The Future of the Car May Be Older Than the Model T – by David Stringer, Chisaki Watanabe, Jie Ma, Jack Kaskey, Andrew Noel and R.T. Watson (Bloomberg/Mining.com – October 21, 2018)

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Vale has said it expects the EV revolution to boost battery market
nickel demand to as much as 700,000 tons in 2025, from just 36,000
tons this year.

(Bloomberg) — It took more than seven years for automakers to sell 4 million passenger electric vehicles. It’ll take about six months to sell the next million.

That surging demand is transforming the lithium-ion battery business, with more power packs expected to be installed in EVs this year than in consumer electronics, according to Bloomberg NEF. China, where subsidy-toting drivers own a third of the world’s passenger EVs, is doing the most to fuel the boom.

The market value of batteries used in electric cars, electric buses and related energy storage should multiply by about 10 times to a potential $500 billion by 2050, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. research. Many of the biggest battery producers aren’t benefiting now because they’re spending billions of dollars to add manufacturing capacity and form global partnerships with automakers. Down the line, though, the trend changes.

A Bloomberg News analysis of about 80 companies in the lithium-ion battery business shows the technology’s ascent rippling through a global web and boosting providers of raw materials and components—suppliers that, in several cases, predate the 1908 introduction of Ford Motor Co.’s Model T.

“Everyone has to increase scale in everything: from the mines, to the chemicals, to the battery makers,” said Sam Jaffe, managing director at Boulder, Colorado-based Cairn Energy Research Advisors, an industry consultant.

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