Posts

electric vehicle industry-popular

Electric Vehicle Industry Steadily Grows

Electric cars increase in popularity

Electric Vehicle Industry Grows at Rapid Pace

Plug-in vehicles are still only accessible to high earners. However, this is expected to change in the coming years as the electric vehicle industry reports consecutive monthly sales records.

The 2018 global market for EVs is around 3 million. Adoption is led by China, while Europe and the US experience record growth.

Meanwhile, each market is dominated by a very small number of producers.

The US has Tesla, Europe has the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, while China has several state-owned and private companies leading the pack. Most notably, BYD (Build Your Dreams).

Electric cars rely on lithium-ion batteries

Global Electric Vehicle Industry to Hit 125 Million by 2030

This estimate was provided by the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental agency dedicated to clean energy initiatives.

If this estimate is true, EVs will become a staple of middle-class life in the next decade.

However, only .15% of the world’s cars are electric. This increase means that 12.5% of all vehicles in 2030 will be electric.

While this doesn’t seem like a major change, it demonstrates exponential growth.

Lithium is a vitally important resource

Lithium’s Importance to Increase

As zero-emission vehicles grow in popularity, so too will the resource powering them. The electric vehicle industry relies heavily on lithium-ion batteries.

Powered by lithium, the battery’s storage capacity drastically improves. Consequently, both charge range and vehicle cost steadily fall.

However, China owns nearly half of the global lithium supply. With several projects in Africa, South America and Australia, the government is taking steps to improve air quality.

Electric vehicles are central to this effort. After all, zero-emission vehicles can save lives.

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V: ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

Electric Cars Misunderstood

electric cars-urban-life-ev

Electric cars are a staple of urban life

Electric Cars Becoming More Common

Despite the 2016 election, electric cars are becoming a common sight on North American roads. Each month, EV manufacturers break sales records, suggesting the industry is more than a ‘fad.’

Boosting such excitement is success abroad. China is the global champion when it comes to plug-in vehicles, and Scandinavian countries have been predictably big on green tech.

electric cars-tesla

Tesla routinely tops monthly N.A. sales polls

However, the American market is currently dominated by Tesla. In August, its Model 3 comprised nearly half of all domestic plug-in sales.

electric cars-air quality-china

EV adoption is expected to improve China’s air quality

Chinese Electric Cars Dominate

While the American EV industry is only just beginning to realize its potential, demand for electric cars in China has persisted for years.

With government subsidies and a smoggy skyline, over 43% of all EVs were Chinese-made in 2016.

Furthermore, a waitlist plagues aspiring EV owners in China’s megacities. Some city-dwellers report waits of up to 4 years.

electric cars-ev-battery

EV battery prices continue to fall

EV Prices to Fall

Globally, potential buyers have two worries. First: if money isn’t an issue: battery range. However, this problem is easily solved (discussed below).

Second, plug-ins are too damn expensive.

Time will solve this problem. Currently, manufacturers and progressive governments direct funding to two things: improving charging infrastructure and increasing vehicle range.

As lithium-ion batteries improve and charging stations become more common, reducing price will be the next target.

electric cars-charge-home

EVs are easily charged at home

Electric Cars are Misunderstood

Above all, misconceptions and misinformation plague EV adoption. A survey conducted by BC Hydro found that 90% of people believe standard outlets can’t charge batteries.

Even more surprising, most people don’t know what the acronym EV stands for.

In addition, many doubt the range of a standard lithium-ion battery. Worry not: energy density is increasing 5-8% per year and charging stations are easier to find than ever.

After all, a little bit of education goes a long way.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

 

 

belt and road lithium

Lithium: Why the Mineral is so Valuable

lithium-ev-batteries

Lithium is commonly used in EV batteries

Lithium: Powering the Electric Vehicle Revolution

When it comes to sustainability, everyone knows how important electric vehicles (EVs) are.

Meanwhile, everyone understands how important smartphones and PCs are for economic growth.

But what about the resource powering these technologies?

Let’s take a look at lithium: the world’s lightest metal.

lithium-lithium ion-batteries-evs

A lithium-ion battery

In Electric Vehicle Batteries

Today, a global lithium shortage rages. As a result, companies and national governments fight to secure mining projects.

A major reason: the mineral powers clean transportation tech.

Companies like Tesla, VW and Renault-Nissan work tirelessly to make EVs a part of middle-class American life. Their greatest challenge: creating lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that hold long charges.

lithium-cameras-film-consumer electronics

Li-ion batteries power most consumer electronics, like film cameras

In Consumer Electronics

Laptops and Smartphones have been using Li-ion batteries for years, replacing the lead-acid alternative.

This development accelerated demand in the 90s. Consequently, it was relied on to power the growing information technology sector.

For this reason, the technology behind Li-ion batteries improves every year. Meanwhile, so do expectations. Better smartphones mean a more powerful battery is needed.

Behold the great clean energy paradox.

lithium-pharmaceutical-applicaitons

The mineral is commonly used in pharmaceutical applications

In Other Applications

It’s also used in ceramics, glass, medicine and various other applications.

Used to treat mental illness for years, it’s original purpose was treating bipolar disorder.

However, the resource is also used around the house. It’s found in windows, oven elements and pottery.

Without it, moulds don’t hold.

lithium-brine-argentina-borita

An evaporation pond from Ultra Lithium’s Borita Brine site in Argentina

Eco-Friendly Mining

Especially in the case of brine, mining leaves a tiny environmental footprint.

