Feb. 28, 2024 |

Going underground. The success of BYD and China’s EV industry comes in part from their control over their supply chains—in particular, their control over the supply of the minerals they need to make their batteries and semiconductor chips.

Often referred to as critical minerals, these include lithium, cobalt, and nickel. And they’re essential for producing not only electric vehicles but other consumer technologies, like cell phones, along with renewable-energy technologies and military equipment. As such, critical minerals represent a key area of strategic competition between the U.S. and China.

Last November, Nicholas Kumleben explored the tensions between China and the West over the control of these minerals—an area where Beijing holds a distinct advantage over Washington and its allies.