Is the EV Revolution Already Dead?
Here's the thing about revolutions... To be effective, they have to be fought by the masses.
Not the rich or upper middle class. Not the bourgeoisie or the nouveau riche, but the working masses.
In the Western world, thanks to capitalism's great uplifting over the last two centuries, those working ranks by and large consist of middle-class citizens.
Today's revolution — at least the one we've been told to expect in the coming decade — is the revolution of energy.
Set to take hold as the world transitions from a fossil fuel-driven economy to an electron-driven one, the most salient example of the energy revolution in action is transportation.
Gas- and diesel-driven vehicles, both in the U.S. and in Europe, are being phased out legislatively with the expectation that middle-class consumers will start taking to the streets in lithium-ion-driven cars, trucks, and buses at some point toward the middle of the next decade.
It's Nothing Complicated... And That's the Problem
Here's the issue: Unfortunately, EVs are just too damned expensive.
And they're not just more expensive, but they're more expensive specifically within the segment where most of the buying power resides — the entry-level EV.
For example, a subcompact Nissan Leaf retails for $27,400, which is about as good a deal as you're going to get on an EV in the U.S.
By contrast, Nissan's own midsize internal combustion engine (ICE) sedan, the Altima, starts at just $24,000. The cheapest Tesla Model Y — which is the most popular EV model on the market today, sets the buyer back more than $65,000.
$65,000, in case the point isn't self-evident, is not a price that you can expect the average American consumer to shell out for a vehicle.
For historical context, look no further than the car that kicked off the previous energy revolution, transitioning the world from animal power to fossil fuels, at the start of the 20th century.
The Ford Model T, which hit the market for the first time in 1908, could be purchased for about $600 by 1913 — that's just under $18,000 in today's dollars.
Too Cheap to Fail
At that price, Ford's own employees could easily afford one of their own, and more than 16 million Model Ts rolled off the assembly lines between 1908 and 1924.
Today, very little exists to rival this level of accessibility, and therefore, the revolution they've been selling us might be more smoke and mirrors than anything else.
The problem, again, is lithium. There is simply no getting around the fact that even the cheapest Tesla there is carries onboard what is essentially a $14,000 gas tank.
A more expensive Model S stores its power in a unit that costs more than $20,000 to replace.
And those costs themselves are almost impossible to control, as the price of lithium mining and refinement sets an impenetrable backstop to what consumers will have to pay.
That is, unfortunately, only one of the fatal flaws with today's lithium-ion batteries.
Is This a Case of the Cure Being Worse Than the Disease?
It's an environmental disaster just to pull the element from the ground, another environmental disaster to refine it, and yet another disaster to dispose of it once it's been used up.
In between, the product you get is dangerous and unstable (a young girl in NYC died this past weekend when a lithium-ion battery set fire to her home), slow to charge, short-lived (lithium batteries only last for several hundred charge/discharge cycles) and woefully inadequate in terms of capacity.
To top it all off, the lion's share of the world's lithium-supply, lithium-exploration, and lithium-battery production lies in the hands of our most dangerous financial rival: the Communist Party of China.
Which makes the entire EV revolution more or less a pipe dream... Unless, of course, a better battery emerges.
Right now, a materials-science company headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, may be in possession of a solution to all of the above problems.
Faster Than Filling Your Tank at the Pump
Using graphene in place of lithium, the batteries this company is already producing have more than twice the capacity, three times the service life, and charge up to 70 times faster.
Just imagine charging your phone to full capacity in 30 seconds, or your car in a minute, and having the charge last for two full days or 1,000 miles of highway driving.
That's the level of improvement we're looking at here, but that's only where the benefits begin.
Graphene batteries can be recycled with almost zero carbon footprint and can be produced without any mining at all.
The graphene itself, thanks to a breakthrough made by this same Australian company, now allows for cheap, environmentally neutral production using nothing more than natural gas and electricity as raw materials.
And it's that specific advantage that allows for a drop in cost that could do something lithium never could: drop the price of EVs to a level the average consumer will find attractive.
Right now, this company is already building and testing these batteries, with commercial partners doing their own independent evaluations.
Today, Consumer Tech... Tomorrow, the EV Market
The expectation is that mass commercialization will come next — perhaps in as little as just a few years.
This comes not a second too soon, as global demand for rechargeable batteries is set to triple by 2030.
The company spearheading the graphene battery revolution is public, but it's not what you'd expect from a firm that holds the patent to a sector-disrupting technology.
Its market capitalization is less than 1% of most major lithium-ion battery-makers — just $250 million, despite being openly available to investors in North America via two public exchanges.
In my career, I haven't come across many inefficiencies in the market quite as dramatic as this one.
We're looking at a company that has $10 billion–$30 billion valuation potential but is trading in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
My readers have already banked big-time on this stock because, unbelievable as it sounds, it used to be much, much smaller.
This is a young company still in the development stages for its most important product line, and the story is still barely known to the world of retail investment.
Nevertheless, the last year has brought many important milestones, and things are looking like they're reaching critical mass right now.
Want to learn more? I recently published an informational video on graphene batteries and the company that will bring them to you in the coming years.
Access is free and instant. Enter here.
Fortune favors the bold, Alex Koyfman 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 Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.
Fortune favors the bold,
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 Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.
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