Colleagues at Guardian US looked at the point you raised, and agree that the chart bars should indeed have been coded as showing hundreds of thousands of tons.
The chart has been corrected, and the change footnoted accordingly.
This story was updated on 24 January 2023 to correct the units in the graphic estimating how much lithium could be required to power US vehicles in 2050, earlier given in millions of tons.
Correction is possible!
Now, that opinion page……