Archive | Battery Technology Innovation/Electric Vehicles

Russian indigenous peoples call on Elon Musk not to buy battery metals from Nornickel – by Thomas Nilsen (The Baren Observer – August 7, 2020)

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/

The company that recently made international headlines for causing environmental disasters on the Taimyr Peninsula by spilling 20,000 tons of diesel fuel into a river in the fragile Arctic ecosystems is under increased pressure.

In a letter to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, the Aborigen Forum urge him not to buy nickel, copper and other products from Nornickel until the company conducts a full and independent assessment of the environmental damage caused by its production.

This week, The Barents Observer could tell the story about dying tree leaves caused by massive air-pollution over a several square kilometers large area near Nornickel’s smelters in Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula. Continue Reading →

This lithium exploration project could revitalize the Sask. oil industry – by Taylor Rattray (CTV News Regina – August 4, 2020)

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/

REGINA — A new project is bringing lithium exploration to Saskatchewan, and it could have major implications for the province’s oil industry.

Prairie Lithium Corp. is part of a project that will take oilfield brine water, and extract lithium through a series of chemical reactions.

“The lithium-free brine water is then sent back down hole for disposal, and the extracted lithium can be sent for further refining into battery-grade materials,” said Zach Maurer, president and CEO of Prairie Lithium Corp. Continue Reading →

Column: Elon Musk should invest in Sudbury – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 28, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries on which Tesla Inc. depends.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently, the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion dollars it takes to bring on a new mine.

Musk is a multi-billionaire and his company stock is at an all-time high. Instead of whining to the mineral industry to invest “their shareholder money” in new nickel production at a time of low returns here are some suggestions to calm his fear of future shortages: Continue Reading →

Column: Elon Musk should invest in Sudbury – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 28, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries on which Tesla Inc. depends.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently, the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion dollars it takes to bring on a new mine. Continue Reading →

Timmins mine developer heeds Elon Musk’s call – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 27, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Elon Musk’s plea for mining companies to “mine more nickel” had an apparent effect on Canada Nickel Company.

The Toronto-based exploration company is pitching its future mine project, north of Timmins, as a zero-emissions operation.

The Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and electric vehicle maker promised a whopper of a Tesla contract for those producers that mine nickel “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way” as lithium-ion battery demand starts to pick up. Continue Reading →

As Elon Musk calls for more nickel production, a mining analyst has some suggestions – by Darren MacDonald (CTV News Northern Ontario – July 24, 2020)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

SUDBURY — Earlier this week, Tesla boss Elon Musk called for global mining companies to boost their production of nickel, a key element in making batteries for electric cars.

“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Musk said Wednesday, as the company announced second-quarter results. “Don’t wait for nickel to go back to some high point you experienced five years ago … Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel.”

Musk made the comments as Tesla is boosting its production of electric vehicles. Overall, demand for the type of nickel needed in electric car batteries grew by 28 per cent in 2019 alone. Continue Reading →

COLUMN: Advice to Elon Musk About Potential Nickel Shortages – Stan Sudol (July 23, 2020)

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries Tesla Inc. depends on.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion it takes to bring on a new mine.

Musk is a multi-billionaire and his company stock is at an all time high. Instead of whining to the mineral industry to invest “their shareholder money” in new nickel production at a time of low returns here are some suggestions to calm his fear of future shortages: Continue Reading →

Electric Vehicles Are Starting to Buoy the Global Metals Market – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – July 7, 2020)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

The market gloom over the metals that will power the cars of the future is starting to lift. Supply overhangs and then the coronavirus pandemic had crushed short-term prospects for the minerals used to make rechargeable batteries.

But new government commitments to green transport in China and Europe, as well as curtailments to mining and future investments, have led to a growing consensus the markets are bottoming out.

Add in the fact that battery technologies are continuing to get cheaper, and there’s reason to be bullish “over the next few years once we get through the current predicament,” said Chris Berry, president of House Mountain Partners, an industry consultant. Continue Reading →

Tesla Powers Up; Lithium And Other Battery Metals Will Follow – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – July 6, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

Where Tesla goes, lithium will follow. It’s obviously not as simple as that but there is an inevitability in demand for the metals used to make electric-powered vehicles following the success of EVs.

