February 8th, 2022 | 10:48 CET
BYD, Altech Advanced Materials, Standard Lithium - Battle for pole position
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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 - The design stands
One of these highly innovative companies is Heidelberg-based Altech Advanced Materials. The Company's goal is to participate in the market for lithium-ion batteries and thus in the fast-growing electromobility sector and the expected market development for the other applications of high-purity alumina. Altech is listed in Frankfurt and currently has a market capitalization of only EUR 5.87 million. Although the Company is still at the beginning of its development phase, its technology promises long-term potential.
The Heidelberg-based Company uses an aluminum oxide coating to protect the anodes. According to current developments, lithium batteries lose around 15% of their capacity during the first charging cycle. That is caused by the formation of a boundary layer in which the lithium is bound. Altech can reproduce this boundary layer with the help of a ceramic coating so that the effect typical of lithium-ion batteries is eliminated and the capacity that would otherwise be lost is retained. In addition, it is possible to enrich the anode with silicon using the ceramic coating. In principle, graphite is used, which offers only about one-tenth of the charging capacity at this point compared with silicon.
An industrial site of around 14 hectares was acquired through a subsidiary. The site is located in the Schwarze Pumpe industrial park in the municipality of Spreewald in Saxony, where a production plant for anode material is to be built with a capacity of around 10,000 tons per year. The design of the pilot plant has now been completed, which will initially be built on the same site and will produce 120kg per day of this lithium-ion battery material for customer testing and qualification. The knowledge gained will be used to optimize the plant design and process parameters for a full-scale production plant.
You can read a detailed interview with the CEO of Altech Advanced Materials, Uwe Ahrens, here.
BYD - Incredible growth
A whopping 362% growth was recorded by the Chinese electric car company BYD in its "New Energy Vehicles" division in January compared to the same period last year. In units, that is 91,168. According to Reuters, BYD's overall sales volume fell 0.8% in January compared to the previous month.
Credit Suisse analysts continue to see BYD as an outperformer and reiterated their price target at HKD 380, equivalent to EUR 42.67. From a chart perspective, the title is still stuck in the correction. The all-clear could be given by breaking above the EUR 30 mark.
Standard Lithium - Short sellers at work
The well-known analyst house Hindenburg Research is at work again, this time on Standard Lithium. Recently, shares lost about 30% due to a short attack. Hindenburg Research had claimed in a report that Standard Lithium was unlawfully not providing information about the pilot project in Arkansas in its publications. It also alleged that Standard's plan to produce lithium for EV batteries in Arkansas was based on technology that did not work.
Standard Lithium denied these allegations, stating that the Company has been operating a pilot plant in Arkansas for more than 20 months to test its technology and provides regular updates to the public.
In addition, the Company added in a statement that it is "confident in its lithium extraction technology" and that all of its patent applications "are active and continue to be pursued through the normal process." The stock partially rallied after the statement. However, it still appears too early to enter.
Transformation due to climate change is hitting the transportation sector. In the passenger car sector, battery technology is likely to prevail. Altech Advanced Materials is developing an aluminum oxide coating to keep the battery from losing capacity. BYD remains poised for growth; in the case of Standard Lithium, interested investors should wait for things to settle down first.
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