Monash University has weighed in on the electric vehicle debate, with the university submitting its views on the industry to the Senate Elect Committee on Electric Vehicles.
Engineering Prof. Mainak Majumder and Assoc. Prof. Jacek Jasienak are responsible for the submission and believe it is vital that Australia leverages the lithium opportunities available, including processing of lithium and battery research and innovation.
Lithium-ion batteries are currently the superior energy storage option for electric vehicles as the technology allows the maximum amount of energy storage in a lightweight battery. Although other battery technologies are continuing to develop, it is likely to be another 20-30 years until they are commercially viable, making Lithium-ion the best bet for energy storage in the medium to long-term. Because of this importance, Monash believes the government needs to ensure that the tensions between energy supply and demand are reduced by sufficiently planning the upcoming changes to national energy demands.
“These planning processes need to start now for electric vehicles because they are inherently tied to the planning processes of electricity market participants.”
“Electric vehicles will provide an additional complexity to the energy market by providing portable energy storage units.”
“However, this is a potential opportunity that needs to be unpacked in great detail because it has the potential to lower energy prices, drive electric vehicle adoption, stabilise our electricity grids, and create new businesses – if done well.”
Monash believes that Australia, rich in natural lithium resources, is in an ideal position to maximize the opportunities in front of us.
“Focussing on innovation around the discovery and processing of these ores within Australia will create new opportunities to generate and use intellectual property, particularly in processes for purifying & accumulation of these components,” The McGowan government has already formed a lithium taskforce, aimed at working with industry, the community and research organisations to develop a strategy that creates a world-leading energy material industry that delivers long-term benefits to Western Australians.