Panasonic, EV Announcements, Oil & Beyond.

February 5, 2018

Panasonic was one of the first Lithium related companies to announce earnings in 2018. It should be of great interest to Lithium investors since the company is a major customer of Albemarle (ALB).  Thus, it should make ALB and overall Lithium investors feel excited that the company increased its “outlook after third-quarter earnings surge on automotive demand.” Furthermore, “a streak of solid results at Panasonic have been driven mainly by the strength of its automotive unit – a business the firm is trying to strengthen by expanding battery production capacity globally to meet an anticipated surge in electric vehicle demand.”  On the other hand, of particular interest, the automotive group had to downgrade full year forecasts due the ever ongoing challenges with Tesla’s model 3 production.  

Speaking of EV’s….Nissan and Porsche both announced massive investments (totaling $16.4 billion USD) into the EV market.  Even with all the latest fears of a Lithium oversupply and overall financial market jitters, investment into the EV space continues to remain strong.  

Oil is on our minds.  The oil price has continued to surge as of late and many analysts are calling for oil to hit new market highs in 2018.  As we previously noted, an increasing price of oil is helpful to the Lithium market.  Worldwide Oil producer BP clearly sees the signs of change as they recently announced that they would “Install charging points for Electric Cars at UK Petrol Stations.”  

The tech car companies such as Uber and Waymo (Google’s Automated Car Project) continue to dip their toes into the EV space.  Uber announced a partnership with Jump Bikes, which is an EV bike sharing program.  Waymo struck a deal with Fiat Chrysler for a few thousand plug in hybrids.  

ICYMI, we recently published an article on the Lithium market selloff asking “Is the easy money in Lithium over?”  

Should overall Lithium stocks continue to decline, we’ll likely come out with our thoughts on that shortly as well.  Stay tuned!