Russia, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, is not exactly a “green” country, though they do have some interesting CNG-hybrid vehicles in the works. Still, it’s not exactly known for its pioneering, eco-friendly innovations. But today, the world’s largest lithium battery plant has opened up near Novobirsk, Russia as a joint Russian-Chinese venture.

The Liotech facility exceeds 40,000 sq. meters of space and will have enough production capacity to produce batteries of all sizes for up to 500,000 batteries every year, many of them slated for use in electric buses. The plant was a joint venture between China’s Thunder Sky and RUSNANO (a re-organized state-run corporation), and they will produce more than just big automotive and bus batteries though, as the batteries will also find use as mobile power spots, energy storage, and emergency power supplies.

The plant will employ about 500 people, and for now most of the batteries seem slated to head to China. But could Russia be the next Big Green Country? China certainly seems hell-bent on greening its economy, more for practical than environmental reasons. Russia’s aging infrastructure and petrol-driven economy could use a shot in the arm from some green innovation well, though Russia’s thirst for oil could also lead to armed conflict over the North Pole.

All told though I think it’s pretty sad that, of all places, Russia is where the world’s largest lithium-ion battery plant has opened. Am I wrong, or do ya feel me?

Source: EV World