GOLMUD, China -- The world is on the brink of an electric vehicle revolution. The widespread use of electric cars will depend on the availability of lithium, which is crucial for electric vehicle batteries. China is the world's second-richest country in lithium reserves, after Chile.
Countries are now scrambling to secure supplies of the valuable metal, but where is it found? I visited a remote area of China, about 3,000 meters above sea level, that is one of the world's largest lithium-producing areas and which the Chinese government considers a strategic region. "Huge amounts of capital are rapidly flowing into the town," a local resident said.