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September 1, 2022

Top tweets: EV battery shortages – and more

Mining Technology lists five of the top tweets on battery minerals in Q2 2022 based on data from GlobalData’s Mining Influencer Platform.

The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 106 battery minerals experts tracked by GlobalData’s Mining Influencer platform during the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

1. Simon Moores’s tweet on EV battery shortages

Simon Moores, a lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle (EV) specialist, shared an article on the capacity of EV batteries not being equal to quality supply, restating that the imminent EV battery shortage is likely to make the existing semiconductor shortage overturning the auto industry appear like a small appetizer. RJ Scaringe, the CEO of the automaker Rivian further added that much of the battery supply chain was not built, thereby challenging an industry aiming to sell tens of millions of EVs in the years ahead. As a result, car manufacturers are beginning to preserve the limited supply of raw materials that are key for battery production, such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel, the article detailed. Additionally, many car companies are also building their own battery plants to bring more battery-powered models to the market.

Mr. Scaringe further summarised the scenario as all of the world’s cell production combined representing under 10% of what is actually needed in the next ten years. He believes that 90-95% of the supply chain does not exist.

Username: Simon Moores

Twitter handle: @sdmoores

Likes: 124

Retweets: 41

2. Joe Lowry’s tweet on Lithium Americas getting the Thacker Pass lithium project online

Joe Lowry, president of Global Lithium, a lithium advisory services provider, tweeted on the mining company Lithium Americas submitting a formal application the US Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) to provide funds for its fully owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM Loan Program). The loan programme aims to provide financing to US plants for the production of advanced components that qualify to be used in those vehicles.

According to Jonathan Evans, the Thacker Pass lithium project is one of the most important opportunities to build a domestic lithium supply chain to enable the EV manufacturing in the country, the article highlighted. Lithium Americas is focused on advancing lithium projects in the US and Argentina to production, the article further noted. The Thacker Pass in the US has obtained its Record of Decision and is expected to move towards construction.

Username: Joe Lowry

Twitter handle: @globallithium

Likes: 90

Retweets: 14

3. Howard Klein’s tweet on EV battery constraints

Howard Klein, founder and partner at the research and capital markets advisory firm RK Equity, tweeted on nickel and lithium flagged as EV battery limiting factors but there appeared to be big US and Canada opportunities for securing sustainable supply chain. A video with top Tesla influencers detailed that the biggest EV battery making constraint was the scrambling for raw materials. In addition, the automotive company appeared to be best positioned currently in terms of battery minerals materials but it was likely not to share it with others. As a result, battery cells would not be available for any products eventually. Therefore, battery supply was more critical although cost played an important role too, as batteries are needed for EVs, the discussion evaluated.

The influencers claimed that nickel is widely available in North America, and it does not have to be imported. They also added that there is a tonne of lithium in the US that is underutilised, as the country purchases it from other nations that needs to be curbed. The video further highlighted that the recent invoking of the Defence Production Act by the US administration will offer funding for domestic mining, but it does not necessarily accelerate permitting which is needed.

Username: Howard Klein

Twitter handle: @LithiumIonBull

Likes: 82

Retweets: 13

4. Euan McTurk’s tweet on UK’s EV and battery companies taking on Toyota’s workforce

Euan McTurk, an EV battery electrochemist, tweeted on companies manufacturing EVs and batteries in the UK taking on Toyota’s workforce after the company warned Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, that it will stop its UK manufacturing over net zero plans. The automotive manufacturer stated that it would stop production after 30 years, if the government did not alter its green policies that mandated a rapid move to pure EVs. The threat is likely to impact almost 3,000 jobs at the factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, and at the engine plant at Deeside in North Wales, as the Department for Transport (DfT) looks to impose the shift of new cars and vans to zero emission models by 2024.

UK companies, as a result, would have to meet the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) threshold, failing which would require them to pay a penalty or purchase credits from rivals, such as Tesla that has exceeded the target. Toyota has claimed that it is ready to sell all of its vehicles with zero emissions by 2035 in the UK and western Europe.

Username: Euan McTurk

Twitter handle: @106Euan

Likes: 78

Retweets: 4

5. Trent Mell’s tweet on Canada’s discussions with EV supply chain companies

Trent Mell, CEO of the mining company Electra Battery Materials Corporation (formerly First Cobalt), shared an article on Canada involved in active discussions with EV supply chain companies, as the government aims to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and play a key role in the transition to greener vehicles. Francois-Philippe Champagne, the Industry Minister stated that he has spoken to representatives of the German motor vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen, and has recently engaged in discussions with executives from Japan, the US, and Korea.

Canada is advising critical mineral producers and processors to increase production, the article further detailed. The country set up a multi-billion-dollar fund in 2020 to invest in EV projects, and also promised $3bn over an eight-year period to help boost the production and processing of important minerals used for EVs. Both Canada and the US are aiming at selling all their emission-free passenger vehicles by 2035, the article noted. Earlier in March, automotive manufacturing corporation Stellantis stated that it would enter into an EV battery joint venture with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution in Windsor city in Ontario, across the Detroit river, which Champagne termed as the watershed moment.

Username: Trent Mell

Twitter handle: @TrentMell

Likes: 63

Retweets: 16

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