the oregon group logo

Investment Insights. Stay Ahead.

The Electric Vehicle Thematic

“Renault-Nissan agrees deal to make electric cars in China” 

“Honda is firing back at Tesla and other automakers by rolling out 2 electric cars by 2018” 

“How manufacturers are gearing up to seize the opportunity in electric vehicle space”  

The headlines above are just a few of those published in the last couple of days. Each week brings more announcements by automakers the world over, concerning their EV (electric vehicle) progress.

Not that the news is all being generated by automakers. Governments – both regional and national – have also been crystal clear about their determination to see EV’s enter the mainstream and eventually replace the combustion-powered cars.

Just last month, the U.K., France and the Netherlands, announced plans to ban diesel engines by 2040. Despite initial denials, the EU is said to be considering a California-style mandate, obliging car-makers to meet a minimum fleet quota for electric vehicles. China has already taken the lead in this direction, by announcing a policy requiring all manufacturers sell a minimum of 8% “new energy vehicles” by 2018. While reports suggest this may be delayed to 2019, the fact is that governments are serious about the EV revolution.

So, EV penetration rate is accelerating and, importantly for battery metal investors, it’s doing so far more quickly than most people anticipated. Yes, this is partly due to government support. However, it’s also because EV’s are reaching parity with gas-powered cars on both costs and functionality.

What do I mean by functionality? Well in previous years, EV’s weren’t just prohibitively expensive for the average consumer, they also had issues with the distance they could travel between battery recharges. Thanks to the rapid advances in battery technology, many models can now travel over 200km on a single charge, which puts them in line with the requirements of the average commuter.

The rate of advance in battery efficiency and cost shows no signs of slowing. Right now, the primary EV battery chemistry formulation is an NMC based on a 5-3-2 ratio: five parts nickel, three parts manganese, two parts cobalt (Tesla is unique in that it uses an NCA formulation).  Over the next few years, the industry will move to the next generation of battery tech, using a 6-2-2 configuration and, in an estimated four to five years, we will likely see batteries built on future-tech, utilizing an 8-1-1 ratio.  The result will be further cost reductions and increased battery life.

Just as the early cell phone brands (pre-smart phone) used to compete on “talk time” for a fully-charged battery, so EV’s will compete on distance travelled until the point, in the not-to-distant future, at which the life of a single charge will be so great that it will cease to be an issue. 

For battery metal investors, particularly those looking to get into cobalt, these advances are a good thing. It’s true that advances in battery tech will mean less cobalt per battery but, to be honest, that’s a necessary move for EV’s to become mass market. The reason being, the next few years are going to see increased shortages of cobalt, which is good for increased cobalt prices but, over the long-term, would hurt the battery price reductions required for mass adoption. So, less cobalt per battery but more batteries being made. Whichever way you cut it, cobalt’s future is bright.

EV’s are just one part of the battery market picture. In a future post, I’ll get into the prospects for the energy storage market, which may very well be even bigger than the EV sector. 

battery series raw materials - The Oregon Group - Investment Insights


The Oregon Group has full editorial control over all content published on this website and the author has not been compensated or remunerated by any person to provide content for The Oregon Group, and all statements and expressions herein are the sole opinion of The Oregon Group. However, from time to time, The Oregon Group and its directors, officers, partners, employees, authors, or members of their families, as well as persons who are interviewed for articles on this website, may have a long or short position in securities or commodities mentioned and may make purchases and/or sales of those securities or commodities in the open market or otherwise. By accessing and using this website, readers are cautioned to assume that each of the foregoing persons may have a financial interest in all companies and sectors mentioned on this website. Any projections, market outlooks or estimates herein are forward looking statements and are inherently unreliable., and any such statements are based upon certain assumptions and should not be construed to be indicative of the actual events that will occur.  Other events that were not taken into account may occur and may significantly affect the returns or performance of the securities or commodities discussed herein. The information provided herein is based on matters as they exist as of the date of preparation and not as of any future date, and The Oregon Group undertakes no obligation to correct, update or revise the information in this document or to otherwise provide any additional material. The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not, directly or indirectly, an offer, solicitation of an offer and/or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or commodity, and the information provided on this website should not be construed as any advice or an opinion as to the price at which the securities of any company or commodity may trade at any time. The Oregon Group is a publisher of financial information, not an investment advisor.  We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice or information that is tailored to the needs of any particular recipient, and the information provided on this website is not and should not be construed as personal, financial, investment or professional advice. Readers are cautioned to always do their own research and review of publicly available information and to consult their professional and registered advisors before purchasing or selling any securities or commodities and should not rely on the information contained herein. Neither The Oregon Group nor any of its affiliates accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of the information contained herein. By using the Site or any affiliated social media account, you are indicating your consent and agreement to this disclaimer and our terms of use. Unauthorized reproduction of this newsletter or its contents by photocopy, facsimile or any other means is illegal and punishable by law.

Share this article

about the author

Picture of Anthony Milewski

Anthony Milewski

Anthony Milewski has spent his entire career in the capital markets, including as company CEO, board director, advisor, founder and investor, with a focus on the energy transition and commodities.


Subscribe for Investment Insights. Stay Ahead.

Subscribe and get today’s market and industry trends delivered to you in real-time.

[mepr-membership-registration-form id="4595"]


Welcome to The Oregon Group, an investment research team focused on critical minerals, mining, energy and geopolitics.

Our independent capital markets experts are sharing their boardroom expertise and institutional experience to help you profit and hedge your investment exposure during this time of unmissable opportunity.

Subscribe and get today’s market and industry trends delivered to you in real-time.

[mepr-membership-registration-form id="4595"]