Over the last several years, there has been plenty of speculation about the fate of worldwide lithium supplies as auto and battery makers ramp up production of lithium ion batteries and plug-in vehicles. Bolivia has some of the largest known deposits of easily accessible lithium and the government there has threatened to nationalize the industry. Everyone, it seems, wants access to the Bolivia's lithium.
The Japanese government, for example, apparently wants to help ensure that its constituents get a steady supply. To that end, it is offering Bolivia a significant economic aid package – including several hundred million dollars toward the construction of a geothermal powerplant along with other incentives – in return for access to the lithium. Other countries, including China and the United States, are ramping up exploration and production efforts in order to satisfy the expanded demand and we'll need that lithium to prevent any one country from locking up supplies.
[Source: Green Car Advisor]