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Could Bolivia be the Saudi Arabia of lithium?

So much for weaning ourselves off dependence on foreign energy sources. It turns out Bolivia has almost half of the world’s supply of lithium, and President Evo Morales wants to cash in. As the movement towards producing battery powered vehicles gains momentum, analysts expect demand for the element to grow with it. Unfortunately, a huge ...

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So much for weaning ourselves off dependence on foreign energy sources.

It turns out Bolivia has almost half of the world’s supply of lithium, and President Evo Morales wants to cash in. As the movement towards producing battery powered vehicles gains momentum, analysts expect demand for the element to grow with it. Unfortunately, a huge portion of these reserve are in a single country, run by a president with a penchant for nationalizing major commodity industries and an aversion to the United States. This could cause major problems for car makers as they seek promote new models such as the Chevy Volt and a plug-in version of the Ford Escape. As one local leader puts it:

We know that Bolivia can become the Saudi Arabia of lithium.”

That doesn’t sound promising.

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