Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lithium and REE: 1.4 billion vote from DOE to bring Electric Cars to U.S. TNR.v, CZX.v, LI.v, RM.v, WLC.v, SQM, ROC, FMC, AVL.to, RES.v, CCE.v, QUC.v,


C.S. Obama is calling for an action, financial situation of the State is close to desperate and middle class, the backbone of our society, is struggling to survive. It is a time of change and we have an opportunity to capitalise on this dramatic shift.
Time is to write about Revolutions, transformation technology and disruption in the market place.
Ideal market situation for the new disruptive technology to create a life time investing opportunity is when Demand for product or service is already there and you are able to deliver it in a new way, which will be more appealing to Existing consumers of this product or service. You have a dramatic shift in consumer preference and are gaining a market share in a tidal wave fashion by shifting consumers from existing providers to the new product or service place. You do not have to teach the market and prove that they need this product - you just need to prove that the new technology you are putting in place is viable to deliver the Better Experience.
We have always loved our music. Sony made a Revolution in the way we consume the music with its Walkman - we were able to take our music with us as we go. CDs made the quality of music more appealing and record companies sold us our music one more time.
Steeve Jobs made another Revolution by providing the means to consume what we exactly want with iTunes and means to Store and Retrieve All Our Music as we go in iPod. He sold us our own music one more time and we were happy to buy it. He has brought us a new Experience of how we consume the same music: it is convenient, easy, Searchable, high quality and with us - all of it. We have moved in droves to the new source of Joy.


With Electric Cars all market estimations that we saw so far (apart from quote from Warren Buffett) looks like a drop in the bucket at a time. Will it be 2%, 5% or 10% claimed by Nissan in 2020? It is not a Revolution - it is like a tea party. We dare to differ and think that Electric Cars will provide to us a new Experience how we consume Mobility: energy efficient, environment friendly and cheaper with all cost accounted. And yes - they will sell us our cars one more time, this time in Electric version.
Is it bad - not at all if you will be investing in Electric Cars value chain. Even if not, we will all gain from it more than from iPods - after all we have never heard about somebody being killed by CD, but those, who still do not believe that cars pollute and kill our environment including us, can try to breath from exhaust pipe for a while to be sure.
We expect consumers to shift on a mass scale from CVs to EVs with prove that technology is viable and can provide the same utility with a Better Experience. Emotional Drive will be the driving force of this switch of consumer preferences.


America needs to catch up with the rest of the world in Electric Space. U.S. is years away from recent advance in lithium batteries and electric cars compare to Japan and China. Nissan spent 5.5 billion dollars and 16 years developing electric cars based on lithium ion technology. Competition is heating on and it is very positive to see DOE supporting at least production of Electric Cars in U.S. developed in another countries. Green Leaf growing in the Homeland is better than nothing even if it is from a foreign tree.





"Price of Lithium batteries is in access of 1000 USD/kWh at the moment, with mass production it will drop to 300-400 USD/kWh ( S. GM is aiming now for 450 USD/kWH in a near term) and with recent technological advance we can talk about 100 USD/kWh as possibility."



As we have wrote before, lithium battery price of USD 25o per kWh will make production of Electric Cars cheaper than a comparable CV - you do not need automatic transmission as part of your power drive.



This is why we are calling it Green Mobility Revolution. Make a step back and look at the big picture. With electricity being the most convenient form of energy known to us, stable pricing and ready availability from existing source infrastructure - we have a transformation technology in place: you can store energy on board of your vehicle Produced Somewhere Else. It means that that energy could be produced thousand miles away using mass scale and most economical production method including Nuclear power, Hydro power generation, Geothermal, Wind, Solar and other renewable sources of energy available today.



Our conventional vehicles did not move far away from steam powered trains. They still carry fuel and power plant on board with very inefficient conversion cycle technology from fuel to mechanical power. Power source is restricted to mobility application and it is very expensive, it can not use economy of scale or different sources including renewables (think about tidal wave generator on board) and you are caring exhaust pipe with you everywhere you drive.
It is time to start thinking about Electric Cars as means to transform our Energy Diet nation wide - you do not need to have power generation plant on board (which will be always expensive and inefficient compare to Industrial Scale version even of the same technology) - you need just most effective storage system and power delivery system: Lithium ion batteries and Electric Powertrain.


This is where you can start thinking with us: that all current estimations about Electric Cars adoption rate could be blown away once technology will be proven to be viable in a mass sale applications.


This vote from DOE with 1.4 billion dollars is a very important step. Japanese companies are hunting all around the world for Lithium and REE resources today just to be ready for our Next Big Thing scenario.


AUTOPIA:

At today’s press conference at The Washington Auto Show, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu had something to say about electric vehicles, and how the U.S. government would approach aiding EV manufacturers. Although it was originally thought that announcement would concern the loans that Tesla, Fisker et al have received, the surprise announcement concerned Nissan’s Leaf all electric car.
The Leaf, which Nissan says should get 100 miles to a charge, cost around $25,000 to $30,000 and should be in showrooms soon, will be receiving $1.4 billion from the American government to upgrade the company’s manufacturing plant located in Smyrna, Tennessee.
At the D.C. Auto Show Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy had closed a $1.4 billion loan agreement with Nissan to support the modification of the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee, manufacturing plant to produce both the Nissan LEAF as well as the lithium-ion battery packs that will power them.
The $1.4 billion is part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, a $25 billion program that was authorized by Congress in 2007, according to Clean Skies. The Japanese automaker says the loan will allow them to generate up to 1,300 jobs when the Tennessee plants are working at full volume. The factory modifications will begin later in 2010 and include the new battery plant as well as changes to the existing structure for electric-vehicle assembly.
Eventually the plants will construct up to 150,000 Nissan LEAF electric cars a year and as many as 200,000 batteries.
AutoBlogGreen said that Secretary Chu’s announcement of the $1.4 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Loan Program loan was down from the original $1.6 billion amount. ABG also reported that Chu dealt a blow to those wanting to get hydrogen up and running as soon as possible. The energy secretary stating that even though hydrogen is part of the DOE’s $13 billion advanced vehicle technology budget, it was “longer in the distance.”
Chu has long been a vocal proponent of electric vehicles, stating back in October of 2009 that he would ” … put every cent into electric cars.”
Photo: NissanRead"
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