Archive | Battery Technology Innovation/Electric Vehicles

Metals Behind EV Revolution to Resume Volatile Rally – Again – by Annie Lee and Eddie Spence (Bloomberg News – January 14, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Battery metals are set to rebound this year as an electric-vehicle boom is bolstered by post-pandemic push for a green economic recovery.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has indicated the sector could get a boost, while China wants new energy vehicles to account for about 20% of total new car sales by 2025. Germany has extended subsidies on EVs for an extra four years, and the U.K. will ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

The markets for metals such as lithium and cobalt, which soared in 2018 before slumping on concerns about oversupply, will be underpinned by a step change in battery demand. Global EV sales are projected to surge 60% this year, according to BloombergNEF. Continue Reading →

Nickel Soars And Could Keep Flying As Demand Rises And Supply Falls – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – January 14, 2021)

Demand up. Supply down. Price heading for a 10-year high. It doesn’t get much better for nickel—except for the potential to get a lot better for a metal which has a well-earned reputation for extreme highs (and lows).

Since suffering a Covid-19 collapse last March when the price fell to $10,800 a ton, nickel has been on a largely uninterrupted rise to last sales at $18,244/t, up almost 70% in 10 months.

Next target for nickel, which is a critical ingredient in high quality stainless steel and the batteries used in most electric vehicles (EVs) is $20,000/t, a level reached in the early 2012. Continue Reading →

Indonesia’s EV battery aspirations unearth mining waste problems – by Ursula Florene ( – January 14, 2021)

By catering to the global hunger for EVs and its domestic economic growth, Indonesia risks destroying its own environment.

Indonesia is one of the world’s top producers of battery minerals and the first global producer of nickel, an essential component to produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. That places the country at the core of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

Home to 25% of the world’s nickel resources, Indonesia also has rich resources of cobalt and copper, other essential minerals for battery production. Based on its assets, the country is developing its own EV industry and has plans to become a global EV battery production hub.

Under President Joko Widodo’s administration, Indonesia is set to begin EV domestic production by 2021 or 2022 with the goal of exporting 200,000 EVs by 2025, or about 20% of the estimated total of exported cars. Continue Reading →

Lithium Miner’s German Smelter Plan Draws Billionaires – by Eyk Henning and Christoph Rauwald (Bloomberg News – January 11, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Rock Tech Lithium Inc. plans to raise $400 million to build a lithium refinery in Germany and has attracted support from billionaires including Peter Thiel investing in Europe’s push to create a local electric-vehicle battery industry.

The Canadian miner is in advanced talks with investors and sees the Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt regions as possible locations for the smelter, Chairman Dirk Harbecke said by phone.

Europe is expected to overtake China as the top EV market this year, spawning investment into the necessary infrastructure and local supply chains to reduce a dependence on Asian battery makers. Continue Reading →

Mining gives Canada a competitive advantage in electric vehicle market – by Navdeep Bains (Policy Options – September 17, 2020)

Policy Options – Institute for Research on Public Policy

Navdeep Bains is the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

For decades, Canada’s auto industry has relied on what I would call a “people advantage.” Canadian workers made better quality, innovative vehicles and, as a result, automakers recognized the value in making cars in Canada.

The transition towards autonomous vehicles has put our people advantage to the test, challenging the ingenuity and durability of our domestic industry to remain competitive in a transforming global market.

Once again, however, Canada has risen to the challenge, proving to be a force in the kind of connected technologies and artificial intelligence upon which self-driving cars and trucks are based. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Electric vehicles aren’t going to take over any time soon – by Paul Brandus (Market Watch – January 6, 2021)

It’s meaningless to have the right investment thesis if your timing is bad. No one learned this lesson more in 2020 than all the sad sacks who shorted Tesla TSLA, 5.73%.

Given such metrics as the current price-to-earnings ratio of 1,400, to name but one, the thesis that the electric vehicle maker is wildly overvalued is even more valid today than a year ago. But the timing of betting against it? Who knows.

You know what Mr. Market says: The market can stay irrational longer than most investors can stay solvent. Mr. Market, if you haven’t been introduced, was the character created by Warren Buffett’s mentor—Benjamin Graham—in his 1949 classic “The Intelligent Investor.” In it, he warned of the dangers of market irrationality and group think. Continue Reading →

Firm clarifies information about its lithium plan – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – January 3, 2021)

A Vancouver company proposing to build a US$457-million lithium plant in Thunder Bay has clarified “misleading” information it released about the project in November following a review by the British Columbia Securities Commission.

“Accordingly, the company has retracted and restated certain statements contained in a Nov. 4, 2020, news release, and advises the public to not rely on the retracted statements,” Rock Tech Lithium Inc. said in a statement in December.

A Northwestern Ontario mining-industry veteran said corporate retractions are not unheard of, and occasionally occur when news releases go out before being thoroughly reviewed. Continue Reading →

Child labour, toxic leaks: the price we could pay for a greener future – by Robin McKie (The Guardian – January 3, 2021)

The battle to stave off Earth’s looming climate crisis is driving engineers to develop hosts of new green technologies. Wind and solar plants are set to replace coal and gas power stations, while electric cars oust petrol and diesel vehicles from our roads. Slowly our dependance on fossil fuels is set to diminish and so ease global heating.

