This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
Bill Gates decided to use his mutual fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures , to invest $ 10 million in a small startup that has 7 employees, no customers, and 0 income. The company is focused on converting raw lithium into battery material, it is called Mangrove Lithium and Gates believes it has great potential to revolutionize this market.
Electric cars use lithium batteries because it is the lightest metal and has the highest load-to-weight ratio which allows better performance in vehicles. The sale of electric cars has grown a lot in recent years, so it is a good time to bet on your market.
Currently, Mangrove Lithium only has a small plant in Vancouver. Thanks to the investment of the founder of Microsoft, they will be able to build a commercial plant on an industrial scale. The production of electric cars may suffer many obstacles because it is difficult to obtain the necessary materials, including lithium.
“The problem you have with lithium mining and processing in general is that it is quite inefficient,” explains Ian Hayton , analyst at Cleantech Group. “With the current lithium extraction process, you probably only get about 50% of the lithium from actual brine or hard rock.”