High Voltage: Something sounds out of tune in the world of lithium-ion
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Each week our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX battery metals stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium.
Scroll down for a table showing the recent performance of 200 ASX battery metal stocks.
Australia’s electric vehicle industry has moved closer to the centre of the policy debate ahead of next month’s federal election, after the opposition Labor Party set out some aggressive targets in a policy announcement to start the week.
By 2030, it wants half of all new cars sold in Australia to be electric vehicles — part of a plan to cut the country’s CO2 emissions by almost 50 per cent over the next decade. The policy will involve incentives for businesses to go electric, and punishments for a breach of emissions caps.
“We have ten times lower electric vehicle take-up than the global average, and we’re at risk of being left behind,” Labor said in its announcement.
Moving on from electric vehicles to energy grids, new research indicates that lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly competitive with gas and coal.
Findings from Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed that the “levelised cost of electricity” (LCOE) for lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 35 per cent since the first half of 2018.
When combined with solar and wind sources, lithium-ion battery storage now represents a cost-competitive power source to relieve pressure on the grid during periods of peak demand.
BNEF reckons energy storage will be a $US620 billion market by 2040. That’s a lot of lithium-ion batteries. But will technological advancements give rise to some new entrants in the market?
As an example, South Australian company CCT Energy Storage reckons it’s developed the world’s first commercial Thermal Energy Device (TED) battery.
CCE chief Serge Bondarenko spoke to Stockhead last week about how thermal storage out-performs lithium-ion on a number of key metrics.
Switching back to car batteries, and an overview of the global market published this week forecast that it will grow in size to $US92 billion over the next five years.
So while supply issues continue to plague the markets for lithium and cobalt in the short-term, the medium-term outlook indicates that demand will continue to grow steadily through to 2024.
That could be good news for Aussie companies like Talga, which wants to use its undeveloped graphite deposit in Sweden to develop products that help electric vehicle batteries charge faster and perform for longer.
Of the companies we track in this space, there were 88 losers last week, while 53 were ahead and 51 held steady.
Leading the pack was Lithium Consolidated (ASX: LI3), which rose above seven cents to close 54 per cent higher for the week.
The stock posted steady gains after a 30 per cent spike on Monday, when it announced it had secured two new lithium exploration licenses in northern Mozambique. But like many small-cap players in the lithium space, it’s had a rough 12 months and is still down 29 per cent for the year.
And it was a good week for Korab Resources (ASX: KOR), which came out of a March trading halt to finish the week at 3.8 cents — a gain of 50 per cent.
The share price increase came in conjunction that Korab has received expressions of interest to purchase magnesia from its Winchester magnesium carbonate project in the Northern Territory.
Here’s a table of ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium>>>
We can’t leave without updating our newsfeed from Planet Elon Musk.
It’s not related to Model 3 production or SpaceX rockets. No, it’s Musk’s homage to beloved gorilla Harambe (now deceased) — in the form of an autotune mumble-rap posted to SoundCloud.
Has Elon advanced from consuming weed and whiskey with Joe Rogan to getting completely smacked off some high-grade edibles? Will this listening experience amount to two minutes of your life you can never get back? The only way to find answers to those questions is to hit play on the link below: