You may be stuck paying high gas prices for years as a global metals shortage sabotages the electric car revolution – by Tristan Bove (Fortune Magazine – June 10, 2022)

Metals are quickly becoming the new oil as fossil fuels are phased out and replaced with clean energy and electric cars. The green energy transition relies on mining to produce enough lithium, cobalt, and nickel for the expected boom in solar panels, wind turbines, and electric car batteries over the next decade.

The only problem is that most of those metals are already in short supply. Paltry investments by governments in mining, the complexity of recycling rare metals, and geopolitical trade squabbles are already hampering metal production.

In a recent note to investors, Bank of America analysts warned of a shortage of many critical elements, including rare earth metals that are harder to produce, just as demand is starting to soar.

Many of these metals are abundant in the Earth’s crust, but tend to be in low concentrations and are expensive to separate and refine. And while soaring use of these elements has pushed their prices to record highs, it’s feared that modest increases in mining will be unable to meet the demand.

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