After Elon Musk complained that lithium — the ubiquitous raw material needed in electric vehicle batteries — was trading at insane levels, and China’s authorities in March pushed key industry players to act, prices briefly began to cool. Now, they’re rising again to add pressure on automakers.
Lithium carbonate jumped to a new record Sept. 16 of 500,500 yuan ($71,315) a ton in China, according to data from Asian Metal Inc. The battery material has roughly tripled in the past year, and is more than 1,150% higher than a pandemic low touched in July 2020. Prices of lithium hydroxide are also gaining and closing in on an all-time high set in April.