Weekly News Round-Up

Welcome to our first weekly news update on the Lithium space!  This past week was a really active one – most interesting of all news was out of Volvo and Tesla.    

  • Volvo announced that all cars would be EV or Hybrid by 2025.  Additionally, they hope that they will have sold 1M EV’s by 2025.  To better understand what that means for Lithium, assuming each battery contains 63Kgs, approximately 73,000 tonnes of additional LCE would be needed to meet that demand by 2025.  That’s a lot of new supply that will need to hit the market.  We’ll have to wait and see how this affects our Supply (Part I can be viewed here) and Demand analysis. For more details, check out The Atlantic’s coverage here.
  • Elon Musk of Tesla announced that he would build the largest ever Lithium Ion battery for Southern Australia to help them store renewable energy.  Repeated blackouts have rocked the area which is what presumably has brought forth the need for renewable energy storage in the region.  Most interesting thing from the story?  Musk promised to build it in less than 100 days or give it away for free.
  • Additionally, Tesla officially began production on the Model 3, with the first car coming off of the assembly line over the weekend.  So far, the current expected delivery window for new orders is mid-2018 according to the company.  Stay tuned, as we will stay on top of any production delays (should they arise).
  • Neometals shared a story about Sonnenbatterie’s plan to take utilities out of business by launching a “free power” battery storage offer in Australia. Basically, users can buy a battery from Sonnen, and then pay a flat monthly fee, similar to a mobile phone plan. Excerpt- “An average house will be able to consume around 10,000kWh a year, or nearly 30kWh a day, and cut its annual bill of around $3,400 to just $480 a year.”  Combined with Tesla’s announcement, it was a huge week for Energy Storage!  The full article can be found here.
  • Chinese private equity company, GSR, is eyeing a 20% equity position in SQM.  Right now it seems that this is just a rumor of sorts.  What’s really interesting to us is that the company is down nearly 5% in the last month despite being the second largest, and potentially, the cheapest producer worldwide.  This could represent a buying opportunity (which we will soon cover in our company specific analysis). More can be seen on this here.
  • Lithium America’s announced updates to their construction site and that all plans are in place to start producing lithium by 2019.  Additionally, they met with the Argentinian president which again shows how serious Argentina is about increasing their Lithium mining production.  Press release here. 
  • Ganfeng was featured in a FT article regarding an “electric car buying rush.”   
  • Stria Lithium, a new Lithium Junior announced a Private Placement offering.  The company’s site is barely functional and the President/COO just resigned.  The offering can be viewed here. The company’s site can be seen here.  

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