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Lithium and copper spark $9bn cost headache for Japan automakers

No relief in sight from rising prices of materials to make cars cleaner and electric

A vehicle drives on a salt flat in Olaroz, Argentina, a source of lithium for batteries.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese automakers face a multibillion-dollar hit to earnings this fiscal year from rising prices of lithium, copper and other materials crucial to the shift away from polluting cars.

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