CES 2018, America, and the Autos!

It was another busy week in the Lithium and EV industry.  Luckily, we’re here to recap all of the relevant news items for you:

CES 2018. Last week’s headlines were dominated by CES 2018 in Las Vegas.  Here are a few of the EV related news items:

  • Kia announced that By 2025, they will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, and aim to make every single model a connected car by 2030.  Additionally, they will launch 16 new electrified vehicles by 2025.
  • Henrik Fisker unveiled his new electric car to rival Tesla’s Model S.  The cars will initial come with lithium ion batteries and a 400-mile range, but Fisker hopes to transition to flexible solid state battery technology.
  • Nissan-Renault partnership announced a $1B fund for auto tech startups.  The first investment will be in Ionic Materials, which is developing cobalt free solid state battery materials for use in EVs.

America! A few American cities and states caught our eyes this week:

  • The city of Asheville, in Shrey’s home state of North Carolina announced that they will buy 5 electric buses for the city’s transit system.  Hopefully many more orders from them and other cities across the state will follow!
  • New York City also made the news last week by announcing that they will sue the major oil companies for contributing to global warming, while also saying they will sell off billions in fossil fuel investments from the city’s pension funds.  We know where they can put those investment dollars!
  • California approved an order last week requiring the state’s largest utility to use battery or other non-fossil fuel resources instead of relying on three gas-fired plants to keep the lights on when demand peaks.

Auto News

  • CNBC wrote an interesting piece about how Chinese EV startup WM Motor wants to be the Ford of electric cars in China.  According to CFO Ron Zhang, “Our job is to produce mass, affordable, easy-to-use electric vehicles for the millions of households in China, just like what Henry Ford did a hundred years ago [or] like Bill Gates did [almost] 50 years ago for personal computers.”
  • Toyota’s trading arm, Toyota Tsusho announced that they will take a 15% stake in lithium miner Orocobre for A$282m to more than double lithium carbonate production capacity at Orocobre’s Olaroz mine.  The two companies have been working together since 2012 when they established the joint venture to begin working on the Olaroz project.
  • Ford announced major plans to catch up in the EV race- they will invest $11B by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its lineup.
  • Nissan announced that their luxury brand Infiniti brand will introduce only full or partial EVs starting 2021 with the exception of SUVs.

Other Notable News

  • Kicking off the list is Nemaska Lithium’s 2018 Feasibility study.  Highlights included Increased Hydromet Production Capacity by 20%, Increased Mine Life to 33 years, After-Tax IRR at 31% and Improved After-Tax NPV to $2.4 B.
  • An interesting article from Straits Times outlined how Japan is working to establish their position in the electric car world of the future.
  • Ganfeng Lithium announced plans to invest in their wholly owned Ganfeng Battery.  The proceeds will be used to work on a high-capacity lithium-ion power battery project, which will boast an annual production capacity of 600MWh.

In Case You Missed It: We published a few new posts last week:

  • With oil prices rising, we took a look on how it will impact EV sales going forward.
  • As value investors, we took a look back on the Q4 2017 rally, and outlined how we like to approach the lithium market, including doing our homework and BUYING THE DIPS!  With many lithium stocks pulling back today due to oversupply concerns, this might be a great time to get to work.

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