March 18th, 2022 | 11:48 CET
Meta Materials, Varta, Samsung SDI - This is the future!
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The native Rhineland-Palatinate has been a passionate market participant for more than 25 years. After studying business administration in Mannheim, he worked as a journalist, in equity sales and many years in equity research.
Meta Materials - The potential to revolutionize the solar industry
In the wake of current political developments, the accelerated energy transition is already a done deal. The federal government has decided that by 2035 German electricity should be generated entirely from renewable sources, i.e. from solar and wind energy, geothermal energy or hydropower. Solar technology, in particular, offers excellent potential.
Unfortunately, generation in Central Europe is still costly and complicated despite sharply falling prices for the modules. One of the reasons for this is that the angle of incidence of the sun's rays is highly dependent on the time of day and the season. In practice, solar parks are therefore equipped with automatic tracking systems that always align solar cells at the optimum angle to the sun's rays. The Canadian Company Meta Materials, listed on the NASDAQ, promises to remedy this situation. The developers of high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites house special coatings in their product portfolio that can redirect light, sound, heat or radio waves through special nanotechnology.
As a result, it is possible to significantly increase the amount of incident light on the surface of solar cells and thus increase the amount of electricity produced. The technologies of the Canadians are also future-oriented for other industries. One of the Company's business areas, for example, is the acquisition of relevant patents. The Company had already filed 149 patent applications in this area in 2021, and patents have been granted for 82 of them.
The materials are also suitable, for example, to significantly improve 5G mobile phone reception. Security technology is another area in which Meta Materials would like to gain a foothold in the future. Overall, the product portfolio can be described with the three areas of holography, lithography and wireless sensor technology with strong IT networking and artificial intelligence (AI) embedding. Chart-wise, the share has taken a bit of a beating lately. After announcing mixed quarterly results, the Company's current market cap has fallen to around CAD 492 million.
Varta - Waiting for figures
One of the most renowned battery manufacturers globally is the German Company, Varta AG, headquartered in Ellwangen, Baden-Württemberg. In October last year, the Company announced that it would be entering the production of high-performance lithium-ion round cells of the 21700 type. Automakers such as Tesla have been successfully using these cells in their vehicles for some time. The Company relies on its proprietary V4Drive technology, which offers significantly improved performance compared with competitors' products.
Test production was announced for last year and was to be expanded to a capacity of at least 2GWh by 2023/2024. Unfortunately, Varta has not commented on the current development status since then. And so, the share has been the victim of a wide variety of speculations in recent months. However, the stock has been able to gain again in recent days. Investors trust that Varta will report positive figures on March 31. It can be assumed that the Company will also comment on the future of battery technology for e-mobility applications in this context. It remains exciting.
Samsung SDI - One of the most important EV battery manufacturers
Samsung SDI has fallen from third among the most important EV battery manufacturers to sixth place in recent months (market share around 5%). The Company has now announced that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with carmaker Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Fiat, Chrysler) to jointly launch a new battery production facility. This was preceded by months of talks with eMobility newcomer Rivian, but Samsung SDI could not reach an agreement with them.
The main reasons given behind the scenes for the failure of the negotiations were the refusal to agree on a fixed purchase quantity and the insistence on transferring the manufacturing technology to Rivian. For Samsung SDI, which says it is still the leader in large-scale battery storage, the announcement comes at the right time if it does not want to fall further behind in the EV battery sector.
Chinese competitors, in particular, have caught up strongly in recent times. For example, SVOLT, which is ranked tenth, increased its sales fivefold compared to last year, while the two Chinese giants CATL (ranked first) and BYD (ranked fourth) increased their installed production capacity by a factor of 2.5. On the other hand, Samsung SDI was only able to increase its output by 50%. Yet the global EV battery production growth last year was a terrific 102.3% and rising.
The accelerated energy transition requires a rethink in many areas and can only be mastered using technological innovations. Battery technology will be one of the decisive factors in determining whether the shift from combustion technology to e-mobility will succeed. Varta and Samsung SDI offer good conditions to profit from this development. But e-mobility also requires electrical energy, which is best generated locally. Solar technology that generates electricity economically in our latitudes is worth its weight in gold. The price correction in the share of the innovative Meta Materials offers a good entry opportunity.
Conflict of interest
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