03 June 2010 18:03 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--The move towards electric vehicles in the US and elsewhere is inevitable, a development which will drive long-term growth of Rockwood’s large lithium business, chief executive Seifi Ghasemi said on Thursday.
In the US, the shift would be driven by national and economic security concerns, as well as environmental sustainability, Ghasemi told analysts at a webcast investor conference in ?xml:namespace>
Some 70% of
“In order to ensure the flow of that oil, we spend billions and billions of dollars having our military there” - representing a subsidy by the
“That cannot go on forever, and the
On top of that came the economic cost of the oil, with the
Third was the environmental sustainability aspect, which was obvious, he said.
The transportation sector was critical to ending
“The only logical solution is electrification of our transportation system,” he said.
Rockwood, which describes itself as the largest global producer of lithium products, expected to see significant demand for lithium in electric cars, beginning by the middle of this decade, he said.
At the same time, a number of US firms had formed The Electrification Coalition, which included Rockwood, Nissan, FedEx, and Cisco, among others, to lobby lawmakers, he said.
The technology for lithium battery-powered vehicles was in place and many carmakers had launched or were planning to launch electric cars - including GM, Nissan,
Each electric vehicle required up to 40 pounds of lithium, depending on whether it is an all-electric vehicle or a hybrid. This, in turn, translated into “big numbers” if one looked at the millions of cars made each year.
“Depending on projections of the penetration of hybrid cars, the impact on Rockwood can be significant” over the long term, Ghasemi said.
He pointed to one study that predicted that by 2020 some 20% of all
“This is a long-term play, obviously it’s a big play, we believe in that, and that’s why we believe in the future of our company,” he said.
Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues
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