In the quest to secure the raw materials that are required to build next generation automobile batteries and motors, Japan seems to have grasped the importance of locking down supplies now.
A report in the Japanese Nikkei newspaper (subs req’d) says that Japan will loan tens of billions of yen to Bolivia this summer to help them build modern power plants and put solar panels on a hospital. In exchange, Japan will get guaranteed access to Bolivia’s vast supplies of lithium. Sometimes the difference between “bribery” and “help” can be so blurry.
Compared to Japan, the US seems so blase about the issue of securing lithium and rare earth metal supplies. That attitude kind of fits in with our falling standings in the global arena of innovation. Why is it that the US can’t seem to address an issue until we are reacting to a crisis caused by not addressing it in the first place?
Source: Green Car Congress