October 7th, 2022 | 11:20 CEST
BYD, Altech Advanced Materials, NIO - Battle for the battery of the future
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"[...] We know exactly what we are doing and are implementing what we consider to be a proven technology in an industrially applicable and scalable way. [...]" Uwe Ahrens, Director, Altech Advanced Materials AG
Altech Advanced Materials - Three irons in the fire
The stock of the Heidelberg-based Company has been one of the stars of the stock market in recent months, and not without fundamental reasons. With its three business areas, Altech Advanced Materials has hit the nerve of the times. The Silumina Anodes coating technology could become the new standard in battery technology for electromobility. The German company owns 25% of the joint venture working on the highly innovative development, while the remaining 75% is held by Australia's Altech Chemicals. In the novel method, batteries are coated with a special nano-coating of high-purity aluminum oxide and an enrichment of silicon, which is intended to prevent the deposition of lithium particles on the electrodes and significantly minimize capacity loss. The anode composite material is to be produced at the Company's plant in Schwarze Pumpe near Cottbus. At full capacity, 10,000 tons per year are to be produced there.
The establishment of a joint venture with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, the leading battery institute in Germany, in which Altech Advanced Materials holds an 18.75% stake, caused a stir weeks ago. According to CEO Uwe Ahrens, the CERENERGY solid-state sodium-alumina battery has the potential to become the grid battery storage system of the future. The advantages over lithium-ion batteries are obvious. CERENERGY batteries are non-flammable and, therefore, fire- and explosion-proof, have a lifetime of more than 15 years and function in extremely cold and hot climates. The battery technology uses common salt and small amounts of nickel. In addition, it does not require lithium, cobalt, graphite or copper and thus functions independently of critical supply bottlenecks and price increases for raw materials. Production is also to take place in Schwarze Pumpe.
To complete the value chain, Heidelberg also has an option agreement with Altech Chemicals Limited and Atech Chemicals Australia PTY, which allows the Company to acquire up to 49% of the shares in the Alumina project of Altech Australia. Altech has completed a bankable feasibility study for the construction and operation of a high-purity alumina plant with an annual capacity of 4,000t at the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex in Malaysia. This plant will produce high-purity alumina from kaolin sourced from the Company's 100% owned kaolin deposit near Meckering in Western Australia.
Altech Advanced Materials undoubtedly has the potential to become one of the major players in the electromobility battery market. However, it is likely to be several years before plans are implemented towards production. Investors who missed the rally in recent weeks could get a second chance, as a capital increase with prior capital reduction is currently underway. More details can be found here.
In addition, in a recent interview Uwe Ahrens, explains the three business segments and indicates the future opportunities of the Company.
BYD - From record to record
The dynamic growth of the Chinese market leader in electric cars, BYD, continues unabated. In the process, the month of September was closed with sales of 201,259 New Energy Vehicles, the seventh consecutive month with record sales and, for the first time, over 200,000 units. Compared to the same period last year, this represents an increase of 183.07%. Compared to the previous month, the Shenzhen-based company increased by 15.06%.
BYD suffered a setback with the IPO of its chip unit BYD Semiconductor. The review of BYD Semiconductor's listing on SZSE ChiNext was halted due to expired financial information. In total, the parent company owns 65.76% of the semiconductor division. It is currently not known when the IPO can take place.
From a chart perspective, the share is struggling with the upward trend formed since May. A sustained undershooting of the USD 24.02 mark would trigger a new sell signal and could lead the stock towards the next support zone at USD 21.42.
NIO - Strong third quarter
Ranking well behind top dog BYD is electric car company NIO. In September, deliveries totaled 10,878 vehicles, up 2.35% from August 2022. In the third quarter, NIO delivered 31,607 vehicles, setting a new record for a single quarter. That represents an increase of 29.33% YOY and 26.13% compared to the second quarter.
The Company celebrated a premiere in Germany. The first battery exchange station in the Federal Republic was opened in Zusmarshausen. Whether more will follow is currently written in the stars. The current energy crisis is delaying NIO's expansion in Europe, as NIO CEO William Li told the Financial Times. The Company is behind schedule, he said, not only because of high energy costs but also because of outstanding permits that are taking longer than planned. Two switching stations are already in operation in Norway, with two more to follow. More than 4,000 "Battery Swap Stations" are planned worldwide by 2025.
The battle for the best battery for electromobility is in full swing. Altech Advanced Materials has enormous potential, but the road to production is still long. BYD continues to shine with its sales figures for the month of September. At NIO, the construction of further battery replacement stations is delayed.
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