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Bolivia Hopes To Move Lithium in Electric Car Market

Written by Bryan Johannsen

Bolivia is South America's second poorest country but the emerging electric car market may change that. Most of the batteries in the electric cars are of the lithium-ion variety and the world's largest untapped lithium reserves reside in Bolivia.

Analysts suggest there may be enough lithium there to make batteries for 4.8 billion electric cars though there are currently no plans to tap the massive quanities of the light metal.

There are dozens of electric vehicles slated to be released over the next few years and Bolivian President Evo Morales belives his country can become one of the world's largest suppliers of lithium, "Lithium is the hope not only for Bolivia but for all the people on the planet" he says.

The country itself is too poor to set up the mines and extraction facilities needed but hopes are that investors will see opportunity in the massive litium reserves and set up the infrastructure to put Bolivia front and center in a market currently controlled by two companies: Rockwood Holdings In. and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA or Soquimich.

Electric cars aren't the only market that Bolivia's lithium could break into, almost every portable electronic device from laptops, to cell phones to portable GPS and music players use lithium ion batteries due to their light weight, charge retention and heat dissipating properties.

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