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Lithium stays sky-high as other EV battery metals come down to earth

Changing tech trends in top auto market China reduce demand for nickel and cobalt

Tesla Model 3s are seen at a factory in Shanghai. The global competition for battery materials is growing as electric vehicles become more popular.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prices for key metals used in electric-vehicle batteries have diverged, with lithium holding strong on brisk demand and tight supply while nickel and cobalt start to fall out of favor in the crucial Chinese market.

All of these materials are used in cathodes. These components make up about 40% of the cost of a battery cell, which itself accounts for a sizable chunk of electric vehicle production expenses.

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