For Lithium Car Batteries Bolivia Is in the Driver’s Seat TIME

9 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи For Lithium Car Batteries Bolivia Is in the Driver’s Seat TIME отключены
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Breaking America’s on foreign energy supplies and who often don’t like the is a driving force behind the for alternative fuels. That electric cars, which Detroit has finally realized it to produce. But at Detroit’s International Show this month, the surrounding the Big Three’s announcements they’re shifting from to voltage has been tempered by realization: most of the lithium to make the batteries for those is found in Bolivia, whose President isn’t too fond of the (See the top 10 cars from Auto Show. )

Small, impoverished Bolivia. in is the Saudi Arabia of lithium. home to 73 million metric of lithium carbonate, more half the world’s supply. The single deposit is the Salar de a vast, 4,085-square-mile (6,575-sq-km) desert in the southern Potosi that is also one of Bolivia’s tourist attractions.

President Evo Bolivia’s first indigenous of state, prides himself on control over natural he nationalized the country’s (massive gas reserves in 2006). If the past is any electric carmakers should to the Andes with sober This is a unique opportunity for us, Bolivian Mining Minister Alberto Echazu.

The days of U.S. car companies cheap raw materials to sell cars are over. Indeed, lithium abundance could put car in the position of replacing one energy-rich American U.S. critic President Hugo Chavez another.

Many foreign have already found out. Auto executives the demand for lithium could supply in a decade. As a result, from companies like and Toyota have approached the government to get in on the ground floor of lithium development.

They’ve been routinely away. All they wanted to do was away the raw lithium carbonate, Echazu, and that’s not what after. (See the top 10 green of 2008. )

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What Bolivia is is a largely, if not purely, state-run industry from mining to which might even actual manufacturing of the coveted batteries. Morales recently a $5.7 million pilot to process raw lithium carbonate, now construction on the edge of the Salar, hopes to produce its first 40 tons of the material by the end of this

Last week, General Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner that the supply, design and of electric-car batteries must be a competency of GM. GM plans to build a soon, as well as a battery center, along with the of Michigan. Toyota is already owner of the plant that the batteries for its Prius gas-electric car.

Other car companies are to manufacturing firms like BYD, a leading cell-phone producer, to satisfy their needs.

The core question is whether lithi-leverage will eventually up the price of those batteries, can already add about $10,000 to the of a car. Experts say that as of the lithium-ion packs increases, actually getting closer in to cheaper but less effective batteries. Still, a big factor be whether the demand for them as much as anticipated.

It is difficult to just how many electric we will see in the market, says Moore, a spokeswoman for Ford, hopes to have its family of (battery electric vehicles) on the American market by 2012. depends on the speed at which technology progresses, but equally cost considerations related to batteries.

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