By Chris Berry (@cberry1)
For a PDF version of this note, please click here.
As if vehicle electrification needed any more hype, Apple Inc’s. (AAPL:NASDAQ) rumored move towards producing its own EV by 2020 may have been the first sign that the whole idea of EVs has “jumped the shark.” For those of you unaware of this term, it refers to the 1970’s sitcom Happy Days when Fonzie was waterskiing and literally jumped over a shark. Happy Days was never the same and the show never quite recovered from this stunt to win viewers.
The rumors leaked last week about AAPL secretly working on developing its own EV have fanned intense speculation about how this would be accomplished. With $170 billion in cash on its balance sheet, obviously hiring the talent and research and development are non-issues.
By Chris Berry
Separate and Unequal
In a note I wrote last week, I discussed the danger in assessing all critical metals together rather than individually. I am just back from serving as the Chair of the 6th Lithium Supply and Markets Conference hosted by Industrial Minerals. Of the many takeaways, this idea of analyzing the prospects for these metals separately is no more evident than in the case of lithium.
In the wake of Tesla’s (TSLA:NASDAQ) Gigafactory announcement, many lithium junior companies, who were left for dead, were given a new lease on life. I have written in the past about the challenges I think must be overcome to make the Gigafactory a reality, and am still unconvinced that a junior mining company not close to production can participate and benefit its shareholders, but we shall see. I try and make a habit of not betting against terminally successful visionaries like Elon Musk.
It is clear that the automotive sector is the real growth driver for lithium, as David Merriman of Roskill pointed out in his remarks: