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Berlin — Germany and Bolivia have sealed a partnership for the industrial use of lithium, a key raw material for the production of battery cells, in an important step to become less dependent on Asian market leaders in the dawning age of electric cars. Interest in battery metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium is soaring as the auto industry scrambles to build more electric cars and cut noxious fumes from vehicles powered by fossil fuels in light of stricter emission rules. “Germany should become a leading location for battery cell production. A large part of production costs is linked to raw materials,” German economy minister Peter Altmaier said after the deal was signed on Wednesday. “German industry is therefore well advised to secure its needs for lithium early in order to avoid falling behind and slipping into dependency,” Altmaier said, adding that the deal was “an important building block” to secure this supply. Electric vehicle batteries With the joint venture, Bolivian ...

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