Li Industry Espionage Allegations Raise the Stakes
Source: Lithium Investing News (1/12/11)
"Three auto execs face allegations of leaking EV information to China."
Lithium investors will appreciate that the stakes are elevated in these circumstances, with some analysts suggesting that electric and hybrid cars may grab as much as 10% of the European automobile market by 2020. In China, the government has already committed to investing heavily in the electric vehicle industry. Many analysts are expecting China to be at the leading edge of demand for these vehicles in the future as the domestic market for electric bikes and electric motorcycles already dwarfs demand from all other regions combined, and consists of 98% of the global market, despite being in the early adoption stage.
A senior employee at Renault has since denied any involvement in industrial espionage after allegations that the three executives leaked any such green car technology secrets. Michel Balthazard, who is vice-president of advanced engineering at Renault, said the company had not yet made any decision about whether to fire him. Following a meeting with Renault management on Tuesday, Mr. Balthazard indicated "Renault is bringing very serious accusations against me, which I deny totally". Renault has said it is studying all legal options and will probably press charges, after meeting all of the suspended employees on Tuesday afternoon.