lithium

Natalie Van Hoozer

In the latest installment of our ongoing series, Behind the Battery Boom, we take a look at what happens when we have more lithium-ion batteries to dispose of. Reporter Amy Westervelt has that story.

Battery Tech: Lithium Ion And Beyond

Jul 28, 2016
Whitney Powell

As part of our series Behind the Battery Boom, we’re taking a look at a key element of the factory: batteries. Lithium-ion batteries to be exact, and whether the electric vehicle industry’s multi-billion-dollar bet on the technology will pay off.

It’s Electric! Tesla Gigafactory Officially Opens

Jul 26, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Electric car maker Tesla officially opened its Gigafactory near Reno.

The massive factory is only about 15 percent complete, and when it’s finished will stretch more than 10 million square feet. That’s about the size of 260 pro football fields, making it one of the largest buildings in the world.

Beatrice Murch, Flickr, CC by SA-2.0

Nevada’s prehistoric lakebeds are more than just picturesque, they’re the site of a lithium rush taking place on public lands. This quest for alkali riches has been fueled by a surge in worldwide demand for batteries.

For more than a century, prospectors have searched for lucrative minerals across the American West under the Mining Act of 1872.

That law allows them to stake a claim on a piece of ground and whatever minerals may be hidden beneath. Lately, in Nevada at least, the area drawing the most interest are its salty, ancient lakebeds.