Are Batteries the Trade War China’s Already Won?

The global battery market to power EVs and consumer electronics and to store renewable energy on power grids will be worth about $116 billion a year by 2030, BloombergNEF forecasts, up from around $28 billion now. The U.S. is on course to capture only a small piece of that.

American and German automakers dominated the 20th century, pioneering and continually improving the internal-combustion engine. Japan and China, which industrialized later, were left to play catch-up. But now Asia—led by China and South Korea—leads the way in developing cheap, powerful technology for the EV era.

U.S. industries will suffer if rising battery demand is met only by foreign companies, experts say, and job losses in the already shrinking auto sector will be even greater if cell production is concentrated overseas.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/are-batteries-the-trade-war-chinas-already-won/2020/09/16/d916d3f2-f7fb-11ea-85f7-5941188a98cd_story.html

#Nasa is looking for private companies to help mine the #moon

NASA has announced it is looking for private companies to go to the moon and collect dust and rocks from the surface and bring them back to Earth.

https://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/strategies/SP509-3-Materials.pdf

Recommendations on page – 151

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/sep/11/nasa-moon-mining-private-companies

#NYTimes: #Indonesia Regulator Eases Lending Rules for Electric Vehicles

Indonesia is keen to create a full nickel supply chain industry, starting from mining the ore, extract nickel chemicals used in EV batteries, down to building EVs at home.

Indonesia this year stopped exports of unprocessed nickel ore to ensure its nickel supply will be processed domestically, including for the battery chemical plants that are currently under constructions.

Indonesia sets an ambitious target on the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) with 2.1 million e-motorcycles and 2,200 e-cars expected to take the road by 2025. However, the availability of charging infrastructure and expensive price of EV remain to be the main challenges for the EV adoption.

The Indonesian government put high hopes on e-motorcycles adoption, while the development of e-cars is directed at certain areas, such as tourist areas, industries, and offices. The government also aimed the electric vehicles to be used as public transportation and operational vehicles.

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/09/04/world/asia/04reuters-indonesia-electric.html

Striving for green recovery, #EU adds #lithium to critical materials list

BRUSSELS, Sept 3 (Reuters) – The European Commission added battery element lithium to its
critical raw materials list on Thursday and set out a plan to guarantee their supply to support a green
recovery.


The European Union needs to diversify its sources of materials, ranging from silicon to rare earths,
the Commission said, an issue highlighted after global supply chains were disrupted when the
COVID-19 pandemic struck.


The EU executive, which first drew up a list of critical raw materials in 2011 in response to
booming commodity prices, said it had added lithium, aluminium ore bauxite, titanium – used in
aerospace and for orthopaedic implants, and strontium.

https://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFL8N2G01AY

#Reuters: #Canada’s Midland in #nickel exploration funding deal with #BHP

Midland Exploration Inc said on Monday it had struck a funding deal with a subsidiary of BHP Group Plc for nickel exploration in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The company’s partnership with Rio Algom Ltd to explore nickel in Nunavik comes as demand for the metal surges from use in automotive batteries to power electric cars.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-midland-bhp-grp/canadas-midland-in-nickel-exploration-funding-deal-with-bhp-idUSKBN25K1L7

High capital requirement poses challenge for #Indonesia’s battery industry: Expert

As the world’s largest producer of nickel, Indonesia has been eyeing a more strategic position in the global supply chain for the development of lithium batteries and eventually, electric cars.

he government announced last year the start of development of an approximately $3.2 billion car battery factory in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, backed by Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), among others.

Battery-maker PT International Chemical Industry, widely known for its ABC battery product, has also committed to pouring Rp 207.5 billion ($14 million) worth of investment to build lithium ion battery production facilities, commercial production of which is to commence by 2021, according to the Industry Ministry.

The company aims to produce 25 million lithium ion cell batteries per year, equivalent to 256 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity.

Despite the challenges, Nizam said Indonesia had a huge potential for EV battery demand in the future due to its population size, the growth of the global EV industry and the government’s support for low-emission vehicles.

According to his calculation, if 10 percent of scooters and motorcycles in Indonesia were converted into electric scooters, the demand for electric power through batteries would reach 15 gigawatts, adding that electric scooters could become the primary choice for short-haul vehicles in the future.

“Electric motorcycles and battery producers should aim to reach a range of 100 kilometers per charge for the motorcycle to reach its economic factor,” he said.

