High Voltage: ‘This is how EVs sound’, composed by Hans Zimmer
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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.
BMW sent mixed messages last week, first unveiling an accelerated EV strategy before complaining that no one wants to buy them.
BMW now plans to fast-track 25 new plug-in EVs by 2023 instead of 2025, but executive Klaus Frölich said he didn’t expect the carmaker’s all-electric vehicles would attract much interest.
“There are no customer requests for BEVs (battery electric vehicles). None,” said Frölich, BMW director of development, according to Forbes.
“There are regulator requests for BEVs, but no customer requests.”
He says Europeans are more interested in plug-in hybrids right now. Make of that what you will.
Still, BMW has hired award-winning German film score composer Hans Zimmer to create futuristic drive sounds for its new EV line, which can only be a good thing.
EVs are whisper quiet (which is dangerous) so manufacturers must create the sounds artificially. This Zimmer-composed clip actually sounds like something from the films Interstellar or Inception (which Zimmer scored, by the way):
And Toyota will invest $US2 billion ($2.9 billion) to develop EVs in Indonesia, already Southeast Asia’s second-largest car production hub.
Toyota will be investing in stages, it says, with the development of hybrid vehicles set to come first.
“From 2019 to 2023, we will progressively increase our investment to 28.3 trillion rupiah ($US2 billion),” says Toyota president Akio Toyoda.
It’s all “doom and gloom” commentary when it comes to hard rock lithium right now. Producers are grappling with softening prices and this sentiment has trickled down to the junior end of the market.
The same could also be said for battery metals plays more generally. But even in a pessimistic market there are always highlights.
This week, they include lithium hopefuls Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) +50 per cent, Pepinnini Lithium (ASX:PNN) +25 per cent, Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) +22 per cent, and Mali Lithium (ASX:MLL) +21 per cent.
High purity alumina play Andromeda (ASX:AND) has been a bit of a sleeper.
The explorer was up 15 per cent for the week — and 114 per cent over the past year – as it ticks off key milestones on the way to production.
Last week, a leading Chinese company visited Andromeda’s Poochera halloysite-kaolin project in South Australia.
Kaolin is an aluminous clay used to make high purity alumina (HPA), which is in demand because it helps stop lithium-ion batteries from catching fire.
HPA is also used in things like LED lights, smartphone screens and surgical tools.
Following the visit, the Chinese company “expressed interest” in progressing talks for a premium kaolin product, as well as collaborating on potential HPA production in China, Andromeda said.