I'm wondering while we are all arguing about how bad lithium is to mine, thats maybe not the problem, what do you do about recycling the old stuff? Lithium batteries have a limited lifespan, then they need to be recycled, so how bad is that for the environment?
I personally think that a hydrogen fuel cell is probably the way forward, because the first part of the process is get hydrogen and end up with nothing but water out the tail pipe. It creates electricity as its process. Now we know that you need to make that hydrogen and it uses loads of electricity to do, so why dont you just put it in your car? Well because you need batteries. The hydrogren fuel cell is the battery system.
I dont think hydrogen fuel cells wear out nearly the same as lithium batteries, but the drawback is going to be that it uses platinum as part of the core which is a rare earth metal. I mean gold is a kind of rare earth metal and they coat tons of electrical connectors with it so it might not be too bad.
But lifespan wise:
Lithium batteries around 8 years/100,000 miles
Hydrogen Fuel Cell 150,000 miles
So then the next step is infrastructure and creating hydrogen, technically solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear can do it, all types of energy that cant really be fitted to cars.
I Mean potentially a crash might go a bit Hindenburg, but lithium batteries still catch fire, in a way which is hard to control.
So me personally, I'd quite like a hydrogen fuel cell.
I mean this is hydrogen power..... (yes I know its not a fuel cell car)
I think thats classed as 'hotrodding' you hydrogen motor