Rare earth price rise could mean escalating EV costs

Date: 
June 01, 2011

A rapid increase in rare earth prices has sparked fear among some investors that the price of hybrid cars rocketing.

There has been a three- to five-fold increase in prices since the beginning of the year after a reduction in production levels in China, according to the Financial Times.

There has been increasing concern in international quarters as to the virtual monopoly China has in rare earths, where currently above 95 per cent of the world's supply is mined.

Vital in the application in a number of clean technologies such as parts for wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles, the US, Japan and other countries have begun to place the issue as a matter of national importance.

Compounding worries further is that China has cut export quotes further this year, to 4.5 per cent less than 2010's figure.