With all those automakers rolling out new electric cars at the Frankfurt Auto Show, it’s guaranteed that the demand for lithium will soar.
Here’s a few companies that will profit from the surge, via Jim Jubak at MSN:
Miners: Chile’s Salar de Atacama desert supplies 65% of lithium. The rest are from Argentina, Nevada and China, and new supplies will come from China and possibly the salt lakes of Bolivia.
New sources are good, because global demand is expected to grow by 80% to almost 90,000 metric tons by 2020. It will be required to supply the 6 pounds of lithium required for each car battery. Lithium mining companies to invest in: Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM), FMC (FMC), Rockwood (ROC), Amiralty Resources (ARYRY), and CITIC Pacific (CTPCY).
Battery “gut” makers: companies that make everything except lithium to run a battery. Jubak’s picks are a specialty company called Polypore International (PPO), and Japan’s Asahi Kasei (AHKSF).
Battery makers: the technology to make batteries cheaper and more stable is still evolving. Lithium batteries are likely to catch fire upon collisions, which is never good in a car. But companies are working on it, including A123 systems and bigger fish such as Toyota Motor (TM), Panasonic (PC) and Toshiba (TOSBF).
Manufacturers: companies with a good command of the production line, who can make cheap, efficient batteries will be a key part of the game. Johnson Controls (JCI), which owns 35% of the market for lead acid car batteries.
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