Nevada’s nickname as the Silver State traces back to the mid-1800s, when prospectors flocked to the state to mine the abundant silver ore lodged in the earth. A century and a half later, the state remains a top producer of silver, gold and other metals, but another mineral is bringing attention and investment to the state – lithium.

Global demand for lithium has been accelerating along with growing demand for rechargeable batteries in cell phones, laptops, electric vehicles and many other products. Production of lithium, a key material in rechargeable batteries, has more than tripled since 2015, coinciding with the surge in electric vehicle production. That surge is expected to continue as the world continues its transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources such as electricity.

Electric vehicles are a key part of that transition, and governments in the United States have pursued policies to encourage and incentivize further development of electric vehicles. Passed earlier this year, the federal infrastructure bill included $3.1 billion in funding through the Department of Energy to bolster battery supply chains and manufacturing. Later in the year, the Inflation Reduction Act was passed with consumer tax credits for electric vehicles that contained specified amounts of battery minerals sourced to the U.S. or its trade partners.

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