U.S. Charged Up Over Electric Vehicles
Will development of electric vehicles increase America’s dependence on other countries? That question was thrown at John Boesel, president and CEO of Calstart, at the Green Truck Summit.
China dominates the world market for rare earth metals needed for electric motors, and the U.S. imports its lithium from Chile and Argentina, and lithium-ion batteries from countries around the world.
No, he replied. Molycorp has reopened a rare earth metals mine in Mountain Pass, Calif., that will meet America’s needs, and California-based Simbol Materials has shown it can extract enough lithium to meet U.S. demand for the rest of the decade from the wastewater of its geothermal plants. And now Nissan will produce lithium-ion batteries for its Leaf electric car at a new plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.
“We’re just at the beginning of the electric car industry,” Boesel said.
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