Ultra Lithium has various sites in South America where the resource is extracted from ‘salars’. These are large evaporation pools.

To start, geological surveys are conducted and several test holes are drilled. Eventually, the mineral reaches the surface, ready to be refined and placed into an eco-friendly battery.

Mining can’t get much cleaner.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

 

 

 

hong kong market-ev-pollution

Hong Kong Market Slow to EV Adoption

hong kong market-street pollution

Hong Kong market suffers from street pollution

Hong Kong Market Craves Clean Energy

It is one of the world’s most congested cities. Over 7 million people live on just 3,000 square kilometres of land. The Hong Kong Market is a sweaty heap of pollution.

Air quality is so low, it’s inspired an app. Air conditioners account for 30% of the city’s energy use and contribute 60% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Even worse: the city’s recycling record. China laps the former British Protectorate in sustainable living.

hong kong market-shenzhen-hong kong-border

The Shenzhen-Hong Kong border

China’s Effect on the Kong Kong Market

It’s no secret that Hong Kong needs to go green. It’s also no secret that China leads the world in Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption. After all, Beijing residents must wait years for an EV license.

On average, Chinese government subsidies on EV vehicles cover $10,000 USD per purchase. Evidently, the CCP is serious about curbing carbon emissions.

These measures could spillover into the Hong Kong market. Cross the border and neighbouring city Shenzhen has already electrified its public transport fleet.

hong kong market-china-ev-plug in

China outpaces Hong Kong in EV adoption

Why is Hong Kong Late to the EV Party?

Several factors have slowed progress.

First, HK lacks public charging stations and gas-powered vehicles can still travel longer distances. However, this isn’t a major concern as HK is so small. Trip distance isn’t a problem.

Second, a lack of regulatory pressure provides car owners little incentive to switch. Hong Kong’s carbon abatement schemes lag behind China’s.

Third, most residents use public transportation. The bus and taxi companies are privately owned, and plug-in technology is still too expensive to warrant.

Hong Kong Market-Shenzhen bus-electric

Shenzhen’s public transportation runs on lithium-ion batteries

Hong Kong Needs to Change its EV Policy

Last year, over 1,700 residents died from air pollution. Moreover, the city faces pollution levels that rival megacity Beijing.

The Special Administrative Region (SAR) has lagged behind China in adopting clean energy initiatives. However, the 1997 handover returned control of Hong Kong to the Asian superpower.

However controversial the handover may be, air quality in “Asia’s World City” would benefit from more vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of lithium experts with a finger on the pulse of clean energy news, Ultra Lithium is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

lithium-uses-everywhere

Lithium Uses: Glass and Ceramics

Lithium uses go beyond car batteries

Lithium is about much more than batteries. Consumer electronics and electric vehicles account for only half of global lithium consumption. Surprisingly, lithium uses are diverse.

This misconception helps shape lithium market prices. Some believe undersupply is responsible for recent stagnation. Meanwhile, others suggest the world’s largest lithium consumer is responsible.

China is the world’s leading lithium importer

It has recently invested in lithium extraction projects of its ownSome of these projects are starting to bear fruit.

But lithium uses go beyond batteries. Lithium market price is closely tied to green transportation. Yes, EV manufacturers influence these valuations but don’t tell the whole story.

Now, let’s look at lithium uses in glass and ceramics.

Lithium Uses in Ceramics and Glass

lithium-uses-ceramic-pottery

Little-known lithium uses – Blue ceramic pottery in Okinawa

1) Reduces Thermal Expansion
Take a look at that family heirloom in your hallway. Why doesn’t it expand in the summertime?

Lithium is responsible.

Glass-ceramic cooktops are the best example of this.  Lithium holds the moulding in place. As a result, no thermal resistance or expansion. 

2) Increases Mould Strength
Lithium increases ceramic body strength. This improves durability. 

So, go ahead and place that 20-year-old pot on a wobbly pillar in the front hall.

3) Ensures Colour Consistency
When applied to mixtures like cement, lithium reduces colour change. Without it, base ceramic colours influence colouration.

That’s why the hallway pot remains the same colour after all these years.

4) Improves Durability
Lithium is a major reason why windows don’t wilt under pressure. Normal windows are double-glazed, with two glass panes separated by an air gap. This helps with insulation and soundproofing.

lithium-uses-window-insulation

Lithium is used to insulate windows from the sun

However, better windows use lithium. A thin layer of the lightest metal on earth keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer

5) Increases Melt Rate and Lowers Viscosity
Lithium drastically reduces corrosion rates. It also ensures glass erodes slowly. Converting to an oxide while heating, lithium improves the physical properties of your kitchen window.

So, you can thank lithium for your ovenware. Without it, baked goods would be harder to make.

Now you know: lithium glass and lithium ceramics colour your world.

Lithium Market Price and Lithium Uses

Electric vehicles are expected to become more valuable. However, lithium exploration projects in Argentina aren’t exclusively tied to batteries.

Now you know: Ceramics and glass have played a major role in day-to-day life for decades.

Many technological advances in these areas are because of lithium. Even if you’ve never driven a Tesla, know that lithium affects your life every time you look outside your office window.

Or reach for that last cupcake.

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of lithium experts with a finger on the pulse of clean energy news, Ultra Lithium is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).