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China Doubles Down on Lithium-and Electric Vehicles

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 20, 2017 2:06:55 PM

Despite Donald Trump's flattery and admiration for autocratic Chinese leaders, behind the scenes they're scooping up many of the world's most valuable resources.

Eyeing the rapid transition to electric vehicles, the Chinese are hedging their bets that lithium will remain a key component of high-performance batteries for some time to come.

So far, there's no likely contender for replacing it in electric vehicles of the next decade. That's bad news for American carmakers, who could get left out in the cold, if lithium supplies are locked down by the Chinese.

Here's what's happening, as reported by CNN this morning:

As demand for the vehicles surges, Chinese companies have been doing deals around the world to secure supplies of lithium, a silvery-white metal mined from rocks in Australia and brine pools in South America.
China is the top market for electric and hybrid cars, accounting for roughly half of global sales, and the government is pushing the development of the industry within its borders. That calls for a lot of lithium, a key component of the vehicles' batteries.
 
"Whoever controls the lithium supply chain will control the future of the electric vehicle space," said Simon Moores, managing director at research and data provider Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. "There's a global battery arms race."

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