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With sales of hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) predicted to soar into the multi-million range by 2015, it's now becoming quite apparent that a potential shortage in battery-related materials could present some problems. First, there's a reasonable concern that supply of essential battery components (i.e. anodes, cathodes and electrolyte materials) may not be able to keep up with the rising demand. There's also a valid argument suggesting that supplies of natural resources (i.e. lithium and ot

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Anti-government protests in southern Bolivia over the past several weeks again highlight the risks of migrating to technologies that rely heavily on raw materials from limited sources. The protesters, who are calling for increased infrastructure development in the Potosi region of southern Bolivia, have virtually shut down lead, silver and zinc mines for more than two weeks. While Bolivia is mineral rich, much of the population has remained impoverished.

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Asia and Michigan, watch out. It's a long-term goal, but Bolivia is looking to capitalize on its large in-ground lithium supply by producing li-ion batteries by 2018. While lithium might not ever be in short supply, Bolivia certainly has the advantage of not needing to import the valuable material. The country's deputy minister of Science and Technology, Roger Carvajal, said this week that the basic outline of the government strategy to commercialize the lithium deposits (estimated to be about h

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If there's one repeated refrain we hear about the high price of advanced lithium batteries that are needed for the mass adoption of pure electric cars, it's that economies of scale will one day make the packs reasonably affordable. This seems a likely scenario, but is it inevitable? A paragraph in a recent column by Jerry Flint in Forbes caught my eye. He writes:

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President Obama announcing $2.4 billion battery grants - Click above to watch the video after the jump

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French industry giant Group Bolloré, which we're familar with for their involvement with Pininfarina in a handful of interesting electric car projects, announced it has contacted Bolivian President Evo Morales to secure a supply of lithium in order to produce advanced batteries. Negotiations have been in the works for more than a year to guarantee access to what is estimated to be half of the total lithium resources in the world, located in Salar de Uyuni. Bolloré is competing agai

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Martin Alipaz / epa / Corbis - TIME

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The Pininfarina / Bollore electric car project was said to be "going as planned" despite the tragic death of Andrea Pininfarina. who was overseeing the operation around which the Italian design company was being financially restructured. Addressing a press conference, Bollore head Vincent Bollore attempted to calm any fears saying, "We are in the condition to produce at industrial levels." Paolo Pininfarina was chosen to replace his brother and also reaffirmed the company's restructuring intenti

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Bolivia is one of Latin America poorest countries and is looking for a way of improving its economy. Instead of dirty mining or cutting wood, a report written by Andrea Urioste states that Bolivia could sell oxygen. While this may sound like they'd need buyers who are also interested in oceanfront property in Kansas, what we're talking about here is selling the "protection and conservation" of its natural forests.

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