High Voltage: VW and Tesla’s big investments will spark the 2020’s EV offensive
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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.
Once again, EV frontrunners Volkswagen and Tesla are upping the stakes.
VW and Tesla are already ‘walking the walk’ in a major way, as other carmakers roll out a lot of PR about planned investments and ‘a commitment to the EV revolution’.
With a $US2 billion ($2.9 billion) factory in Shanghai now ready for production, a resurgent Tesla — via Elon — has just announced new plans build a €4 billion ($6.5 billion) Gigafactory 4 in the Berlin area of Germany:
Will build batteries, powertrains & vehicles, starting with Model Y
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2019
At the same time, VW is celebrating pre-production at its Chinese plant while breaking ground on a $US800m ($1.2 billion) EV manufacturing hub in the US.
Production begins at the US-based Chattanooga site in 2022, the company says. By 2022, EVs are to be produced at eight locations on three continents, it says.
That’s a lot of batteries and, by extension, a lot of battery raw materials.
VW also says planned investments in hybridisation, electric mobility and digitalisation will increase to ~€60 billion between 2020 and 2024.
The group intends to invest ~€33 billion of this figure in electric mobility alone.
The German car giant will also invest even more $$ than previously planned into expanding its electric fleet – it now plans to roll out 75 completely electric models and 60 hybrid vehicles over the next decade.
“We will step up the pace again in the coming years with our investments,” VW boss Herbert Diess said.
“Hybridisation, electrification and digitalisation of our fleet are becoming an increasingly important area of focus. We intend to take advantage of economies of scale and achieve maximum synergies.
“In light of the worsening economic situation, we are also working on increasing our productivity, our efficiency and our cost base so as to secure meeting our targets.”
Of the companies on our list, 65 lost ground, 38 were ahead and 46 were steady this week.
There’s something brewing at $60m market cap European Metals and its globally significant Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic.
Right now, CEZ Group — one of Central and Eastern Europe’s largest power utilities — is conducting due diligence on the project.
A successful outcome could see CEZ become European Metals’ largest shareholder and project co-development partner.
In late October, the explorer said it “believes that the CEZ due diligence process is near completion and expects to be able to report shortly on the outcome.”
Which probably explains the price action last week.
Similarly, there could be something big on the horizon for graphite play Volt Resources.
Volt is pursuing a Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) note issue and listing, part of a strategy to raise a manageable $US40m for the stage one development of its Bunyu graphite project in Tanzania.
In late October, Volt CEO Trevor Matthews said the company “is confident that with the funding process nearing a conclusion, Volt will soon be zeroing its focus towards the development of this world-class project”.
Also enjoying a stronger week were the small cap nickel plays — Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) up 14 per cent, Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) and Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL) up 13 per cent, GME Resources (ASX:GME) up 12 per cent, and CleanTeq (ASX:CLQ) up 10 per cent.
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: