With over 50% of the world’s know lithium reserves lying within it’s borders, the country of Bolivia is paying close attention to the rapid rise of lithium batteries. The auto industry and the rise of hybrid and all-electric vehicles are the primary factors for the increased demand in lithium; however everything from cell phones, laptops, household appliances and much more are going the way of being powered by lithium batteries.
This rising popularity of lithium batteries combined with Bolivia’s massive reserves of the mineral have put the South American country in a potentially lucrative position for the years ahead. So much so, in fact, that Bolivia’s control of this limited natural resource has many calling it “The Saudi Arabia of lithium.” While this bodes well for the impoverished people of Bolivia, the rest of the world could find themselves once again reliant on foreign countries for a major source of energy.
As previously mentioned, talks of an OPEC-like lithium cartel with China and Chile have surfaced in recent months. There has also been talk, as noted by thecarconnection, that Bolivia now plans to produce its own batteries by 2016. Either way, the potential for a dramtic increase in the demand for lithium would likely prove to be very fortuitous for what is one of the poorest countries in the Americas.