It's been described as the latest "gold rush" in the ever-changing world of commodities, but new data has shone a light on the potential pitfalls for investors who are seeking sizeable returns from the metal lithium.
Lithium carbonate helps to power smartphones and hoverboards, but the real attraction for investors has been the nascent electric and hybrid vehicle sector. The emergence of firms like Tesla — which is building its own lithium factory in Nevada — has helped to boost its price.
However, data analysis firm Markit said Wednesday that the recent rush has also attracted plenty of doubters in the form of short sellers - those traders that bet that the price of a security will fall.
"The battery sector has attracted huge investment in recent years with lithium ... however this element could prove to be a limiting factor, creating bottlenecks in the electric car component supply chain," Simon Colvin, a research analyst at the company, said in a note.