Germany falls behind in the global race for lithium – by Tobias Käufer ( – January 28, 2023)

Berlin trails global powers like China and the US in acquiring lithium, a key component in electric vehicle batteries. German Chancellor Scholz will address the issue on his trip to South America this weekend.

Roughly 57% of the world’s lithium deposits are found in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Because it’s used in electric vehicle battery production, the natural resource is highly sought-after. Globally, the Chinese have invested billions to ensure their place at the front of the line. The US, too, is in a better position than its European partners.

Despite its economic dependence on the auto industry, however, Germany lags far behind. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz plans to address the issue during his trip to Argentina, Chile and Brazil this weekend.

“Compared with China, but also other countries, Germany doesn’t have much of a presence in South America’s lithium triangle,” as Buenos Aires-based economist and consultant Carl Moses told DW. “Nevertheless, there are efforts underway to change that.”

Although German companies have managed to position themselves relatively well in Argentina and Chile, they have yet to make a real breakthrough.

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