The public inquiry into the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia has heard that the mining sector and the health of Australians would benefit if there were more of them in the market.

During the inquiry’s second hearing on Friday in Canberra led by independent Senator Tim Storer, Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Pilbara Metals Group, and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) gave evidence to the committee.

In a report produced by the AMEC, it was estimated that the lithium value chain — which includes raw materials through to cells and battery packs — could increase from $165 billion to $2 trillion by 2025 if more EVs were to be introduced down under.

The chief executive of AMEC Warren Pearce said that rather than just exporting lithium, Australia should also focus on processing the minerals and manufacturing electric vehicle batteries, according to the ABC. AMEC says that Western Australia alone mines 60 percent of the world’s supply of lithium used for the production of EV batteries.

“[The demand for lithium] is really quite incredible, so it’s not an issue about us being able to supply all the demand of the world,” Pearce told the ABC. It’s really about Australia being able to actually cement a place within that global supply chain at both the mining level where we already dominate, but also at the processing, refining level.”

Doctors for the Environment Australia, meanwhile, told the committee that poor air quality causes 3,000 deaths a year, half of which are a result of vehicle…