Afghanistan’s lithium reserves could boost India’s EV ambitions: Analysis

Afghanistan’s substantial lithium reserves could be crucial for India’s electric vehicle (EV) ambitions, according to an analysis by South Asia Voices.

The report highlights the urgency for India to access Afghanistan’s estimated $1 trillion in lithium reserves, noting China’s aggressive expansion in securing global lithium supplies as a primary competitor in extraction.

As India aims to invest more in manufacturing sectors with national security implications and to meet its climate goals by producing electric vehicles and other sustainable solutions, access to critical minerals has become vital to its foreign policy. The analysis states that securing Afghan lithium could help New Delhi reduce dependence on China and ensure an alternate supply for India’s emerging EV industry and other strategic needs.

The report underscores that an alternate lithium supply would support India’s ambitious renewable energy targets and serve as a strategic policy move. “New Delhi has already spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan over the past two decades to secure its political and security interests in the country,” the analysis notes.

Investing in Afghanistan’s lithium extraction could also help prevent Kabul’s overreliance on Beijing, avoiding potential debt trap scenarios and mitigating Chinese influence in the region.

The Taliban has already signed contracts for the extraction of several mines and petroleum wells with Chinese companies, further emphasizing the competitive landscape for these critical resources.