But scientists warn there will be an environmental price to pay for this drive to create a world powered by green technology. Prospecting for the materials to construct these devices, then mining them, could have very serious ecological consequences and major impacts on biodiversity, they say.

“The move towards net zero carbon emissions is going to create new stresses on our planet, at least in the short term,” said Prof Richard Herrington, head of earth sciences at the Natural History Museum, London. “We are going to have to learn how to consider profit and loss with regard to ecosystems just as we do now when we are considering economic issues.” Continue Reading →

Mining billionaire Robert Friedland eyes green energy transition with new shell company – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 5, 2021)

Billionaire financier and mine builder Robert Friedland is aiming to raise as much as US$230-million to acquire a green energy company as he doubles down on efforts to make money from the global transition away from fossil fuels to a low emissions future.

Last week, Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. filed paperwork to raise money for a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The blank-cheque shell company will have 24 months to find an asset to acquire. If it is unable to do a deal, the proceeds raised must be given back to shareholders. Mr. Friedland will serve as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. Continue Reading →

2021 will be northern Ontario’s turn to benefit from EV explosion, minister says – by Norris McDonald (Toronto Star – January 1, 2021)

Norris McDonald is a retired Toronto Star editor who continues to write for Wheels under contract.

Vic Fedeli, who’s the provincial minister of economic development, job creation and trade, and I have a couple of things in common, among them our affection for northern Ontario.

He’s a former mayor of North Bay and represents the riding of Nipissing in the legislature. I was a kid in Kapuskasing.

We had a long chat just before Christmas about how southern Ontario benefited in 2020 by $5 billion in auto industry investment that will result in several thousand new jobs and the preservation of thousands of others. Continue Reading →

Indonesia: Widodo steps up bid to woo investment from Tesla’s Elon Musk – by Resty Woro Yuniar (South China Morning Post – December 15, 2020)

President Joko Widodo’s personal invitation for Tesla chief executive Elon Musk to invest in Indonesia is the latest bid by Southeast Asia’s largest economy to become part of the global supply chain for the burgeoning electric-vehicle (EV) industry, which a 2018 European Commission report estimated could be worth up to US$66.7 billion annually.

On the Friday call, Widodo and Musk discussed the industry and the main components for EV batteries, the investment ministry said in a statement. The president also asked Musk to consider Indonesia as a potential launch site for SpaceX, his aerospace manufacturing and space transport venture.

Widodo’s call was another attempt by Jakarta to communicate with Musk after a delegation led by the president’s top envoy, coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment Luhut Pandjaitan, failed to meet him upon a visit to the United States last month. Continue Reading →

Electric cars are on the rise in cities. Can power grids cope? – by Nick Carey and Helena Soderpalm (Christian Science Monitor – December 16, 2020)

A stroll down Stockholm’s longest street that takes its name from the mythical Valhalla, where Norse gods feast and fight until doomsday, gives a hint of the battle today’s power grids face to keep pace with government goals to electrify transport.

Early this month, a man selling Christmas trees looked on as workers installed 10 public vehicle charging stations with two power outlets each in Valhallavägen, which is around 2.17 miles long. It’s progress, but not enough.

Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles during the first nine months of 2020 rose by 122% in the European Union, accounting for about 8% of new car sales, industry figures show. Continue Reading →

OPINION: On EV policy, Trudeau’s government has a pitch for Biden – by Adam Radwanski (Globe and Mail – September 17, 2020)

After Joe Biden takes office next month, one of the earliest cross-border priorities for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will be gauging the next U.S. president’s interest in setting continental quotas for electric-vehicle sales.

For months, there has been speculation about Mr. Trudeau’s government imposing a zero-emissions vehicle mandate, addressing auto manufacturers’ perceived failure to meet demand for EVs.

Its new plan for meeting the country’s climate-change targets, released last Friday, didn’t go that far. But it laid the groundwork, pledging to work on “supply-side policy options” that include “regulations and investments to accelerate and expand” the availability of ZEVs. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay could be a globally known hub for clean tech metals processing – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 14, 2020)

Lithium processing could put northwestern Ontario city on forefront of a new age in mining

When John Mason worked as a provincial government geologist on the north shore of Lake Superior, there’s wasn’t much grassroots exploration or talk about lithium.

“On and off,” said the mining services project manager with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC). “Very minimal.”

The Ontario Geological Survey documented plenty of occurrences in the Kenora District and the Georgia Lake area close to Beardmore, where Rock Tech Lithium has a very advanced exploration property, but the market to actually mine the commodity just wasn’t there. Continue Reading →

Inobat to create ‘green battery ecosystem’ in Europe – by Editor ( – December 14, 2020)

European battery producer InoBat Auto has announced its ‘green battery ecosystem’ for Europe, as the race to develop and produce the best and ‘greenest’ electric vehicle (EV) batteries heats up.

InoBat’s AI-driven R&D battery production centre, which was recently approved by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), is the first stage of the company’s green battery ecosystem, which begins with discovering and developing better performing, and more environmentally friendly cell chemistries more efficiently.

Inobat said this can be achieved through a patented combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and high throughput (HTP) technology, which allows for large numbers of different battery cell chemistries to be tested and improved simultaneously under one roof in InoBat’s battery centre in Slovakia. Continue Reading →