When companies need to know about future market conditions for various commodities, they hire a firm with the expertise to evaluate the situation and report back. For instance, as Mitsubishi was mulling the possible future of electric cars equipped with lithium ion batteries, they hired TRU Group to do an analysis on future battery options. Usually, ordinary folks don't get to see the results of this kind of work, but in the case here, we can. In a rare move, Mitsubishi has allowed their consultants to release some of the findings about the global markets for lithium through to 2020 and that's just what they did at the IM Lithium Supply & Markets Conference Santiago 2009.
The results are comforting to those worried about a sudden upsurge in the production of electric cars using lithium ion batteries, especially over the next few years. Because of the sudden recession, there is actually an oversupply of the mineral right now and this should continue until about 2013. It doesn't seem as though there will be a "peak lithium" after that either. Although brine deposits, like those in Bolivia and China, may offer the easiest and cheapest supplies to extract, a moderate price rise would support mining here in America, where we appear to have quite a bit.
[Source: TRU Group via Green Car Congress]