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

The EV Revolution – the West “adopts” the Diktat

A key problem of the decision to electrify the powertrains of personal and road-freight vehicles in most industrialized countries is that it was purely politically, not market, driven outside of China (and I think Korea and perhaps even Japan). The “scientific model” making bureaucrats in support of the lowest common denominator social justice, re-election, and … Continue reading The EV Revolution – the West “adopts” the Diktat

The Global Supply of Critical Metals….. with Chinese Characteristics

We wouldn’t expect a charity to fund a mine, much less a comprehensive national mining program focused on creating national self-sufficiency in critical metals and minerals, one, as an example, that would make a modern industrial country self-sufficient, and in that way “secure,” in critical technology metals. The scale of the challenge is something that … Continue reading The Global Supply of Critical Metals….. with Chinese Characteristics

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

Sobering Thoughts on Battery Metals

I want to introduce a new biweekly column in which I am going to review and criticize particular recent and general contemporary analysis of the supply and demand of those natural resources that are accessible practically and economically for mankind’s use now and in the near term. My view of the necessity for particular natural … Continue reading Sobering Thoughts on Battery Metals

Argus Metals Week – Cobalt Meets Its Waterloo?

The Great & the Good of the London commodities trading community came together in the last week of February to mull upon the prospects of specialty metals, in particular the battery metals. Braving the snow (nothing by New York or Toronto standards) they attempted to fathom fact from fiction as it pertained to metals where … Continue reading Argus Metals Week – Cobalt Meets Its Waterloo?

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