It is a classic shoot-yourself-in-foot scenario in the U.S. with lithium, the soft metal critical to the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles. Current environmental laws and regulations are preventing two private companies from mining two large lithium deposits in Nevada.
The U.S. Government is not striking a NIMBY pose as it has done recently with oil production, but rather finds itself in quite a pickle on how to move forward to facilitate its battery content mandates outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
In order for an electric vehicle to qualify for the $7,500 tax credit, it must contain battery-critical minerals that have been extracted or processed in the U.S. or by a U.S. free-trade partner or recycled in North America to the tune of 40% for vehicles entering service before January 1, 2024.
That percentage increases every year by another 10%, topping out at 80% beginning in 2027.There is a long list of critical mineral materials in electric vehicle batteries, but we are going on the three big ones; lithium, cobalt, and nickel.
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