The Battery Race in the US and How Lithium Plays a Leading Role  

Point Roberts, Washington, UNITED STATES

POINT ROBERTS, Wash. and DELTA, British Columbia, Feb. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --, one of the first global investor news sources covering renewable energy with its content, looks at the race for the best batteries as sustainability becomes a mandate and how lithium will play a leading role.   

On Monday, February 4th, investors were charged up as Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:MXWL), a developer and manufacturer of energy solutions announced it has entered into an agreement to be acquired at $4.75 per share by electric car company, Tesla, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSLA). The stock traded over 18 Million shares and was up over 49% for the day.

"We are very excited with today's announcement that Tesla has agreed to acquire Maxwell. Tesla is a well-respected and world-class innovator that shares a common goal of building a more sustainable future," said Dr. Franz Fink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxwell. "We believe this transaction is in the best interests of Maxwell stockholders and offers investors the opportunity to participate in Tesla's mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy."

Paramount to the future of the evolution of the auto industry is lithium. According to a report from Edinburgh Partners, “demand is expected to increase by a factor of 3-4 times by 2025 with the vast majority of the growth driven by pure Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV).”

Standard Lithium (TSXV:SLL) (OTCQB:STLHF) is well positioned as a strategic US source of battery quality lithium materials and is currently focused on the immediate development of its flagship, 180,000 acre Smackover Lithium project located in southern Arkansas.

Standard Lithium just reported a combined Arkansas lithium brine resource of 3,888,000 tonnes LCE. Robert Mintak, CEO said, “This combined project in Southern Arkansas positions us as the largest lithium brine resource in the US; a significantly expanding market that currently relies on imports of foreign lithium.”

The Company announced January 9th that it produced its first quantity of battery quality (>99.56% purity) lithium carbonate due to its AI-powered continuous crystallization technology.  Its breakthrough rapid lithium extraction process reduces the recovery time of extracting lithium from brine from the current industry method that takes years, to as little as a few hours.

Standard Lithium’s recovery time may give them an edge on even some of the leaders, like Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), based in Charlotte, NC. Albemarle says in its presentation, “Obtaining capabilities to bring lithium from mine to market takes time.”

How important is lithium to the US economy?  Just recently, Energy Secretary Rick Perry launched a recycling initiative to recover the critical elements in lithium-ion batteries, calling it "a matter of national security."

"We aim to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of this material by encouraging entrepreneurs to capture up to 90% of America's lithium-based battery technology," Perry said.

They also note, ”The lithium industry is still maturing from a technical and commercial perspective and does not behave like a commodity industry.”

Examples of advanced lithium materials from Albemarle include: patented lithium-based materials to enable long cycle life; Li2S – a key ingredient in next frontier solid separators; and lithium metal foils for next frontier anodes.

Albemarle says it is their goal to provide material to this industry to support and increase the success of lithium-ion technology, not only in mobile communication and power tool (PWT) applications, but also in electric mobility.

Looking to the future, Albemarle also states, “the next generation of lithium batteries is on the horizon already.”

And the next generation of investors is betting on this sustainable technology. According to TD Ameritrade, looking at trading purchases over the last few months, Millennials bought Tesla (Nasdaq:TSLA), while the total population did not.

So the race is on; Simon Moores of Benchmark Minerals tweeted, “We are in the midst of a global battery arms race in which the US is a bystander. Since my last testimony only 14 months ago we have gone from 17 to 70 lithium ion battery megafactories in the pipeline.”

Companies like Standard Lithium (TSXV: SLL) (OTCQB: STLHF) are ready for the challenge to meet the demands of the future and keep the US in the race.

For investors covering the sector, Investor Ideas has created a directory of cleantech and renewable energy stocks including a lithium stock directory. 


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