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China is winning 'desperate' global race to control lithium for electric vehicles

Dec 05 , 2017

China is outpacing the U.S. and other countries in a global race to secure supplies of an all-important element for electric cars.

China has emerged as the leading market player for electric and hybrid cars, accounting for approximately half of global sales. And with the world's second-largest economy keen to develop the industry within its own borders, Beijing is looking to import a lot more lithium.

"Lithium is coming of age in a big way. It's the core ingredient to 99 percent of electric vehicles and as a result, demand is going through the roof," Simon Moores, managing director at research and data provider at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, told CNBC in a phone interview.


As demand for electric vehicles skyrockets, Chinese firms have rapidly been making deals in a bid to secure supplies of lithium — a vital component used in batteries for electric vehicles.


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