Gigantic find: China's newly-discovered lithium oxide deposits in the Himalayas may be its third-largest ever and would cement its position as the leading battery pack manufacturer even further. Photo: SCMP

China reports huge lithium deposit near Mt. Everest, may be country’s third-largest

Chinese scientists reported that a vast deposit of lithium oxide has been discovered near Mt. Everest, and the quantum of the deposit may be large enough for the country to produce 1.0125 million tonnes of lithium oxide. Discovered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the ore deposit may be China’s third-largest and may be relatively easy to extract lithium from—the demand for which has soared in recent years over the growing market share of electric vehicles. Also, the deposit is said to be that of spodumene, which is a rock that bears the mineral, and is very similar to what Australia exports in giant quantities every year—96% of which is consumed by China. 

India: Maharashtra environment minister launches special EV cell for Mumbai

Maharashtra’s environment minister, Aaditya Thakeray, launched the “Mumbai EV Cell”, under which the state government will work to quickly expand the share of EVs in the state. The plan was launched as the minister acknowledged the global “climate emergency”, and it will also assist in the rapid setting up of EV charging stations and the further electrification of Mumbai city bus network (BEST). Currently, BEST has 386 e-buses (out of ~2,000), but is likely to hit 100% electrification by 2027. 

World’s first electric, fully-autonomous cargo ship completes maiden voyage 

The world’s first all-electric, fully-autonomous cargo ship completed its maiden voyage in Norway (from Horten to Oslo), marking a step forward towards sustainable commercial shipping. Named the Yara Birkeland and powered by nearly 7MWh of li-ion batteries, the 80m long vessel weighs 3,200 tonnes and can be controlled entirely remotely via an assortment of on-board computers and sensors. Also, the lack of an on-board helps it reduce its staff costs and release more space for cargo, and the vessel has been tested for auto-docking — an incredibly complex manoeuvre. 

The Yara Birkeland is expected to enter commercial service within a few years and is expected to cut the equivalent of 40,000 trips by diesel trucks every year.

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