Extremely Fast Charge Battery Technology for Electric Vehicles Could Drive Lithium Demand Even Higher
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
USA News Group News Commentary
LOS ANGELES, November 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
USA News Group [http://usanewsgroup.com ] - November 14, 2017 - News from a
lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology company of a new HD-Energy(R) Technology for
Electric Vehicles (EVs) which features extreme fast charging in only 5 minutes, could add
yet another layer to the massive demand for lithium.
Leading lithium companies that could benefit greatly from the news include Albemarle
Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Pilbara Minerals Ltd (OTC: PILBF), Orocobre Ltd. (OTC: OROCF),
and NRG Metals Inc. (TSX: NGZ) (OTC: NRGMF).
Lithium continues to be widely in-demand, with news about electric vehicles (EVs)
filling headlines daily and market prices for the metal edging ever upward.
EVs depend on lithium-ion batteries for efficient storage and their very operation.
Now comes news from Enevate Corporation of a new HD battery Technology for Electric
Vehicles, which features extremely fast charging in only 5 minutes with high energy
density and long driving range that adds up to 240 miles (390 km)-or up to 50 miles (80 km)
range with a 60-second charge.
The massive demand for global lithium is already creating expectations of a
significant shortfall in the very near future. This added demand from a fast charging
battery for EVs could be the tipping point for suppliers who are not going to be able to
In an effort to answer the added demand, lithium companies are increasing their
production capacities and searching for new sources of lithium. This includes a number of
early stage lithium mining companies who are using the market's momentum to advance more
quickly toward production.
A high profile company among the juniors is NRG Metals Inc. (TSX: NGZ) (OTCMKTS: NRGMF)
, which is already developing potentially very large lithium brine projects in South
America's so called Lithium Triangle.
Larger and advanced lithium companies are experiencing strong price support fuelled by
demand including Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Pilbara Minerals Ltd (OTC: PILBF), as
well as Orocobre Ltd. (OTC: OROCF), another Australian lithium miner.
FAST CHARGE TECHNOLOGY IMPORTANT TO ALL
Fast recharge capacity has long been considered the holy grail of battery technology.
In fact, the long recharge times and short range have been major challenges even for the
leaders in the lithium-ion battery space.
This new extreme fast charge technology could be a considerable factor in breaking
down the barriers to electric vehicle adoption. EVs have been challenged primarily due to
their limited range and drivers' "range anxiety," long charge times, and high cost.
Enevate's groundbreaking silicon Li-ion battery technology in EV cells can reportedly
be charged in 5 minutes at up to a tested 10C charging rate to 75% capacity with
uncompromised range and energy densities of over 750 Wh/L, where conventional graphite
cells suffer significant degradation with extreme fast charging.
The idea is that this short charge time can facilitate flow-through charging stations
where EV drivers wait just a few minutes to "fill up", just as they would with regular gas
In addition, with such short charging times, smaller batteries could potentially be
used in certain EVs, making them significantly more affordable.
Lithium-ion battery pioneer Dr. John Goodenough at University of Texas in Austin
welcomed the new technology, saying "Enevate's film-based silicon-dominant anode and cell
is a truly novel approach and great practical fit for use in EVs addressing the major
barriers to EV adoption."
Faster, better charging technology with longer ranges could be a driver to adding
major increased demand in the already hot lithium market.
PRICE FORCASTS: GOING UP
At present, battery-grade lithium carbonate prices are forecast to average $13,000 a
ton over the 2017 to 2020 period from around $9,000 in 2015 to 2016, according to
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Lithium hydroxide, which is also battery-grade, is expected to average $18,000 a ton
between 2017 and 2020 compared to $14,000 from 2015 to 2016.
The demand for lithium has been increasing continuously with each new announcement
from not only supply chain and industry contributors, but also from governments.
For example, earlier in 2017, France and the UK outlined plans to ban the sales of all
fossil fuel cars by 2040. That sounds like it's a long way off, but this is the first
whisperings of fossil fuel bans, which have since been followed by a whopper.
China, which leads in the EV space, announced in September that it plans to ban all
fossil fuel vehicles in the near future.
Analysts in the space see these moves as positive for the battery mineral space
overall and see China showing the largest growth in the EV cycle.
Just four companies account for about 86% of global lithium production at present, but
new sources are coming online.
NRG METALS HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING
About two-thirds of proven reserves of lithium are concentrated in a small area of
South America around the intersection of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Newcomer NRG
Metals is well positioned on ground there with its lithium efforts focused in the Puna
Region, widely regarded as one of the most productive areas in Argentina.
NRG Metals is a Canadian-based company, but has managed to attract some very high
profile management in-country. Their Chief Operating Officer is Jose Gustavo de Castro,
the former country manager for lithium leader Orocobre in Argentina until 2015.
Gustavo de Castro helped to grow the operation of Orocobre from 10 employees to 800 in
construction and some 200 people in operations. He is credited with the exploration and
development of the Orocobre Oraloz lithium project being brought to commercial production.
With solid mining management in place, NRG Metals has put itself squarely on course.
Its two core projects are the Salar Escondido lithium project; a well-developed project
heading into drilling, and the Hombre Muerto North lithium project; with exploration now
under way in the province of Salta.
The region is host to the Hombre Muerto Salar. This is the spot where large chemical
company FMC is producing approximately 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per
year. It's also home to Galaxy Resources' large development stage Sal de Vida project.
NRG Metals recently released news of its VES geophysical survey that has identified "a
highly conductive horizon that is interpreted to represent a brine target with potential
to host lithium." The company is drilling the property in order to specify the potential
for significant lithium resources that it plans to take through to production.
New and better technology is almost certain to increase the demand for lithium to
unprecedented levels over the next few years.
Fast charge technology is one of several advancing technologies in the power and
battery space that could play a heavy role in driving the demand, and therefore prices.
Producers and near-term producers of lithium are going to need to maximize lithium
resources and juniors like NRG Metals can certainly use this climate to their advantage.
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB)
Albemarle Corporation is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of
highly-engineered specialty chemicals. The Company operates through three segments:
Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions. Lithium and
Advanced Materials segment consist of two product categories: Lithium and Performance
Catalyst Solutions. The bromine and bromine-based business includes products used in fire
safety solutions and other specialty chemicals applications. The Company serves various
end markets, including petroleum refining, consumer electronics, energy storage,
construction, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food safety and
custom chemistry services. As of December 31, 2016, the Company and its joint ventures
operated 31 production and research and development (R&D) facilities, as well as a number
of administrative and sales offices, around the world.
Pilbara Minerals Ltd (OTC: PILBF)
Pilbara Minerals is an emerging lithium and tantalum producer focused on the
development of its world-class 100% owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project, located
approximately 120kms from Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Pilgangoora has been confirmed as one of the largest spodumene (lithium pyroxene) and
tantalite projects in the world and is set to be developed into one of the world's largest
lithium mines, also producing tantalite as a valuable by-product.
Orocobre Ltd. (OTC: OROCF)
Orocobre Limited operates primarily in Argentina in the mining industry. The Company
engages in the production ramp up of its Olaroz Lithium Facility and the operation of
Borax Argentina S.A. (Borax Argentina). Its segments include Corporate, the Olaroz project,
South American Salars and Borax Argentina. Its primary focus is on exploration for and
development of lithium, potash and salar mineral deposits. The Company's assets also
include boron mines and processing facilities of Borax Argentina and a portfolio of brine
exploration projects. Its Olaroz Lithium Facility is located in the Puna region of Jujuy
Province in northern Argentina, over 230 kilometers northwest of the capital city of
For a more in-depth look into NGZ you can view the in-depth report at American News
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