I talked about the lithium bull market the other day and why the best bet in electric vehicles might be a bet on the batteries and not on any one automaker. You can read that here in case you missed it: Lithium
Just to recap – you can’t make electric vehicles (EVs) without a lithium ion battery. Lithium is the lightest weight solid element on the Periodic Table and the lightest metal that conducts electricity. There aren’t many pure-plays to invest in but the few that exist are being discovered by the market.
Anyway, Reuters is out with a new story on what’s going on, I plucked a few eye-opening stats for you:
The production and use of electric cars is projected by Morgan Stanley analysts to rise to 2.9 percent of 99 million new vehicles in 2020 and to 9.4 percent of 102 million new vehicles in 2025, from 1.1 percent of 86.5 million this year.
By 2050, 81 percent of 132 million new auto sales will be electric, Morgan Stanley says.
Consultants Roskill estimate 785,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent a year will be needed by 2025, amounting to a 26,000-tonne shortfall from anticipated supply, compared to 217,000 tonnes of demand versus 227,000 tonnes of supply this year.
Price projections out to 2025 are not available, but Benchmark estimates prices of lithium carbonate will average $13,000 a tonne over the 2017-2020 period from around $9,000 a tonne in 2015-2016.
Demand for lithium hydroxide, preferred over carbonate as it allows greater battery capacity and longer life, is expected to grow at a faster pace. Benchmark predicts the price to average $18,000 a tonne between 2017-2020 against $14,000 in 2015-2016.
Josh here – I still think it’s early in terms of investors picking up on this story.