Amazing Discovery Off San Diego Coast: Rocks That Power Electric Vehicles

By Rebekah Gonzalez

November 11, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Scientists have discovered a special type of rock at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that could be the future of electric vehicles, according to NBC7.

Researchers on the Maersk Launcher which is currently docked in San Diego Bay are currently looking for the safest way to bring the rocks to the surface.

“We’re trying to better understand the environment at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean where there is a very large, abundant supply of these polymetallic nodules,” Gerard Barron told NBC7.

Barron is the CEO and chairman of the Vancouver-based Metals Company and says the black lump is essentially an electric vehicle battery in a rock and there could be trillions of them on the ocean floor around 1,100 miles off the coast of San Diego.

“They literally just lie there like golf balls on a driving range,” Barron said. "The great thing about them is that they contain everything we need to build electric vehicle batteries."

Each rock contains nickel, cobalt, and copper. According to Barron, mining those metals now is bad for the environment.

The Metals Company is attempting to be as green as possible while removing the metals. Barron said the process would produce zero solid waste and 90% less carbon dioxide compared with conventional mining.

“Everyone says the future is green, but actually a green future is metallic,” added Barron. “And Mother Nature was very kind to put a very high concentration of these rocks in one little area.”

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