Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hybrid and electric cars, and the lithium rush

McKinsey Quarterly has an interesting analysis on electric cars.

Electrifying cars: How three industries will evolve
Upon entering the mainstream—in a few years or a couple of decades—electrified cars will transform the auto and utilities sectors and create a new battery industry. What will it take to win in a battery-powered age?

My vote? Toyota (TM) will continue to lead the way, with plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars. Other car companies to watch are: Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Renault, BMW and VW.

Other potential winners:

- lithium mining companies, including Talison Minerals (Australia), SQM (Chile), Chemetall (Germany), FMC Corp. (US); Western Uranium Corp (Canada); Admiralty Resources (Australia); Mitsubishi (Japan); Sumitomo (Japan).

- battery producers, including BYD China, Actacell Li, and NEC (Japan).

Additional information in the USGS 2007 Minerals Yearbook for Lithium.

Here an interesting presentation by TNR on the Lithium market.

Here a note explaining that Bolivia insists on mining lithium through its state-owned enterprise, COMIBOL, which has meant that the country with the largest lithium reserves in the world is not producing any at the moment.

Another note indicates that "The socialist government of President Evo Morales is currently in talks with mining groups Mitsubishi and Sumitomo of Japan and France's Bollore to exploit the deposits".

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