electric vehicle, EV, lithium, lithium-ion battery
We all know that the Indian government is focusing on electric vehicle production and sales to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Many companies across the world have already shifted their production from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles.
One of the major components of an electric vehicle is lithium-ion batteries. Currently, TATA company is manufacturing electric vehicles in India and Tata chemicals are in the production of battery cells. The Indian government has already taken an action to transform public transport by introducing e-rickshaws and Electric buses.
Despite the constant production of batteries by Indian companies, the country has a shortage of lithium. Lithium is primarily imported as lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. This is the reason India has to import lithium from African countries. African countries like Zimbabwe, Mali, Ghana, Namibia, and Democratic Republic of Congo have abundant lithium mines.
The total imports of lithium and lithium ion in the financial year 2021 were Rs 8,984 crores and it has increased to Rs 13,838 crore in the financial year 2022.
Now you must be thinking about how India is helping China to earn money for manufacturing electric vehicles. Most of the African mines are owned by the Chinese government. Even if India is paying Africa to import lithium, the money goes to the Chinese government. Shanghai based mining company, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, has invested around $300 million in the arcadia lithium mine in Zimbabwe. The mine has the capacity to produce 4.5 million tonnes of ore and 400,00 tonnes of lithium concentrate each year.
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