The Lithium Revolution
How the shift to clean energy has opened a window of opportunity for energy metals.
“The Lithium Revolution” infographic presented by: Dajin Resources
Commodity investors know that it in recent years, the sector has had a rough ride. Recently, factors such as China’s slowdown have weighed on short-term prices of industrial commodities like fuels and base metals.
However, not all of the energy sector has struggled. The rise of clean energy has continued to gain momentum, which could be a boon for energy metals producers and explorers.
Simply put, energy metals are metals used in the creation or storage of energy. Here are some examples of energy metals needed to make lithium-ion batteries, which are the storage mechanism of choice for many green energy producers:
Lithium: Lithium is the main ingredient to lithium-ion batteries – the metal’s ions move back and forth to charge and discharge the battery.
Cobalt: Widely used in lithium-ion cathodes
Graphite: The most common anode material for lithium-ion batteries.
Note: Uranium is also used for nuclear power, and copper is fundamental for creating and transporting energy around the world. However, in this infographic we focus on specialty metals.
Electric cars and energy storage for renewable sources have been driving the increases in price and demand for these sectors. Let’s take a look at the specific momentum that has been growing since 2014.
Political and social:
- Obama reveals clean energy plan: The push will involve more than $1 billion in government funds to back new clean energy and energy efficiency projects along with funding research and development of new energy technologies.
- Who were the biggest investors in renewable energy in 2014?
China ($83.3 billion), USA ($38.3 billion), and Japan ($35.7 billion)
- Volkswagen DieselGate scandal causes uproar, as it becomes clear that millions of the company’s vehicles have cheated emissions tests for years
- Elon Musk announces a mandate for Tesla Motors to acquire raw materials from the USA when possible.
- 4,000 people die, each day, of pollution related deaths in China alone.
- The United States deems lithium as a strategic metal and doesn’t give any statistics of its reserves or production.
- Tesla reveals plans to build $5 Billion Gigafactory in the Southwestern US.
- Tesla announces Nevada as the site of its already-famous Gigafactory project.
- The 1 millionth electric car is built in September 2015.
- Report surfaces that Apple plans to ship driverless cars by 2019.
- Google’s self-driving cars reach the milestone of 1 million miles driven autonomously.
- Tesla takes $800 million in orders for its new home batteries in just two weeks.
- A TSX-V traded company was the most recent recipient of an off take agreement to supply Tesla with Lithium Hydroxide.
- Volkswagen’s stock price gets crushed over 30% in the aftermath of DieselGate.
- FMC recently announced an “across the board 15% increase in price” in all finished lithium products. Lithium Hydroxide rose from $9,500 per ton, up to $10,870. Lithium Carbonate from $6,500 per ton up to $7,475 USD.
- Charging stations have increased rapidly around the world.
- Every major auto manufacture has more than one fully electric car. Some automakers mandate is to have an electric version of every model.
- The oil price has hit a 6.5 year low, yet electric vehicle sales have held momentum.
- Lithium battery manufacturing costs are dropping in price while lithium battery technology is getting better.
- New technology is decreasing the charge time for electric cars. Meanwhile, “miles per charge” is rising, and some cars can even recharge wirelessly.
- There’s a greater interest in looking after the environment with a continued scare of global warming.
- Wind and solar storage needed to regulate output of electricity back to the grid.
- China is a nation now giving priority to EV cars on their highways and parking lots.
The above momentum means energy metals like lithium could continue to buck the general trend of global commodities. So far, the price of lithium has increased steadily since 2011.
Ranked: Electric Vehicle Sales by Model in 2023
Today, electric vehicle sales make up 18% of global vehicle sales. Here are the leading models by sales as of August 2023.
Ranked: Electric Vehicle Sales by Model in 2023
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are gaining momentum, reaching 18% of global vehicle sales in 2023.
As new competitors bring more affordable options and new performance features, the market continues to mature as customers increasingly look to electric options.
This graphic ranks the top-selling EVs worldwide as of August 2023, based on data from CleanTechnica.
The Best Selling EVs in 2023 (Through August)
Below, we show the world’s best selling fully electric vehicles from January to August 2023:
|Tesla Model Y||🇺🇸 U.S.||772,364|
|Tesla Model 3||🇺🇸 U.S.||364,403|
|BYD Atto 3 / Yuan Plus||🇨🇳 China||265,688|
|BYD Dolphin||🇨🇳 China||222,825|
|GAC Aion S||🇨🇳 China||160,693|
|Wuling HongGuang Mini EV||🇨🇳 China||153,399|
|GAC Aion Y||🇨🇳 China||136,619|
|VW ID.4||🇩🇪 Germany||120,154|
|BYD Seagull||🇨🇳 China||95,202|
As we can see, Tesla‘s Model Y still holds a comfortable lead over the competition with 772,364 units sold. That’s more than double the sales of the #2 top selling vehicle, Tesla’s Model 3 (364,403)
But it’s hard to ignore the rising prevalence of Chinese EVs. The next five best selling EV vehicles are Chinese, including three from BYD. The automaker’s Atto 3 (or Yuan Plus, depending on market), is being sold in various countries including Germany, the UK, Japan, and India.
Meanwhile, Chinese automaker GAC Group also had two models of its Aion EV brand make the rankings, with the Aion S selling 160,693 units so far.
Regional market strength is also clear. For Volkswagen’s ID.4 model (120,154 units sold), Europe and China account for the majority of sales.
Given growing cost efficiencies and changing consumer behavior, global EV sales are projected to make up half of new car sales globally by 2035, according to forecasts from Goldman Sachs.
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