Interestingly, the connection between Tesla’s recent rocket-run on the stock market has not been replicated in the battery-metals sector, yet.

But as Tesla continues to prove that investors and car buyers are ready to embrace the shift from fossil fuels to electric power the current glut of metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, will fade. Continue Reading →

Tesla is the world’s top carmaker on the back of a tech boost and huge Chinese sales – by Gareth Hutchens (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 5, 2020)

https://www.abc.net.au/

It’s a sign of the times. Electric car manufacturer Tesla became the world’s most valuable carmaker last week, overtaking Toyota, despite never having made an annual profit.

In the past 12 months, Tesla shares have surged over 400 per cent to reach a market value of $US210 billion ($302 billion). In July last year, its share price was $US233. Last week, it closed at $US1,208.

According to the financial firm Refinitiv, Tesla is now trading at 69 times its estimated 2022 earnings. What’s behind the eye-watering rally? A broader improvement in the tech sector has helped. Continue Reading →

Chile’s lithium miners consume 65% of region’s water – by Micheal McCrae (Kitco.com – June 24, 2020)

https://www.kitco.com/

The social license for battery material producers is challenged by water depletion, toxic dust and worker exploitation, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Miners in the Democractic Republic of Congo face challenges operating in a country with few worker protections.

“[About] 20% of cobalt supplied from the DRC comes from artisanal mines where child labour and human rights abuses have been reported. Up to 40,000 children work in extremely dangerous conditions in the mines for meagre income,” write the report’s authors. Continue Reading →

Column: Tesla’s reluctant commitment to cobalt a warning to others – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 23, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The unpredictable Elon Musk strikes again. Just when his electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla seemed to be pivoting away from using cobalt in its batteries, it signs a long-term supply deal for the controversial metal with Glencore.

This from the man who has vowed to eliminate cobalt from the Tesla product mix because of its financial cost and the reputational cost of a metal associated with child labour and poor safety conditions at artisanal mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s dominant producer.

Tesla’s not the first auto company to lock in future cobalt supplies with a miner. BMW did the same last year, also with Glencore as well as with the Bou-Azzer mine in Morocco. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: EU must engage in lithium standards or lose to China, EU’s Breton says – by Foo Yun Chee (Reuters U.S. – June 18, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU industry chief Thierry Breton has urged EU governments to be more active in setting global standards for ultralight battery metal lithium, key to many strategic industries and electric cars, or cede technological advantage to China.

Breton’s warning underlines the European Commission’s concern as China seeks to increase its influence in setting standards for a metal crucial to the bloc’s electric car and green energy ambitions, involving major companies such as Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), PSA (PEUP.PA) and Siemens (SIEGn.DE).

His warning comes ahead of a June 24-25 vote by the International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO) technical management board on a Chinese proposal to set up a committee on lithium standards. China has proposed itself as the secretariat. Continue Reading →

Column: Lithium – the metal of the future with a futures problem – by Andy Bell (Reuters U.K. – June 10, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Lithium is the metal that will power the coming electric vehicle (EV) revolution. The build-out of a lithium-ion battery chain, however, is at risk from depressed pricing and a lack of investment in new capacity.

“Money needs to start flowing into the lithium market quickly, or the road to electrification will be stunted by lithium supply, in even the most conservative of forecasts.”

That warning from specialist consultancy Benchmark Minerals Intelligence (BMI) was written in July last year. (“Lithium’s Price Paradox”) Since then prices have slid further and COVID-19 has massively disrupted both battery manufacturing and end-use demand in a collapsing automotive sector. Continue Reading →

Tesla Addresses Zero-Cobalt Future in Latest Impact Report – by Jowy Klender (Auto Body News – June 9, 2020)

https://www.autobodynews.com/

Tesla outlined its goal for responsible cobalt sourcing in its latest 2019 Impact Report, released on June 8.

The automaker plans to eventually produce a zero-cobalt battery for its vehicles and energy products, in its bid to source metals in a responsible fashion that maintains not only the integrity of the company but also the human rights of those involved in the sourcing of raw materials.

“Tesla’s batteries use nickel-rich cathode materials which contain less cobalt than other widely use cathode chemistries in the industry with our ultimate goal being to eliminate cobalt completely from our cells,” notes Tesla in its Impact Report. Continue Reading →