There are many columns of inches given to the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, such as reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. But there is a salty little secret that is often overshadowed by those who enjoy a lyrical attitude towards electric cars – the environmental impact of lithium produced for the production of batteries for electric cars.

So I decided to dive deep into what it is, where it comes from, how it is extracted, its impact on the environment and what we can do to make it more environmentally friendly.

And don’t worry – you don’t need a degree in geology.

What is lithium?

Lithium is a naturally occurring substance found in ionic minerals such as petalite, lepidolite and spodumene. These minerals are found mainly in two places: rock formations or underground brine reservoirs.