The link is graphite, a vital component in batteries used in Tesla’s Model S, Toyota’s plug-in Prius and other electric cars, as well as in electronic gadgets including iPhones. It’s mostly mined and processed in China where graphite pollution has fouled air and water, damaged crops and raised health concerns. Now, in response, Chinese authorities are closing dozens of graphite mines and processors in a bid for cleaner air even as global demand for the commodity is surging.
“There’s little question that the Chinese are between a rock and a hard place environmentally,” said Josh Landess, an advanced transportation analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “There’s an obvious irony that the disruption it’s causing is within the clean vehicle and transportation industry.”
The graphite outcry is the latest among environmental flashpoints in China that have ranged from lead poisoning to acid spills and “unbearable smog” in big cities. And while the clampdown may help improve the quality of China’s environment, it could also affect as much as a third of worldwide production
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.