LA PAZ – The government of Ecuador on Monday requested from Bolivia a supply of lithium-ion batteries for a future public fleet of electric vehicles.
Ecuador’s minister of Knowledge and Human Talent, Andres Arauz, told reporters he conveyed the request during a meeting with Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera.
Promoting the use of electric vehicles is “one of the pillars” of Ecuador’s initiative to shift away from fossil fuels, the minister said.
The governments will hold technical discussions to define operational details and implement the lithium-battery project, Arauz said.
Bolivia has ambitious plans to develop the Uyuni Salt Flat, an expanse of more than 10,000 sq. kilometers (4,000 sq. miles) that contains millions of tons of lithium reserves.
The initiative includes construction of a plant to produce lithium carbonate, as well as facilities that will use that raw material to make lithium-ion batteries and other products.
A Chinese-built pilot plant to make lithium batteries – intended primarily for the training of Bolivian technicians – was inaugurated in February 2014.