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In What Could Be Bad News From the DR Congo, the Cobalt-Free EV Battery May Happen Much Sooner Than We Thought

Kena Betancur / AFP

The world’s leading automakers are making much faster progress than anticipated in moving away from electric vehicle batteries that contain cobalt. VW, Tesla, and the Chinese EV giant BYD (the world’s second-largest EV maker) have all either developed new cobalt-free batteries or are in late-stage development.

This is potentially very bad news for the Democratic Republic of the Congo that is home to approximately 60% of the world’s known cobalt reserves. Presently, the DRC is failing to do much to capitalize on the extraction of this strategic metal, given that the bulk of its mining operations are controlled by foreign, predominantly Chinese, companies.

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