
  5. A Chinese electric car battery manufacturing company has purchased a Canadian lithium mining company for $300 million.

A reversal of role. The lithium mining giant ‘Glencore’ has bought a British battery maker recently.

Can Electric Car Batteries Be Made Without Lithium?

Making an electric car battery without the expensive and rare lithium can become a reality. Japanese scientists have discovered a viable alternative with the help of magnesium ions.

Solid-state electric car batteries can be made without lithium. Magnesium ions can replace lithium in making a working electric car battery.

Magnesium is abundant and cheap. With lots of struggle, its conductivity in solids is improved, and finally, it can be used in electric car batteries.


Conclusion#1: Amount of lithium

Generally, the amount of lithium in an electric car varies, but a single-car lithium battery pack consists of 8 Kg of lithium. Solid-state electric car batteries can be made without lithium. Magnesium ions can replace lithium in making a working electric car battery.

The single battery pack of lithium contains around 8 KG of lithium, 14 kg of cobalt, 20 kg of manganese, and 35 kg of nickel.

Conclusion#2: Range of Antigravity Batteries

Antigravity batteries range from $399.99 (30 Ah) to $1199.99(80 Ah) for lithium batteries. On the other hand, GreenLIFE automotive lithium car battery ranges between $87.99 (6 Ah) to $3,299 (300 Ah).

Thus every electric car is independent of Lithium.


How long does a lithium car battery last?

Lithium car batteries can operate longer than standard or hybrid electric vehicle batteries. Generally, they will last for 8 to 20 years or 200,000 miles.
They can last for longer duration as they have a slower rate of capacity loss because of temperature, age, and many other factors.
Also, with the help of an advanced electric car management system, these batteries can operate optimally.

How much lithium is in a tesla electric car battery?

Tesla cars use around 5 Kg of lithium in their electric cars. 

What can overtake lithium electric car batteries?

Instead of lithium, sodium, fluoride, magnesium, and ammonia can be in the next-generation electric car batteries.

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Bharat Suthar

I am principal creator of I like riding Electric Car, UTV in mountains and Terrain, Also I try to share all the real life experience here in the site.I am really dedicated to write about my experience. I love doing all the outdoor activity including riding electric car, dirt biking and hiking.

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