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Anjani Trivedi

‘Blood Batteries’ Drive America’s Frantic EV Ambitions

In its quest to secure the raw materials needed to make electric vehicles, the US is turning to some questionable places.

Zambia is one of the largest producers of copper. 

Zambia is one of the largest producers of copper. 

Photographer: Zinyange Auntony/Bloomberg

In its rush to secure and build America’s electric vehicle and battery-supply chains, the US government is reaching far and wide, splashing out billions in commitments. But the desperation is leading it astray.

Last week, the State Department quietly released a Memorandum of Understanding it signed in December to support a commitment between the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the DRC, and Zambia to build a “productive supply chain, from mine to assembly line.” The agreement, in theory, is meant to drive investment and ensure the private sector has a “level playing field” in projects.