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How to Get the U.S. Ready for EV Batteries

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As lithium-ion batteries increasingly look like the future of cars, getting use in hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, the question is, how do we make them here?

The problem is that most of the materials for these batteries come from other countries, meaning the North American supply base is severely lacking. More than half of the lithium comes from South America right now, and in under a decade 40% of it will come from China.

How does the U.S. combat this and ensure that the batteries of the future can be made in the U.S.? According to Mary-Ann Wright, CEO of joint battery venture Johnson Controls-Saft, the key will be establishing a manufacturing base in the U.S early and quickly.

Johnson Controls-Saft hopes to begin that base, having just won a contract from a consortium that includes battery suppliers and several automakers, including those in Detroit.

The aim is to develop cheaper battery systems for mass-market plug-in hybrids while cooperating with competitors when it comes to technology and suppliers of raw materials, like lithium.

North America Behind on Batteries for Electric Cars, CEO Says (Detroit Free Press)

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