Are These Batteries From Area 51?

Alex Koyfman

Posted August 1, 2023

Every week I like to Google "lithium fires" and scan the headlines. 

Call it a morbid preoccupation of mine, but it seems to come with the territory when you’re writing about lithium-ion batteries every week. 

This week it’s no different… a truck fire and some house fires, both from over the weekend. 

Scroll down the first page a bit, though, and you come to this headline:

google search

Click the link and you see this:

Industry Groups, New York Firefighters Call for Stronger Rules on Lithium-ion Battery Safety

It’s been coming for a long time, and now it’s finally here. 

The bull market for lithium-ion battery regulation. 

It was inevitable and, unfortunately, necessary, because with every new invention, every new technological revolution, there come people who are going to screw it all up for the rest of us. 

In this specific situation, the primary culprits are the unscrupulous battery refurbishers of North America’s secondary lithium battery market — working primarily in big cities where e-bikes roam the sidewalks by the thousands. 

E-bikes Aren't Going Anywhere

In NYC, where a vast majority of the city’s 65,000 delivery people rely on e-bikes or scooters, the problem has proven to be especially noticeable. 

In response, Mayor Eric Adams signed five new bills into law regulating the sale, lease, and rental of e-bike and electric scooter batteries, as well as the vehicles themselves. 

If history proves to be any sort of predictor of the future, more regulations will follow as the proliferation of lithium-ion batteries continues. 

Because as saturated as you may think the lithium-ion battery market is right now, this is only the beginning of what’s projected to be one of the biggest run-ups of modern industrial history. 

google search

Annual global lithium-ion battery revenue is going to pass the quarter-trillion-dollar milestone by the end of this decade, with the EV segment accounting for by far the biggest portion of the growth.

All of this is simply impossible without a slew of new laws regulating all aspects of the lithium-ion industry

Why Do Lithium Batteries Burn?

The reason behind all these fires and the laws drafted in response goes right back to the fundamental design of the lithium battery.

The liquid component of the traditional lithium-ion battery, the electrolyte, is packed with organic solvents and oxygen. 

lithium battery

The battery itself produces heat whenever it’s charged and discharged. 

Which means every Li-ion battery is basically an incendiary device and heat source combined into one conveniently portable package. 

The older these batteries get, the less efficiently they perform, the more resistance they produce, and the hotter they get.

Until one day, the oxygen finally bubbles out of the solution and flashes over. 

The race is on to find a way to build batteries that solve this potentially deadly design flaw, but one company has come out ahead in the race. 

Not only are its new batteries orders of magnitude safer, with spontaneous combustion all but an impossibility, but performance is radically enhanced as well. 

From Dead to Fully Charged in One Minute or Less

For a typical EV, a battery pack composed of these next-generation cells could operate for over 1,000 miles between charges and last for up to 3 times the number of charge cycles as today’s lithium batteries. 

That could add up to a lifetime range of over 1.5 million miles. 

But best of all is the charge time. 

In this area, the improvement is nothing short of world-altering, as these new batteries will absorb charge at up to 70x the speed, with a 20%–80% charge taking less than a minute.

That’s less time than you spend at the pump today and would give you enough range to drive for up to a month. 

All of this in a battery that’s comparable in price to the most common lithium-ion batteries on the market today. 

It’s easily enough to completely disrupt the rapidly expanding rechargeable battery market, putting Li-ion into the history books once and for all. 

Is the Lithium-Ion Tomorrow's Betamax?

Because what’s the alternative? Ten lithium fires per day in New York City?

Or maybe 100? 

All of this is quite possible, I assure you, with or without new regulations. 

The company that’s developing this new battery isn’t one you’ve heard of before, but it is publicly trading. 

With a market capitalization that puts right on the boundary separating small caps and microcaps, it’s less than 1/1,000th the size of some of today’s biggest battery-makers.

And yet this single line of products — the first batches of which are already rolling off the assembly lines — could easily put any of those big brand names out of business. 

Sounds interesting, right? Well, I’m leaving out the best parts. 

Here’s a hint: The material at the heart of these batteries is so advanced that it could well have come out of Area 51. 

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Fortune favors the bold,

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Alex Koyfman

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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.

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