Bolivian micro-mobility and clean energy startup MOBI has partnered with American direct lithium extraction company Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. (EnergyX) (earlier post). Both companies will work towards creating a Bolivian domestic lithium battery supply chain to develop the region’s electric mobility market.
Bolivia is lithium-rich; the USGS estimates identified lithium reserves in the country to be 21 million tons—ahead of Argentina and Chile, the other members of the “lithium triangle”. However, Bolivia is production-poor; Chile and Argentina are top global producers, but Bolivia has yet to produce the mineral in commercial quantities.
(The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program published a piece in February 2022 that provides an informative backgrounder on Bolivia’s travails in this area. The Wilson Center was chartered by Congress in 1968 as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, and is a non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for the policy community.)
MOBI, which closed the largest seed round for a startup in Bolivia at $1.38 million off a $5 million valuation, is developing a clean transport ecosystem with its fleet of electric scooters, bikes, mopeds and e-bikes. The company plans on being active throughout South America and identified EnergyX as a strategic partner capable of helping it enact its vision.
EnergyX is integrated into the lithium industry’s supply chains from brine to battery, and will provide MOBI work on developing a next-generation battery for MOBI’s fleet.
This partnership will see EnergyX’s direct source of lithium and batteries help MOBI fleet and swap stations by creating a domestic brine-to-battery ecosystem within Bolivia.
EnergyX was created in 2018 by entrepreneur Teague Egan. The company currently has more than 50 patents focused on creating more efficient and sustainable lithium extraction processes, as well as lithium batteries for electric vehicles and grid-scale renewable energy storage. EnergyX is currently building its Innovation Labs in Austin, Texas, and is actively scaling up its operations after a successful 2021 that saw them raise $20 million in funding and deploy their first LiTAS direct lithium extraction plants to Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni.