Climate Technology

In a sprawling new report, researchers from the University of California Davis asked what would would it take for the United States to electrify its entire passenger vehicle market by 2050. Their answer? The country would have to use three times more lithium each year than is currently mined globally.

Our planet, contains more than enough lithium to provide the batteries necessary to electrify the global economy. The issue is that extracting it from the ground requires a lot of energy in its own right. And while there’s been progress in transitioning the machines and supply chains involved in mining, most of the energy in the sector is still supplied by fossil fuels: A recent study from MIT concluded that manufacturing the 80kWh battery in a Tesla Model 3, created up to 12 times the carbon emissions of a car driven from New York to LA.

The problem basically boils down to this: We need batteries to stop emissions, but we need emissions to build batteries.

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Universal Hydrogen

This week, Universal Hydrogen announced that it had received a “special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category by the Federal Aviation Administration.” As the name suggests, this certification allows the company to take its hydrogen-powered engines off the ground and into the skies for further testing.

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