Investors should focus on battery materials, not EVs – Blackstone Resources CEO

Investors keen to tap into the electrification of the world’s transport networks should look upstream to the battery metals market instead of buying shares in automakers, according to Ulrich Ernst, the chief executive officer of Blackstone Resources.

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution will first emerge as a mixture of differing technologies, from hybrids to all-electric cars powered by an ever-evolving battery-metal-mix of cathodes, Ernst said.

“Battery-metals don’t mind what path the EV revolution takes. They don’t mind which automaker wins and which one loses. Even the type of technology used is of little relevance,” he said.

“Aggregate demand for battery-metals will rise at an exponential rate. And the days of the traditional combustion engine are limited,” he added.

Citing data from the Boston Consulting Group, Ernst said that the proportion of vehicles produced that run on gasoline and diesel will fall to just 52% by 2030from 95% globally in 2017.

The mix of battery metals used in battery cathodes may well change drastically in the years ahead, along with the battery cathodes themselves, according to Ernst.

“Technological progress will drive this shift to make owning a decent electric car like the Tesla more affordable. The exact mix of battery metals and the technology used will change to make all-electric cars more efficient, more powerful, drive longer and speed-up charging times while on the road,” he said.

“The beauty of investing in battery metals is that you don’t have to wait for this point in time to arrive. If you diversify your portfolio of batterymetal interests, then the final mix doesn’t matter whether it’s North American cobalt, rare earths from Norway, manganese from Colombia or molybdenum from Mongolia,” he noted.

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