Despots are the winners in new energy race. China has scant regard for human rights as it corners the minerals used in electric car batteries. The scramble to produce an electric car for the masses and the dream of a powerful rechargeable battery to keep it on the road is about to turn geopolitics upside down. The sea lanes that transport crude from the Middle East are still strategic chokepoints, but for how much longer? The action is shifting to the jungles of central Africa and Latin America, to the dry lake beds of Afghanistan. Lucky are the leaders who sit on reserves of lithium and cobalt, essential in the construction of e-car batteries. They can count on China and its rivals, every future-orientated manufacturer, knocking on their doors.
Times 14th Nov 2018 read more »