The UK is committed to the future of carbon neutrality – in just eight years almost all new cars sold here will be electric.

The pact is part of a global transformation of the automotive industry. From 2030, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned not only in the UK but also in Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Meanwhile, major manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford, Mercedes Benz and Volvo have set a date for the launch.

But it is now clear that this big change could have a big knock on the door.

Analysts are warning that the price of electric car batteries is likely to rise for the first time this year, making conventional green technology cheaper.

And in the long run, it could lead to an earthquake in the global car economy, making China the leading supplier of electric vehicles.

Driving these shifts is a competition to control the global lithium, the main source of EV batteries.

Last month’s new game, Rare land migrationAt the Royal Court Theater in London, the war was staged with a very subtle version of Elon Musk in Bolivia.

However, the real world steel industry is dominated by a small group of unconventional Chinese companies, not American billionaires.

Cheap lithium competition is the central focus of the new game. Rare land migration Helen Murray at the Royal Court Theater

Chinese companies such as Ganfeng Lithium, Zygin Mining and Chengdu Tianki Industrial Group have been in the “buying blitz” for the past 10 months, analysts SP Global said.

A.D. In October 2021, Chinese companies acquired 6.4 million tons of lithium reserves and resources, the same amount that all companies around the world have invested in to secure future lithium supply by 2020.

Their purchases extend from Argentina to Mali, Australia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico and Chile. Over the past decade, Chinese companies have spent more than $ 6 billion on lithium deals.

Analysts say the buzz is part of China’s long-term plan to dominate the global EV market.

Henry Sanderson, editor-in-chief of Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, points out.

Explaining that supply of raw materials is the next part of the puzzle. “China is not fortunate enough to have a large amount of lithium in its home, but what China has done is to control the lithium process,” he said. I. “As a result, we had to go overseas to find resources.”

While Chinese car makers are expected to hit the right design and price point, it suggests that Chinese EVs could become a common sight on British streets in a few years. “China has become a centrifugal force that attracts everything in it. [lithium] Supply chain. ” I. “China’s dream is to send EVs to the world with Chinese batteries and components.”

China’s dream is to send EVs to the world with Chinese batteries and components, analysts say

But China is not alone in expanding its lithium supply chain. The deadline for banning new petrol and diesel cars – the EU has set its own for 2035 – has led to a sharp increase in EV sales. This has led to an increase in the price of lithium as Western companies rush to maintain their supply chains. The price of lithium carbonate now stands at about $ 24,000 a ton, an increase of 290 percent a year.

“Prices have risen in 2021 and this is due to the fact that supply is growing faster than it could continue,” said Goldstein, senior equity analyst at Maldast. “This is good news for lithium miners who are investing heavily in new projects,” he said.

“Every day there seems to be another announcement, as the capital investing in lithium is increasing, and many projects are being bought or sold. The industry seems to have finally woken up and realizes that it is time to move on to new lithium assets.

But in the short term, it could be bad news for EV makers who are relying on falling prices to at least get their cars to the wholesale market. Battery prices have been declining rapidly over the past 20 years, making them the driving force behind the decline in electric cars. But if the lithium price trend continues – and analysts see little sign of the end – that trend will change.

BloombergNF analysis shows that the average battery price could increase by $ 3 per kilowatt in the first half of 2022.

“Increased commodity prices will start to hit the battery industry in the first half of 2022,” said Dr Kwasi Ampofo, chief of Bloomberg Nef Metals and Minerals.

Increased battery life can put the brakes on cheaper EVs. A.D. By 2020, Bloomberg predicts that electric vehicles will be the cheapest of the internal combustion engines in the US by 2024. Expensive batteries, the only expensive component of an electric vehicle, can push that day back.

Contact representatives of the lithium industry and urge them to stay calm.

Andan Shett, chairman of the International Litigation Association (ILIA), which officially started in September, said the price of new lithium would go up in a year or two.

“Things grow fast, but not everything is coordinated. Different parts of the supply chain grow at different times, ”he said. I. “It’s just a matter of seeing. There is a matter of short supply and demand. But this is not a permanent situation.

But others are talking about years, even decades, of high prices, because of the growing demand for EVs. Real Elon Musk cars consume 30 million electric cars a year before they are completed in a decade. That requires the global lithium mining industry to increase its current quintals.

Cheap, abundant lithium is the sacred fruit of the electric revolution. Affordable electric cars depend on it. But as the race for global supply intensifies, the road to low-cost EVs appears to be on a downward spiral.

Cornish Lithium Hunting

Cornish Lithium is digging into Cornual test cores to assess mining potential in the county (photo clear iNews)

Looking for new lithium supplies, some pioneering companies hope to revive Cornwall’s world-leading mining industry and turn the region into a hub for the electric revolution.

“The lithium industry has become a full-fledged arms race,” said Jeremy Wuratal, CEO of Cornish Lithium. “This is megatrend.”

The Cornwall landscape is rich in lithium, buried in dusty rocks and saltwater. The challenge is to make money.

Cornish lithium is being dug in two places to get enough lithium to start full-size works. British lithium rivals have recently announced that lithium carbonate has been successfully extracted from a mica on a cornerwall granite bed.

Both companies predict they will be able to produce large quantities of lithium in half a decade if everything goes according to plan. But labor costs are high, environmental regulations may be tight, and mining will not be able to reach large projects in Australia and South America.