More than half the world's supply of lithium--73 million tons--is in Bolivia, a nation run by populist Evo Morales. In anticipation of a growing need of lithium, many automakers reached out to the Morales government, hoping to invest in the country early, in order to secure cheap access to lithium for batterries. The Morales government turned them away.
Bolivia wants to be the nation that turns the raw lithium into batteries. It doesn't want to simply sell off its natural resource and miss out on a profitable opportunity. So how will this imperil the electric car industry?