High Voltage: Is WA now Australia’s most EV-friendly state?
Link copied to
Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and vanadium.
With Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia planning new road user taxes for electric vehicles (EVs), Western Australia has offered a sliver of hope that not all Australian jurisdictions will be hostile.
Australia’s largest state has unveiled an Electric Vehicle Strategy that is accompanied by a $21m Electric Vehicle Fund, the largest single investment in EV charging infrastructure by any state or territory, to facilitate EV uptake.
This is timely given the paucity of fast charging stations across the state with some of the longest drives.
Now, WA is installing fast charge infrastructure from Perth to Kununurra in the North, Esperance in the South and Kalgoorlie in the East, allow EV drivers to access fast charging stations along major travel routes in the regions, town and city centres, and tourism sites.
The state is also increasing its own fleet of EVs with goal of acquiring at least 25 per cent EVs across eligible vehicles.
As part of this move, EV charging stations will be installed in government buildings
“Electric vehicles provide a pathway towards decarbonising road transport and improving air quality in Western Australia. The industry also has huge potential to create jobs for Western Australians,” Premier Mark McGowan noted.
“The global uptake of electric vehicles is one of the most exciting opportunities for Western Australia to create jobs and support economic growth the economy as part of the low-carbon transition.”
And there’s the rub.
Increasing EV uptake also supports growth in battery metals.
Lithium, graphite and nickel are all poised to benefit while metals essential for EVs such as copper and rare earths are also likely to make gains.
Already, copper prices have 29 per cent since the beginning of this year to $US7,569.4 per tonne though the oversupply in lithium has kept it trading at about $US9 per kilogram according to the London Metals Exchange.
Benchamrk Minerals is also predicting that the graphite market will fall into a supply deficit from 2023.
Here’s how a basket of 106 ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, and vanadium are performing:
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.
Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) took the lead position in Stockhead’s battery metals weekly top 10 after samples of high purity lithium carbonate produced from its Kachi brines were sent to Canada’s Novonix Battery Technology Solutions for the manufacture of lithium-ion battery test cells.
The company’s lithium carbonate will be used with commercial battery cathode precursor materials to form a NMC622 cathode that will be processed into batteries for testing.
This will allow Lake and its potential partners and customers to make direct and relevant comparisons of Kale’s lithium product’s performance in familiar battery chemistries.
Meanwhile, Bass Metals (ASX:BSM) could benefit from a Madagascar government electrification project that is underway between the capital Antananarivo and the port city of Tamatave.
Once complete, the project will allow the company to access mains power via construction of a power line to its Graphmada Mining Complex.
Bass also continues to field significant interest for concentrates from the project.
Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) has been keeping busy with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Singaporean vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) manufacturer V-Flow Tech early this week and reaching a deal for the supply of green hydrogen last week.
The V-Flow Tech agreement will allow for formal agreements relating to the sales, service and maintenance of V-Flow’s batteries in Australia, the offtake of vanadium pentoxide to support V-Flow’s global battery sales, and manufacture and supply of vanadium electrolyte for VRFB installations in Australia.
Separately, it has signed an MoU with ATCO Australia for the supply of green hydrogen that will be introduced into the gas pipeline for vanadium processing, which could deliver reduced carbon emissions.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Australian Vanadium is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.