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U.S. Looks To Create National EVs Supply Chain Strategy

The United States is looking to create a strategy for developing critical minerals such as lithium in a bid to bolster domestic supply for electric vehicles (EVs) and lessen dependence on lithium imports, especially from China.

Early next month, U.S. government officials are expected to meet with senior managers from carmakers and lithium mining companies to possibly launch a U.S. national strategy for boosting American processing facilities of lithium, Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the plans. 

According to two of the sources, U.S. Senators, as well as officials from the Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and the U.S. Geological Survey plan to attend the meeting scheduled to take place in early May.

Lithium is the key mineral for the EV makers from Tesla to all the legacy automakers who are venturing en masse into the EV market.

The U.S. holds around 5 percent of the global market of lithium-ion battery production, which is dominated by China with a share of almost two-thirds. China is also home to most of the lithium processing factories in the world, according to data from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, cited by Reuters.

In January 2019, there were nearly 5 million passenger EVs on the road globally, Angus McCrone, Chief Editor at BloombergNEF (BNEF), wrote in an article earlier this year. China will continue to be the leader in terms of volumes sold this year, with some 1.5 million of EV sales, accounting for around 57 percent of the global market, McCrone said.

Even the steep cuts in Chinese EV subsidies announced at the end of March are unlikely to deter China’s fast volume growth, Fitch Ratings said in a note on Monday.

“We expect demand in the world’s largest EV market to be supported by increasingly attractive product offerings, as well as wider commercial use of passenger EVs, in addition to a potential "pull-forward" effect in 2Q19,” Fitch Ratings said.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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