In the 1970’s M. Stanley Whittingham was working as a researcher at Exxon Mobil. He invented the first rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and patent credit for the discovery was given to Exxon Mobil. At that time Exxon did not pursue further development of it.
In 2019, along with 2 others, Whittingham was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Over 50 years after the discovery, Exxon Mobil wants to be a leader in lithium production for EV batteries. It has a site selected to drill for lithium in Arkansas over the Smackover Formation. The oil giant aims to supply enough lithium for over 1 million EVs annually.