Cobalt’s automakers are using lithium ion batteries since they are preparing for an increase in electric production. These batteries will be used in both electric and hybrid vehicles. Shanghai Chaos Investments and Switzerland-based Pala Investments as two of the companies that invested in cobalt last year, although the amount they’ve stockpiled is unknown. On Dec. 1, cobalt was just around $30,000 per metric tonne. One metric tonne equals 2,204 pounds. As of Monday, one metric tonne of cobalt was $49,000. That’s an increase of 63 percent in three months. However, EVs have not been hot sellers amid continued low prices for gasoline. In 2016, U.S. sales for the alternative power car segment dropped 19 percent from a year earlier. Battery-electric vehicles decreased 12 percent for the year, and hybrid sales fell 21 percent. Battery-electric vehicle sales might soar to 523 percent from 2016 to 2023, the increase translates to 416,571 vehicles and a 2.35 percent share of U.S. vehicle sales.