Read more at: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/08/24/high-capital-requirement-poses-challenge-for-indonesias-battery-industry-expert.html

EV Metal Index surges 64% as #Europe tops #China

Europe has now overtaken China – not long ago responsible for every other electric car sold worldwide – as the globe’s largest EV market. 

Recovery accelerates

The MINING.COM EV Metal Index, which tracks the value of battery metals in newly sold passenger EVs around the world surged 64% in June, after dropping to its lowest level since January 2018 in April.

The jump in raw material deployed in June lifted the value of battery raw materials tracked by the index in newly-sold EVs to $184 million for the month. 

At $794 million year-to-date, the index is still more than 25% below 2019 levels although, as testament to the youth of the electric vehicle market, is almost double the value of the same period in 2017.

LFP gains

European carmakers favour higher energy density, longer-range NCM (nickel-cobalt-manganese) cathodes, which together with Tesla’s NCA (nickel-cobalt-aluminum) account for the vast majority of batteries in passenger EVs.

The continued adoption of nickel-rich cathode chemistries like NCM811 (which Tesla also uses in China for higher range models instead of NCA) also boosted raw material values per vehicle with the first half 2020 nickel sub-index surpassing the full year 2017 total.

The battery mix is likely to change this year, with LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) units gaining market share, not least because Tesla has opted for this technology for its entry level Chinese Model 3s where range is less of a concern for motorists. 

The proportion of NEVs sold in China installed with LFP batteries increased to just over 16% from January through July, an increase of 14% compared to the same period in 2019.

LFP batteries are significantly cheaper than NCM, but not likely to catch on outside China for light-duty vehicles, meaning market share growth should not come at the expense of cobalt, nickel and manganese demand.

When including the stationary energy storage market, LFP is likely to grow its share more rapidly with estimates of as high as 30% of the battery market by 2030, from 10% currently. 

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/mining-com-ev-metal-index-surges-64-as-europe-tops-china/

#NYTimes: European Battery Makers Power Up for a Green Recovery

european_pipeline_of_large-scale_battery_cells_manufacturing_projects-01

August 13 (Reuters) – European battery makers are gearing up to take advantage of massive “green” stimulus packages unveiled since the coronavirus pandemic though many acknowledge it will be tough to match the Asian giants that dominate the mainstream market.

While Sweden’s Northvolt, and more recently France’s Verkor, are making a play for large-scale production, other European companies are focusing on niche markets and new technologies rather than taking on Chinese and South Korean firms with mass production of batteries destined for electric vehicles (EVs).

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08/13/business/13reuters-climate-change-eu-batteries-insight.html

Researchers develop a graphene oxide-based rapid test to detect infections

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Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM have joined forces with partners in industry and healthcare to develop a handy graphene oxide-based sensor platform to detect acute infections such as sepsis or the antibodies against the coronavirus within minutes.

The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of detecting infections quickly and accurately to prevent further spread. Today, symptoms provide the clues that help diagnose viral or bacterial infections. However, many infections have similar symptoms, so these signs can easily be misread and the disease misdiagnosed. Blood tests provide certainty, but laboratories only carry these out when prescribed by the family physician. By the time the results arrive from the lab, doctors have often prescribed an antibiotic that may well be unnecessary.

Just one drop of blood for a diagnosis

Researchers at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin have been working on the project Graph-POC since April 2018 on a graphene oxide-based sensor platform to rise to precisely these challenges in diagnosing infections. A single drop of blood or saliva is all it takes to perform an accurate analysis. Just a few minutes after the drop is applied to the sensor’s surface, electrical signals convey the test result to the family doctor’s office. This rapid test provides certainty within just 15 minutes to replace the protracted blood work in the lab. It takes the error and guesswork out of diagnosis so the physician can prescribe the appropriate treatment or suitable antibiotics.

The test may also be set up to detect antibodies that are present after a patient has recovered from an infection. Fraunhofer IZM researchers are now focusing on this application to detect earlier infections with the COVID-19 virus, which can help with efforts to trace how the infection has spread. The human body forms molecules or proteins called biomarkers in response to an infection. Capture molecules placed on the surface of the graphene-based sensor to detect these biomarkers. Differential measurements of biomarkers’ concentration determine if an infection is present.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2020-08-graphene-oxide-based-rapid-infections.html

 

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