High Voltage: EV sales slow in April, but Tesla reaffirms market dominance
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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.
Global electric vehicle sales slowed in April after a record-breaking March. The EV Sales blog estimates 166,200 sales at an average market share of 2.1 per cent. Year-on-year sales growth is now at 52 per cent.
The sales data also shows that EV makers Tesla and BYD are playing in a completely different league to everyone else:
In the US, research firm IHS Markit reckons demand for electric vehicles, including hybrids, could rise to 1.28 million by 2026 – and Tesla will continue to dominate.
More than 25 per cent of the growing market in 2026 will be all Tesla, IHS says.
The remaining brands will fight over the rest — about 392,000 units, for an average of just 11,900 cars per brand.
In battery metals news, major miner Glencore will supply cobalt to Umicore, which has just bought the Finland-based Kokkola cobalt refining and cathode precursor operations for about $US150m.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence called Umicore’s move “yet another example of vertical integration in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.”
And it’s positive news for ASX listed cobalt players.
“Umicore’s decision to acquire Kokkola demonstrates the long-term outlook for cobalt remaining in lithium ion battery cathodes is strong, despite claims for some in the industry that it can be removed,” Benchmark said.
Umicore’s move to acquire part of Freeport’s #cobalt business is further evidence of the need for cobalt in the lithium-ion #battery #cathode. Push to less intensive chemistries will happen long term, but shift has been slowed (particularly post-Chinese EV subsidy adjustment)
— Andrew Miller (@amiller_bmi) May 24, 2019
It was a good week for battery metals — of the companies on our list, 61 lost ground, 65 were ahead and 65 were steady.
Lithium plays dominate the winner’s column this week, once again.
Chile, along with Bolivia and Argentina, form what is known as the “lithium triangle”, and together account for over half of the world’s lithium supply.
Lithium explorers that pick up ground in either Argentina or Chile seem to do well; for a while at least.
Just look at BMG Resources (ASX:BMG), which is up 425 per cent since early April, and Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) which was a market darling before crashing back to earth in recent months.
Now it’s Lake Resources’ (ASX:LKE) time to shine. The stock was up 128 per cent over the past week after announcing strong results at its Cauchari Lithium Brine Project in Argentina.
The results compare very favourably to those at adjoining major pre-development projects subject to multi-billion dollar transactions, says Lake managing director Steve Promnitz.
“With a major project under development in the adjoining leases, these results reaffirm Cauchari’s potential to become a highly valuable project for Lake Resources, adding to our portfolio of wholly owned projects located in the heart of the Lithium Triangle,” he says.
Fellow lithium brine play, Utah-focused Anson Resources (ASX:ASN), also surged after revealing it had produced battery grade lithium “of exceptional quality”.
The sample beats the specifications of Anson’s prospective offtake partners, the company says.
Lithium explorers AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) and Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) were also up 37 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, on no news.
Here’s a table of ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium>>>
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop: