Electric Vehicle And Battery Metal News (October 2018)

by: Gregor Gregersen


New players like Dyson, seeing compelling EV trend, are getting in on producing electric vehicles.

Need for stable supply of EV batteries driving investment to build more battery manufacturing plants.

Companies are also investing in charging infrastructure to support the adoption of electric vehicles.

We are witnessing a generational shift towards the electrification of energy. The growth in the development of electric vehicle(EV) market is astounding. Billions in investments are pouring in to drive research and development in EV batteries, superchargers and new EV models. Here are the latest developments in the electric vehicle and battery metals markets.

1) New player, Dyson, to build electric car in Singapore

  • Dyson's new automotive manufacturing facility is set for completion in 2020.
  • It targets the first vehicle launch in 2021.
  • The electric car plant is part of Dyson's £2.5 billion (US$3.3 billion) global investment drive in new technology.

2) Mercedes-Benz breaks ground on new battery factory for electric vehicles in the US

  • Mercedes-Benz makes good on its previously announced $1 billion investment to bring electric vehicle manufacturing in the US – starting with breaking ground on a new battery factory in Alabama.
  • Mercedes plans to offer at least one electrified powertrain (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric) in each model it makes by 2022.
  • US production for both the vehicle and the new batteries is not expected until “the beginning of the next decade”.

3) SK Innovation to invest US$354 million in EV battery parts plant in China

  • The plant will make separators for lithium ion batteries and ceramic coating.
  • Construction is expected to begin early next year in the southeastern city of Changzhou, with production starting in the second half of 2020.
  • The decision is to keep pace with global EV battery makers' capacity increases in China and Europe, and to cater to client demands for stable supplies.

4) China battery firms set up $700 million nickel joint venture in Indonesia

  • Chinese battery firm GEM Co Ltd joins several global metals producers in setting their sights on Indonesia’s nickel reserves, looking to tap an expected surge in demand for the battery metal from the electric vehicle sector.
  • They aim to establish nickel smelting capacity of at least 50,000 tonnes per year at Tsingshan’s industrial park in Morowali on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
  • The project will also have 4 000 t of cobalt smelting capacity.

5) World's top miner embracing the boom in electric car batteries

  • BHP Billiton Ltd. is boosting sales of the top-quality nickel that’s needed for electric vehicle batteries.
  • The company has begun offering more detailed data on nickel and cobalt production amid investor interest in its exposure to the rise of EVs.
  • The nickel sector is becoming a two-tiered market, with a weaker outlook for materials bound for the stainless steel industry and robust demand growth in the EV sector that’ll support prices.

6) BASF, Nornickel join forces in electric vehicle battery push

  • Germany's BASF and Russia's Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) have signed a nickel and cobalt supply deal to address growing demand for batteries to power electric vehicles.
  • Part of the deal is a long-term supply agreement for nickel and cobalt feedstocks, while BASF will build a plant to produce battery materials in Harjavalta, Finland.
  • The move is part of BASF's plan to invest up to 400 million euros (S$634.5 million) as a first step in building production plants for cathode materials in Europe.

7) Australia startup Chargefox promises electric car charging in just 15 mins

  • Sydney-based startup Chargefox Pty is planning 21 sites across major interstate freeways that will cut hours from the time it currently takes to charge a standard electric vehicle.
  • Chargefox has secured A$15 million (S$14.7 million) from private investors and government to build the charging stations, which will have a capacity of up to 350 kilowatts.

Investments to build factories to build batteries for electric vehicles stem from vehicle manufacturers need for a stable supply of batteries. This is to allow the production of EVs to scale upwards. This future demand for EVs in turn fuels investment interest in charging infrastructure to support the coming population of electric vehicles. As a whole, we can clearly see the different cogs in the electric vehicle revolution moving in unison to make the shift to electric vehicles a reality.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.