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

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