In 2021, Guayakí’s vehicle distribution fleet, through The Yerba Mate Co., LLC distribution entity in the U.S., Canada and Chile, operated with 45% electric vehicles. This is down 10% from the prior year due to a return plan and manufacturer’s recall for the Chevy Bolts. Despite these changes, Guayakí’s long-term objective remains to build a zero-emissions fleet and we will continue to pursue partnerships in the rapidly evolving EV market while waiting for vehicle technology to evolve and meet beverage distribution thresholds.
Further, to gain a better understanding of our environmental and social footprint through our transportation network, we conducted research on the impact of lithium consumption for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. While EVs have a more sustainable footprint over the life cycle of the vehicle compared to gas vehicles, the sourcing of lithium batteries has large implications. Lithium can be sourced in two ways, either from underground brine pumping (LBT) or rock mining (LRT). LRT is more widely used because it yields lithium in shorter periods of time, but the process has 48x the resource use, 50x the global warming potential, and 10x the toxicity risk compared to LBT. As we develop a strategy for our fleet, we will consider more responsibly sourced lithium production in addition to renewable-energy charging of EVs and other zero emission technologies in development.