15 Years Ago, Lithium-Ion Changed the World — Now It's Happening Again

Written By Alex Koyfman

Posted September 14, 2023

Dear Reader,

The greatest turning point in the history of the electric vehicle came in 2008, when Elon Musk put the world’s first lithium-ion-driven EV on the market with Tesla’s first Roadster.

Tesla Roadster

Compared with the lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries of the early 2000s, Li-ion charged faster and held more charge — enough, in fact to turn what was then largely an automotive novelty into a viable source of transportation. 

Here are some basic raw numbers just to give you an idea… 

Before the Teslas of the world came to be, one of the most recognizable EV icons was the GM EV1, produced between 1996 and 1999. 

GM EV1

With a lead-acid battery, its EPA-rated range (revised in 2019) was just 55 miles. 

The "advanced" nickel-metal hydride battery pack doubled this to 105 miles. 

Time to bring a dead battery back up to capacity: a brisk three hours. 

Don't Remember Lead-Acid and Nickel-Metal Hydride? You're Not Alone

Now, compare that with today’s lithium-ion battery packs, and you start to see what a big difference they can make. 

The EVs of today boast ranges between 300 and 500 miles, with 0%–80% charge times now averaging under an hour when using Level 3 charging stations. 

At home, using a Level 2 charger, an EV owner can do the same thing in between four and 10 hours. 

In other words, if you plug in every day and can wait overnight, your car will always have enough juice to drive for between six and 10 hours. 

Compared with what came before, it’s day and night. 

A combination more potent than Amy Winehouse and boxed Chablis, the game-changing effects of the Li-ion battery are reflected today in the exploding popularity of EVs. 

EV chart

Consumers love them. Automakers are ditching their ICE lines and fully committing to an electron-driven future. 

But the thing with progress is it doesn’t take breaks. 

Dreadnoughting the Dreadnought: Is This Li-Ion's Successor?

For as long as lithium-ion batteries have been driving EVs, the drawbacks have also been pushing development of the next iteration. 

They may be four times faster-charging than the lead-acid and nickel batteries of yesterday and may carry four times the charge, but that’s still a 40-minute wait, and for those looking to go on a road trip or those condemned to navigating the daily gridlock of cities like LA, New York, or Washington, D.C., it may not be enough.

And then of course there are the safety issues. 

Not a day goes by that you can’t find headlines in the media about a major Li-ion sparked fire. 

This is an inherent weakness of the design and, unfortunately, an unavoidable fact of life until a major redesign does to Li-ion what Li-ion did to lead acid and nickel. 

Many candidates have come and gone over the years, but right now, perhaps the most dramatic of them all is quickly making its way into commercial production. 

The new cathodes are not lithium-based at all but rather graphene-based. 

Graphene, to the unaware, is the 21st century’s most advanced mass-produced material. 

Just 12 years ago, it was little more than a Nobel Prize-winning science project. 

From the Nobel Prize to the Production Line

Today, after advancements in production methodology have dropped production cost by orders of magnitude, this molecule-thick nanostructure has the potential to replace natural elements in a laundry list of products ranging from medical devices to clothing. 

When applied to battery cathodes, the results are nothing short of miraculous. 

Remember the 500-mile range of the Li-ion battery?

That’s the current record, held by the Lucid Air sedan. 

lucid

With graphene, that same Lucid will be able to achieve between 1,000 and 1,500 miles — enough for the typical driver to run their car for a month. 

In terms of longevity, Li-ion batteries usually last around 400 charge/discharge cycles before exhibiting noticeable capacity loss. 

Anybody who’s owned a cellphone for more than two years is well familiar with this phenomenon. 

Graphene batteries will increase this life span by a factor of between two and three.

Couple that with the improvement in capacity, and you’ll be able to run your phone, your laptop, or your car for over a decade before experiencing capacity decline

Want to Capture the Modern Consumer? Market to Their Impatience

But it’s in the third category the one most cited by prospective EV buyers as the No. 1 hurdle to adoption where graphene batteries truly shine… 

Charge delay.

Twenty years ago, it took three hours to bring your car battery from 0% to 80%. 

Today, that number is down to around 40 minutes. 

With graphene, charge delay will be down to less than a minute which means for the first time ever, an EV user will be able to fill their vehicle to capacity before their ICE counterpart can pump a tank full of gasoline. 

If that sounds revolutionary to you, that’s because it is just as Li-ion itself was a decade and half ago. 

Today, this technology remains a largely unknown novelty, but all of that is about to change. 

The world’s most advanced graphene battery company, which is based out of Brisbane, Australia, just released an update earlier this week stating that it intends to bring its pouch-cell batteries to market en masse by the first half of 2025. 

Of course, these aren’t the massive arrays that power road vehicles, but they are almost universal in consumer tech applications, making this product class the perfect environment to showcase what these batteries can do. 

It's the very same path Li-ion itself took starting 30 years ago, when it first appeared in products like this:

discman

Want to Leverage Maximum Profit? Exclude the Mixed-Play Approaches Right Now

The company working on this is small. In fact, I doubt you’ve ever heard of it because graphene isn’t just one division of its business. 

It IS the business. 

Nevertheless, the benefits this family of products promises the world of consumer goods is just as revolutionary as the mighty Li-ion battery was decades ago. 

The summertime trading lull has taken a bite out of this company’s market capitalization. 

In fact, it’s trading at a valuation of under $100 million for the first time in years despite the fact that it released one of the most pivotal pieces of news in company history just two days ago. 

I’ve been following this company for months now and believe it could be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the shift to electron power. 

It operates in a field characterized by firms that are tens and even hundreds of times its size, yet it has the potential and positioning to disrupt them all. 

Take a moment to check out my video presentation on the topic

It’s quick, easy to digest, entertaining, and, most importantly of all, gives you all the tools you need to understand the potential of the technology and the unique company working to bring it to market. 

Access is free and instantaneous. Enter here.

Fortune favors the bold,

alex koyfman Signature

Alex Koyfman

follow basicCheck us out on YouTube!

His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Energy and Capital. To learn more about Alex, click here.

Angel Pub Investor Club Discord - Chat Now

Alex Koyfman Premium

Advanced