February 9th, 2023 | 19:42 CET
BYD, American Lithium, Altech Advanced Materials: Shares in rally mode
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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
For more than twenty years, the Cologne native has been intensively involved with the stock market, both professionally and privately. He is particularly passionate about national and international small and micro caps.
Altech: With Fraunhofer to the new battery standard?
Altech Advanced Materials AG is currently valued at around EUR 40 million. This does not seem too much, considering that the Heidelberg-based company is working on a new standard in lithium-ion batteries for electromobility. As a first step, a newly developed coating technology is to help prevent the loss of battery capacity that has been common up to now. The relevant patents in the core markets are in place and construction of the pilot plant in Saxony is already underway.
The second step is really exciting: In the future, Altech wants to get involved in the field of solid-state batteries for stationary battery use. To this end, a joint venture was founded with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems in September 2022. The common goal is the commercial production of sodium-aluminum oxide solid-state batteries. These require neither lithium, graphite, copper, nor cobalt. Discussions have already been held with potential major customers to establish requirement profiles for CERENERGY's solid-state sodium-alumina batteries. CERENERGY batteries use common salt, are fire- and explosion-proof, have a service life of more than 15 years, and operate in extreme cold and hot climates. The first production line is expected to have an output of 100 MWh p.a. Fraunhofer estimates that the cost of producing CERENERGY batteries will be around 40% lower than lithium-ion batteries currently in use. The market volume is huge: Altech expects the grid storage market to grow by approximately 28% annually over the coming decades, reaching USD 15.1 billion by 2027 - and growing. Although Altech's share in the joint venture is "only" 18.75%, the current market capitalization appears attractive.
Event alert: Altech will present at the 6th International Investment Forum next week, February 15, 2023. Registration for the virtual event is free.
BYD: First deliveries in India
BYD still currently relies on lithium-ion batteries from its own production in its e-cars. According to market research firm SNE Research, BYD is now one of the world's largest manufacturers of batteries for e-cars. In 2022, batteries with a total capacity of 70.4 GWh were shipped. That represents an increase of 167.1% over the previous year. The global market share is 13.6%, sharing second place with LG Energy Solutions. CATL remains the market leader with 37%.
BYD's battery production should also continue to grow solely due to the sales of its e-cars. Because so far, the Chinese have been selling their vehicles almost exclusively in their home country. This is to change in 2023. And they are stepping on the gas. Having already invested USD 200 million in India, the first vehicles - over 340 units - of the new Atto 3 SUV were delivered in January. The compact e-SUV has a battery capacity of 60.48 kWh and a range of 480 km. As a volume model, the Atto 3 is intended to help achieve BYD's ambitious goals in India. The Company aims to achieve a market share of around 40% for e-cars there by 2030. In total, the Atto 3 has already sold over 250,000 units worldwide. In January alone, around 23,000 units were delivered. The SUV can also already be ordered in Germany.
American Lithium: Next share price driver in the pipeline
With the boom in e-cars, the demand for lithium is also rising. In the future, American Lithium would like to get a piece of this growing pie. The Company has one lithium project each in the US state of Nevada (TLC) and Peru (Falchani). With an increase of more than 60% to currently EUR 3.35, the share of the Canadian exploration company is one of the high flyers of the still young stock market year 2023. There are several reasons for this: At the turn of the year, the listing of the share on the US stock exchange NASDAQ created additional demand. In addition, investors speculated on the feasibility study (PEA) for the TLC project. The PEA is now available and has met expectations. It shows that the value of the project is significantly higher than the current market capitalization. Ore processing is to gradually increase from an initial 4.4 million tons per year to 8.8 million tons. In addition, the potential has emerged to produce high-purity magnesium sulfates as by-products for agriculture. Due to heavy speculation prior to the release, the stock did not react in the past few days. However, there was also no "sell on good news".
Perhaps because the next share price driver is already in the pipeline: American Lithium's uranium project in Peru will be listed on the stock exchange in the coming months. The value of the Macusani project is not fully reflected in the Company's value. The IPO should change this. In addition, American Lithium can use cash inflows to bring the lithium projects into production. It should also make it easier to sell the Company, as producers of batteries or e-cars are unlikely to be interested in a uranium project.
The coming months should remain exciting for American Lithium. Price declines are possible at any time, but not only the IPO of the uranium business could become the new price driver. Altech Advanced Materials also stands a good chance of further share price gains. The construction of the pilot plant is underway, and the first orders may soon be announced. BYD, as one of the leading e-car manufacturers, also offers enough material for share price increases. However, experts warn that 2023 will likely be a more challenging year for car manufacturers overall.
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