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Chevron Considers Lithium Production in Latest EV Bet by Big Oil

(Bloomberg) —

Chevron Corp. is considering opportunities to produce lithium that would be used in electric vehicle batteries, Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth said in a Bloomberg interview.

Extracting lithium fits with the “core capabilities” of a company like Chevron that has deep experience producing oil and gas, Wirth said on Sunday, without providing details of specific plans.

Earlier in July, Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Darren Woods said the energy giant is exploring opportunities to produce lithium. The price and availability of lithium is crucial to whether EVs can scale up.

The lithium interest from US oil majors contrasts with their counterparts in Europe, which have been more aggressive in certain energy-transition areas like wind, solar and power services. US companies have focused on adjacent areas of their fossil fuel business such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and lithium. Chevron itself has made clear it has no plans to invest significantly in big wind and solar projects, saying the returns are low and the competition is too high.

Read More: Chevron Beats Earnings Forecasts While Extending CEO’s Tenure

Chevron, originally scheduled to report quarterly results this Friday, posted better-than-expected earnings as output in the Permian Basin soared to a record and also said it waived the mandatory retirement age of 65 for Wirth. Shares climbed 2.9% as of 11:02 a.m. in New York trading Monday.

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