Military applications and energy security are important uses of lithium for national security interests. As the importance to clean energy and the supply risk for lithium increase, the availability of lithium is projected to be near-critical in the medium term (2015 – 2025).1

Energy Security—According to the Argonne National Laboratory, “use of vehicles with electric drive, which could reduce our oil dependence, will depend on lithium-ion batteries.” 2
 
National Security—The U.S. military uses lithium primary and secondary batteries on the battlefield and in remote areas for critical military applications, including:

  • Remote Devices—Lithium batteries provide power for mines, missiles, torpedoes, sonobuoys, guided artillery, fuses, communication devices, countermeasure devices, global positioning systems and guidance systems.

  • Soldier Mobility—Lithium batteries can be used as a power source for many of the devices that an Army soldier uses in combat and realistic training operations. An infantry soldier on a 72-hour mission in Afghanistan carries up to 30 pounds of batteries.3

  • Logistics Improvements—Solar powered rechargeable battery systems are used for remote bases and units to reduce the need for dangerous and expensive fuel supply chains.

1 U.S. Department of Energy, “Critical Materials Strategy, December 2011,” DOE/PI-0009, January 10, 2012
2 Gaines, L., and P. Nelson. 2010. Lithium-Ion Batteries: Examining Material Demand and Recycling Issues 
3 Army Research Laboratory Annual Review 2011 

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