Lithium-Ion Cathode Market Will Triple to $58 Billion in 5 Years
The lithium-ion battery, which is destined to power the bulk of the world's road-going vehicle fleet by the middle of the century, has occasionally been referred to as the "successor to fossil fuel" or even the "next gasoline."
Though that may be metaphorically true, the lithium-ion battery itself actually shares a common root with fossil fuel and the fossil fuel industry.
In fact, the technology owes its very existence to one of the biggest oil companies in the world: Exxon.
It was Stanley Whittingham, a young British chemist working at Exxon in the early 1970s, who first proposed the lithium-ion battery.
His early design was destined for failure for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was the cost of one of the essential materials, titanium disulfide, which was selling for about $1,000 a kilogram at the time.
Nevertheless, his experiments, attempts, and the data collected kicked off a chain of events that over the course of the next two decades would completely redefine the commercial battery market and pave the way for a transformative revolution in all branches of the transportation industry.
Today, the lithium-ion market is one of the fastest-growing tech-related industries in the world — and the reason behind it can be boiled down to a single statistic: the single set of numbers that will eventually bleed the fossil fuel-powered vehicle market into a slow, soft, dreamy oblivion.
Fossil Fuel's Doomsday Metric
On average, it costs $485 per year to operate an electric vehicle in the U.S.
That figure for a gasoline-powered vehicle is $1,117.
As oil scarcity and political turmoil slowly drag fuel prices upwards, this disparity will continue to grow.
Beyond the politics, beyond the arguments of style, experience, and even reliability and cost, beyond the near-universal push for cleaner air and smaller carbon footprints, it is this disparity that has already dealt the deciding blow.
Though it's still far off, the eventual dominance of the electric vehicle is as set as the return of Halley's Comet in 2061.
By 2030, there will be 125 million EVs on the roads of the world. By 2050, half of all road-going vehicles will be battery-powered.
And at the core of each will be the Stanley Whittingham's invention: the lithium-ion battery.
The battery itself consists of many layers and components, but by far the most important of them all, in terms of mass and cost production, is the cathode.
It is the development of and improvements to this structure that largely guide the performance of lithium-ion batteries, not just in terms of energy storage and longevity, but in the metric that's most important both to the consumer and the producer: the cost.
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Eight-Fold Growth By 2024
In a market that was $7 billion globally last year and is expected to exceed $58 billion by the year 2024, whoever manages to innovate on cost while keeping performance stats competitive will end up getting a large piece of a rapidly ballooning pie.
Which means investors who target specifically focused plays within this sector will do well, without a doubt.
But those who zero in on the very razor's edge of research and innovation in this space stand to make truly life-changing fortunes in the next four to five years.
Earlier this morning, one such company, a small Canadian firm, released news that it had been awarded a crucial patent in the development of one of the world's most advanced cathodes.
The patent governs the structure of the cathode itself and joins already secured patents covering the manufacture of these cathodes to complete the company's ownership interest in the technology.
So what makes it so special? What sets it apart from the rest of this rapidly growing market?
It Can Be Summed Up in One Word: Economy
This company's proprietary process and materials substantially lower cost and time of production, as well as reduce waste.
The process begins with lower-grade raw materials, and a complete production cycle takes less than a day, as opposed to four or five, as up to 75% of the usual steps are eliminated.
There is less handling, lower-cost capital equipment, no waste solvents, 90–95% yield, many fewer failure points, and higher levels of safety and flexibility.
Even in a stable market, this sort of advantage over the competition would yield huge rewards in market share, but in a market with expected eight-fold growth in the next five years, the results could be staggering.
As I mentioned earlier, this company is small, so the risk is there, but it's also got joint-development deals with two major partners, including a $40 billion European multinational.
Which means the industry support is also present.
I recently released a report on this company that goes over all the details, from the technology to the leadership.
I urge you to take advantage. Recent market instability has share prices well into bargain territory, but who knows how long that will last.
By the time you read this, it could already be over.
Get the full story here now, before news of this patent makes its rounds.
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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