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Charging Ahead with EV Growth Beyond Cars; Lithium-ion Batteries will Continue to Dominate

POINT ROBERTS, Wash. and DELTA, B.C., Feb. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Investorideas.com, a global investor news source covering lithium and cleantech stocks issues a snapshot looking at how the EV market is on an exponential growth curve, fuelled by both policy and consumer demand.

“China is charging full speed ahead into electric vehicles, on track to sell over 2 million electric vehicles this year, from 1.1 million in 2018,” says Cleantechnia.

IDTechEX says the demand for EV trucks and buses has only just started, especially in China. Lithium-ion batteries will continue to dominate according to the report. “In a series of waves, the storage demand is powering upwards to over $200 billion in 2029 with buses and delivery vans already well into electrification.”

When discussing EV’s and lithium demand, one company “driving” the conversation is Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tesla has been on an upward push the last two years; for the three months ended September 30th, 2018 vs September 30th, 2017 Tesla reported revenue of $6.8MM vs $2.9MM, up 128.65%, with the estimated EPS forecast for the next fiscal year being $6.13 and is expected to report on January 29th, 2020.

The success of Tesla has allowed lithium extractors and producers to ride the same wave of success, but will there be enough lithium fast enough to meet market demands, and if so which company will take the lead?

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) reported very positive results just last week for Q4 and the 2018 financial year. Fourth quarter net sales were $921.7 million, an increase of 7% over the prior year; earnings were $129.6 million, or $1.21 per diluted share, an increase of 162% over the prior year.

"2018 was a successful year for Albemarle on many fronts. Excluding divested businesses, we delivered full year, total company adjusted EBITDA growth of 17%, adjusted diluted EPS growth of 23% and we finished the year strong as all of our reportable segments delivered growth in the fourth quarter. In addition, we returned significant value to shareholders through increased dividends of $145 million and $500 million in share repurchases, while continuing significant growth investment in our Lithium platform," said Luke Kissam, Albemarle's CEO. "Lithium contributed just over 50% of our adjusted EBITDA, driven by 10% volume growth and 9% pricing compared to 2017."

Less than 1.5 miles from Albemarle’s Silver Peak Project, Enertopia Corporation (OTCQB: ENRT) (CSE: TOP) recently announced an update on their synthetic solution testing.

Since Fall 2018, Enertopia has been running tests to recover lithium in the most cost-effective manner from synthetic brine solutions produced by leaching surface, lithium bearing claystones.  To date, 32 solution tests have been run to create a database that forms the building block for upcoming solution tests.

Their 3rd phase of solution testing is expected to be in full swing by early March 2019 and will use drill core material from the diamond drill holes from their recently completed drilling program and will consist of 49 different sample intervals covering 397 feet of core.

Pre-pH adjustments have demonstrated positive outcomes as contaminant minerals are greatly reduced allowing for a cleaner synthetic lithium brine to be processed using off the shelf technologies and variants developed by Entertopia. 

The company's technical advisors believe the positive testing to date may warrant patent protection and thus the Company is keeping all internal data strictly confidential at this time. The Company has signed several NDA’s with industry partners as it works to reaching its goal of a low capex solution to battery grade lithium production.

“With our positive drill program completed, our focus and energy can turn to our solution testing of the drilled lithium horizons. We continue to strive for a low-cost mining and processing solution to unlock the potential value of the Lithium enriched claystones,” stated CEO, Robert McAllister.

Big and small investors are taking note of the traction the lithium market is gaining, including Warren Buffet and Berkshire  Hathaway who recently disclosed a 0.7% stake on February 14th into Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) . And why?  It fits into his EV strategy; one he started years ago with BYD, that has grown to become China’s biggest sellers of EV’s.  

Suncor just announced that Petro-Canada, a Suncor business, is building a network of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations across the country. “With more than 1,800 retail and wholesale locations across the country we have the network in place to build Canada’s first electric highway, providing coast-to-coast EV charging for our customers. We’re also investing in the fastest charging EV technology available today, which will be able to easily upgrade as technology advances.”   

With more positive financial results and improved extraction technology like Enertopia is working on, EV’s and lithium are finally on point to replace the energy technology of the past; oil and gas.

Investor Ideas directory of lithium stocks:  mining stocks directory and cleantech stock directories, relating to batteries. 

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