Major drop in lithium prices could mean cheaper electric vehicles – by Philippe de Montigny (CBC Sudbury – April 17, 2023)

Key ingredient in batteries down more than 65 per cent after two-year rally

The significant drop in lithium prices since the beginning of the year could mean cheaper electric vehicles (EVs) down the road. After soaring for two years, the price of lithium carbonate — a key ingredient in EV batteries — sank by more than 65 per cent since January, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

“Prices peaked at over $85,000 US in November,” mining industry analyst Jean-Charles Cachon said, a level he deemed “unsustainable.” Today, one metric tonne of the battery-grade lithium salt sells for less than $30,000 US.

He points to China removing its subsidies for electric cars, which led to sluggish sales and reduced appetite for that greener alternative.

“Chinese demand crashed in January of this year, which caused that kind of panic where prices that were more than tenfold the cost of production fell dramatically,” Cachon said. And it’s not just lithium: other metals that go into batteries, such as cobalt and nickel, are also seeing their prices slide.

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