Manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) will increase India’s dependence on China for raw materials, mineral processing and battery production, according to a report from an economic think tank. It also highlights the need for life cycle impact assessment in the sector.

Batteries are complex to recycle as they contain many toxic materials. Firms promoting EVs talk about zero tail-pipe emissions but are silent on mining and disposal costs.


If India does not manufacture its own EV batteries, it will increasingly depend on China for raw materials. Lithium and cobalt, key ingredients in EV batteries, will become scarce as global production grows.

The Biden administration could strengthen the imperative of combating climate change in its foreign policy agenda by convening a clean energy forum with the top lithium-producing nations, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, which are part of the so-called “Lithium Triangle.” Such a joint effort would boost investment partnerships, promote greener technologies for lithium mining, and furnish more clean energy opportunities in the region.

In a world with increasing demands for EVs and battery storage, lithium will be the fastest-growing mineral. A raft of new technologies for extracting and refining it will likely significantly boost supply. One such technology, called direct-lithium-extraction (DLE), is able to precipitate lithium directly from brine without evaporation, which helps protect local ecosystems and aquifers.


Cobalt (atomic symbol Co) is a silvery-blue transition metal perched in the middle of the Periodic Table. It shares some physical and chemical properties with nickel, but also has a unique ferromagnetic property.

In its pure form, cobalt can be used to make superalloys and high-temperature alloys. Its ability to resist corrosion and magnetic properties make it popular in batteries and other materials.

Battery materials require large amounts of cobalt, which helps them last longer and store more energy. It’s important in the rechargeable batteries that power renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles.

Most cobalt is produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where artisanal mines operated by armed militias pose severe human rights risks. These hazards include child labor, fatal accidents and violent clashes with mining company security personnel.


Manganese is a critical mineral for the manufacturing of electric vehicles. It is the key performer of nickel-manganese cobalt (NMC) cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries, helping them maintain their structure and allowing EVs to safely power over long distances.

However, the cost of high-purity manganese is a huge barrier to battery production. As a result, securing safe and reliable sources of high purity manganese is increasingly the number one priority for battery and automotive manufacturers around the world.

The current supply chain for manganese is dominated by China, with more than 90% of the global capacity for high purity manganese sulphate being sourced from this country. This puts US EV battery manufacturers at risk for supply disruptions due to rising geopolitical tensions with China.

This risk could be eliminated by the development of Manganese X’s strategically located, high-grade manganese resource in Battery Hill in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. This project has a proven track record of positive metallurgical recovery tests and could service a North American EV battery capacity that is forecasted to grow by 6.2x by 2030.


Electric cars, for example, require a significant amount of copper to power the batteries used in them. The metal is ductile and malleable, and conducts electricity well.

The demand for copper will grow as EVs become more popular, says a report from the International Copper Study Group. The report estimates that EV battery demand will double by 2040, increasing India’s dependency on China for raw materials.

It also said that EVs will lead to a rise in pollution because they will run on coal-generated electricity. Moreover, the batteries for EVs use lithium, which is a mineral that requires extraction and processing, increasing pollution.

Among the top exports from India to China are iron ore, raw cotton and cotton yarn, among others. The country levied export duties on these inputs in May as it tries to boost domestic production and stabilize prices.

By Macpie

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