10. February 2021 | 08:00 CET
NIO, Defense Metals, Geely - collapse looms!
The energy turnaround is in full swing. The sales figures for electric cars alone increased by over 100% compared to the previous year. The demand for the new vehicles is unbroken. The demand for raw materials needed to build new-generation batteries and motors already significantly exceeds supply. Added to this is the trade war with China. If no adequate alternatives are found here, there is a threat of collapse.
time to read: 3 minutes by Stefan Feulner
The ball is in China's court
In addition to lithium, which is needed for the construction of batteries, there is also an enormous surplus demand for other raw materials, which will become even more acute in the coming years. For example, permanent magnets for electric motors are produced based on rare earth metals. At the moment, 80% of rare earth production still occurs in China, which has a virtual monopoly. Due to the US trade dispute, this can lead to enormous supply bottlenecks in the Western world.
Thus, as early as 2017, former President Trump attempted to free the US from dependence on China for rare earth metals by issuing an Executive Order. That Executive Order was followed in early October 2018 by a presidential declaration declaring a national mining emergency to establish a US domestic rare earth metals stockpile for military needs.
The US cooperates with Canada
The next steps and closer cooperation in the production of electric cars is now to take place between the neighboring countries of Canada and the United States. Canadian leader Trudeau stressed that Canada and the United States can work more closely together on supplies of critical minerals needed to make batteries for cars and other clean technologies. Canada has many of the rare earth metals needed for car batteries and solar panels, he said.
General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Stellantis NV already announced plans to produce electric vehicles in Canada. "There are a lot of really great opportunities to develop partnerships and manufacturing facilities not just for the North American market, but for the whole world," Trudeau added.
Like winning the lottery
Defense Metals CEO Craig Taylor is exceptionally pleased with the Canadian and US governments' current integration plans for electric vehicles and critical commodities such as rare earth metals. Not surprisingly, his Company is one of the primary beneficiaries of the envisioned cooperation. Thus, the Company leader made the following comments: "As we continue to develop the 1,708-hectare Wicheeda rare earth deposit near Prince George in British Columbia, we are actively working with government agencies and affiliated government groups. We expect 2021 to be a very busy year for our Company."
The stock chart shows that Defense Metals is on the right track. The share price has almost tripled since last year, from EUR 0.10 to now EUR 0.27. The stock market value is currently EUR 13.50 million. Should Canada become the new center of rare earth metals in the western world, Defense Metals should profit from this. The share is traded not only on the home stock exchange in Toronto but also in Germany.
Chinese automaker NIO is currently valued at USD 90 billion on the stock market, making it more valuable than Daimler and BMW. The share price has increased fifteenfold within a year. Unlike its peer group, NIO uses a battery swap system, which is very complex and expensive to develop and manufacture. The figures for the fourth quarter and the full year 2020 are now eagerly awaited. In advance, the US investment bank Morgan Stanley has already commented positively on the Chinese electric car producer and significantly increased the price target for the share. JP Morgan is also bullish on the Chinese automaker. The consensus estimates for the fourth quarter of 2020 are for Company revenue of just under USD 991 million and earnings per share of negative USD 0.08. For full-year 2020, analysts expect Company revenue of USD 2.48 billion and earnings per share of negative USD 0.59.
Growth slows down
Still strong numbers with slowing momentum is how the January sales figures for electric car maker Geely can be summarized. A total of 156,326 vehicles were sold in the first month of the year. This figure represents an increase of 40% compared to the same period last year. Compared to December 2020, however, sales grew by only about 1%. Among the total number of cars delivered by Geely Automobile in January 2021, 4,289 were New Energy and Electrified Vehicles, representing a considerable downturn. Geely sold 7,171 units in this division in the previous month. Of the total vehicles sold in the month, there were 60,823 sedans, 93,827 SUVs and 1,676 multi-purpose cars.