As the world gradually transitions to the widespread use of battery electric vehicles, there are hundreds of billions of dollars at stake for automakers as well as the corporations that control the resources required to produce EVs. So far, the People’s Republic of China has positioned itself as the transition’s primary beneficiary as well as a potential arbiter of who does and doesn’t get manufacture electric cars.
A recent report from the New York Times outlines how China controls a significant portion of the world’s minerals and means needed to produce electric cars. China’s ownership of mining operations overseas, like cobalt mines in Congo and nickel mines in Indonesia, allows the country to have a steady supply of minerals and control the market.
China has also created a vertically-integrated apparatus for manufacturing electric vehicles. The country refines 67 percent of the world’s lithium. It is also the leading battery and battery component producer on the planet, responsible for 92 percent of anodes, 77 percent of cathodes and 66 percent of battery cells. The ability to scale quickly has been largely due to lower labor costs and having a considerable amount of domestic factory equipment manufacturers.
Currently producing 54 percent of the world’s electric cars, there’s little doubt that China will retain its majority share of the industry for the foreseeable future.
Be sure to read the full piece from the New York Times to get a complete picture of why China is in this preeminent position.