High Voltage: More sectors are electrifyin’ as batteries get cheaper, says BNEF
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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.
More sectors are electrifying as batteries become cheaper, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
Battery prices, which were above $1,100 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2010, have fallen 87 per cent to $156/kWh on average in 2019.
By 2023, average prices will be close to $100/kWh, according to the latest forecast from BNEF.
$100/kWh is important – this is the price commonly thought to be the point where EVs will start to reach price parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The path to achieving $100/kWh by 2024 looks promising says BNEF, “even if there will undoubtedly be hiccups along the way”.
(Some carmakers like Tesla are reportedly producing at the $US100/kWh mark already.)
These falling costs are making electrification of commercial vehicles like delivery vans “increasingly attractive”.
BNEF doesn’t mention larger vehicles, like semis – but they should because check this out:
Introducing the #NikolaTre BEV aimed for the European market and powered by Nikola’s battery technology combined with @IVECOUK‘s manufacturing. ⚡️It’s the #TruckoftheFuture. @CNHIndustrial #ZeroEmissions pic.twitter.com/06oxwdqQsY
— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) December 4, 2019
Maybe battery-hungry electric semis could be attractive sooner rather than later, physically and financially.
In 2019, battery cost reductions are thanks to increased order sizes, growth in EV sales and the continued penetration of high energy density cathodes, BNEF says.
Interestingly, low raw materials prices – for graphite, lithium and cobalt — throughout 2019 don’t rate a mention.
And it will be the introduction of new pack designs, changing supply chains, and falling manufacturing costs that will drive prices down in the near term.
This emerging industry will get bigger, better, and more efficient in other words.
“According to our forecasts, by 2030 the battery market will be worth $US116 billion annually, and this doesn’t include investment in the supply chain,” BNEF senior analyst James Frith says.
“However, as cell and pack prices are falling, purchasers will get more value for their money than they do today.”
Of the companies on our list, 69 lost ground, 39 were ahead and 41 were steady.
Companies start winding down this time of year – a year many would like to forget — so it wasn’t a big news week for our local troupe of battered battery metals players.
Lithium/iron ore play Reedy Lagoon (ASX:RLC), DRC-based cobalt explorer Taruga Minerals (ASX:TAR), and troubled graphite miner Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) all made up some ground this week, gaining 33 per cent, 31 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively.
Still — at 42.5c the Syrah share price is a painfully long way from that heady, mid-2016 peak of ~$6.40.
$2.5m market cap ScandiVanadium (ASX:SVD), which is finally getting the wheels turning on its Skane vanadium project in Sweden, got a nice 17 per cent bump this week.
And Madagascan graphite play BlackEarth Minerals (ASX:BEM) continues to progress its Maniry project despite a subdued pricing environment.
Last week, investors rewarded a positive update on product testing and offtake discussions with a 13 per cent share price boost.
BlackEarth says that the world’s largest producer of expanded graphite products — a growing market — has reported excellent quality and expansion rates from testing on BEM’s coarse flake graphite samples.
“This feedback provides further validation that BlackEarth’s graphite is suitable for sale as a high value product to the rapidly growing expandable graphite market,” the company says.
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: