High Voltage: Australia’s Energy Minister won’t drive an EV unless it’s tougher than his Ford Everest
Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, and vanadium.
Australian Energy Minister Angus Taylor told talkback radio that he’s “not driving an electric car”.
“I live in regional New South Wales and drive huge distances each year – 60,000 or 70,000 kilometres,” Taylor said.
“I need something that can handle the hard roads and the distances.”
Taylor said he drove a Ford Everest.
Maybe the Cybertruck’s specs — 800km range, 6300kg towing capacity, ~2m tray, and a “near impenetrable” exoskeleton — will get him on board.
Meanwhile, electric cars and vans will be cheaper to make than fossil-fuel vehicles in every light vehicle segment across Europe from 2027 at the latest, according to a new BloombergNEF study commissioned by non-profit Transport & Environment (T&E).
It finds that falling battery costs, new vehicle architectures, and dedicated production lines for electric vehicles will make them cheaper to buy, on average, even before subsidies.
The research found that battery electric vehicles could reach 100% of new sales across the EU by 2035, if lawmakers introduce measures like tighter vehicle CO2 targets and strong support for charging infrastructure.
If left to the market without strong additional policies, battery electric cars will still reach 85% market share in the EU by 2035.
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Last week, it locked in a deal to buy 70% of the Ukraine-based ‘Zavalievsky’ graphite business, immediately transforming Volt into one of the few ASX-listed graphite producers.
It plans to install a processing plant and equipment in order to commence production of spheronised purified graphite (SPG) for the booming European lithium battery anode market within the next 12 months.
“The Zavalievsky mine’s strategic location for the future supply of SPG to the European markets has already attracted interest from LIB cell manufacturers and major car makers,” Volt says.
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The Tim Goyder-backed explorer is working ground in some of Australia’s most prospective exploration regions, including the Julimar palladium-nickel-copper complex in WA.
An expanded aircore drilling program at the ‘Sovereign’ nickel-copper-PGE project near Julimar is planned for June.
This will be followed by ground-based EM and potentially RC and diamond drilling.
HANNANS (ASX:HNR) +33%
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The explorer is planning to drill test four nickel targets in WA’s ‘Forrestania’ region this quarter.
“The ultramafic belts at Forrestania host some of the most attractive nickel sulphide deposits in Australia and possibly the world,” Hannans says.
“It’s nickel sulphide endowment is remarkable, having four mines with two open pits and nickel sulphides persisting beyond 1km depth.
“All the mineralised belts that host the mines, resources, and prospects at Forrestania are represented within the Hannans ground package, particularly the Western Ultramafic belt that contains the highest-grade nickel deposits.
“It is principally for these reasons that Hannans persists with its methodical exploration process targeting a new nickel sulphide discovery.”
The Tanzanian graphite mine developer has jumped through the remaining hoops to allow POSCO’s 15% investment worth $US7.5m to go ahead.
Korea’s POSCO is a global major in the lithium-ion battery anode supply chain.
Both parties continue to progress offtake discussions, which could include a prepayment facility of up to $US20m towards mine development.
First commercial production of cobalt and copper concentrates at the flagship Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) is expected to kick off mid-2022.
ICO will be the only cobalt mine in the US once up and running.
Last week, the company received Idaho Tax Reimbursement Incentive (TRI) approval which will provide reimbursement of 28% of Idaho corporate, payroll and sales taxes for 14 years. Bonus.