Tesla’s Cobalt Blues: Growth Fallacies and Supply Chain Risque Majeure

In its Q2-18 shareholder letter, Tesla predicted that beginning in Q3-18 it will, absent a severe force majeure or recession, achieve sustained quarterly profits with continued rapid growth. In Tesla’s Q2-18 conference call, Elon Musk predicted profits and positive cash-flow for every future quarter, unless there's a recession or force majeure that interrupts Tesla’s supply … Continue reading Tesla’s Cobalt Blues: Growth Fallacies and Supply Chain Risque Majeure

Tesla’s Cobalt Blues; Spin, Fake News or Deception?

“Spin”is a form of propaganda that relies on a biased interpretation of fact to influence opinion. “Fake News” is a more dishonest form of propaganda that relies on a combination of fact and falsehood to influence opinion. “Deception” is an even more dishonest form of propaganda that principally relies on falsehood to influence opinion. Depending … Continue reading Tesla’s Cobalt Blues; Spin, Fake News or Deception?

A Day Will Come When Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Is Practical, But It Is Not This Day

In the US, lead acid batteries have a near perfect recycling record of 99.3% and recycled lead from used batteries satisfies over 80% of domestic demand. Roughly 85% of lithium-ion batteries are discarded because there is no infrastructure, collection, sorting and transportation are challenging and used electronics, including their batteries, frequently end up in China. … Continue reading A Day Will Come When Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Is Practical, But It Is Not This Day

Petersen critiques Tesla’s cobalt, lithium and graphite disclosures for EV batteries

It’s been a fascinating week as one of my readers forwarded copies of a May 12th “Commodities Comment” from Macquarie Wealth Management that focused on China’s recent efforts to shore up its cobalt supply chains and a May 16th report from Morgan Stanley that focused on expected growth in global demand for lithium, graphite, cobalt, … Continue reading Petersen critiques Tesla’s cobalt, lithium and graphite disclosures for EV batteries

Cheap Lithium-ion Batteries for EVs vs. The Cobalt Cliff

Since early March I’ve written five articles that examine cobalt supply and demand issues and explain why I believe the lithium-ion battery industry is facing a raw materials shortage of epic proportion. Today I’ll drill down into market dynamics within the lithium-ion battery industry and explain why I think lithium-ion batteries for EVs will be … Continue reading Cheap Lithium-ion Batteries for EVs vs. The Cobalt Cliff

Lithium-ion Batteries – The Cobalt Cliff Is Upon Us

I had a highly enlightening conversation on Wednesday morning with the staff of Darton Commodities Limited, a U.K.-based metals trading firm that specializes in cobalt products and serves as an intermediary between refined cobalt producers and European cobalt users. A couple days before the call, Darton sent me a copy of their 42 page “2015-2016 … Continue reading Lithium-ion Batteries – The Cobalt Cliff Is Upon Us

Cobalt – A Coffin Nail for Cheap Lithium-ion Batteries

In early March, I learned that only 6% of the world’s cobalt is produced as a primary product while 94% is a by-product of nickel and copper mining. I found the ratios alarming because: Cobalt is an essential raw material for all high-energy lithium-ion batteries; While conservative analysts believe the battery industry’s cobalt requirements will … Continue reading Cobalt – A Coffin Nail for Cheap Lithium-ion Batteries

EV Batteries and the Cobalt Cliff: The biggest “oops” in the history of supply chain management

In early March, I described cobalt supply and demand dynamics as a giga-risk for lithium-ion battery manufacturers. I subsequently took my analysis a step further and suggested that electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers including Tesla (TSLA), General Motors (GM), Nissan (NSANY) and Porsche (POAHY) might soon find themselves coping with the biggest “oops” in the history … Continue reading EV Batteries and the Cobalt Cliff: The biggest “oops” in the history of supply chain management

The Supply and Demand Giga-Risk for Cobalt, Lithium and Graphite in Lithium-ion Batteries

For the last 10 years we’ve been deluged with news stories and investment analyses that extoll the virtues of lithium-ion batteries and speculate on the technology’s potential to change the world’s energy landscape forever. While the occasional curmudgeon questions the availability of enough lithium or flake graphite to satisfy soaring demand from the battery industry, … Continue reading The Supply and Demand Giga-Risk for Cobalt, Lithium and Graphite in Lithium-ion Batteries