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Electric Vehicles’ Politically Charged Global Supply Chain

A rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car is pictured at the Volkswagen car factory in Zwickau, eastern Germany, on February 25, 2020. RONNY HARTMANN / AFP

As EVs become more popular, the politics to secure the resources necessary to power these vehicles are going to become a lot more complex. This is because of how globally dispersed the supply chains are for the key minerals and metals.

The United States and Europe are especially vulnerable, given China’s dominance in the extraction of some strategic resources like cobalt. More importantly, this dominance extends to the processing of those materials, a sector where Chinese companies often have 90+% market share.

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