The article asserts that “skeptics think there might be trouble accessing enough lithium to fuel the shift” to electric vehicles. It quotes Shai Agassi of Better Place, saying, “That was one of the biggest myths perpetuated by the oil guys.”
The sources we’ve talked to heartily concur. There’s no shortage of lithium. In fact, most reliable sources say the opposite: There’s going to be an oversupply of lithium-ion batteries. Researchers from Pike Research and Lux Research have repeatedly told us that they don’t expect sales of electric vehicles to be great enough to support the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market. Lux predicts there will be 18.2 gWh of lithium-ion batteries available by 2015, with sales of about 11.0 gWh.
“When the U.S. government and other governments offer billions of dollars in subsidies to lithium-ion battery manufacturers to build new plants, they’re going to build new plants,” notes Jacob Grose, an analyst for Lux Research. “Unlike the market, which is pretty good at matching supply and demand, governments aren’t considering demand, and they’re creating conditions that are just right for a glut.”
The CNNMoney story does not quote any of the “oil guys” who claim there’s going to be a shortage.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.