NEW YORK, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
According to a research by Markets and Markets, the lithium ion battery market is expected to be valued at USD 68.97 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 16.6% over the forecast period. The growth of this market largely attributed to the demand for rechargeable batteries, which are now widely used as a power source for electric vehicles. The report indicates that the implementation of lithium ion batteries in the automotive sector for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) helps to improve the efficiency and reduce the maintenance cost of the vehicle. There is increasing competition among the battery models installed in electric vehicles, and more car manufacturers are developing PHEVs and BEVs. Fortune Minerals Limited (OTC: FTMDF) (TSX: FT), Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), General Motors Company (NSYE: GM), Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (OTC: NSANY), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM).
According to a report by Reuters, Consultants CRU Group said that electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could hit 4.4 million in 2021 and more than six million by 2025, from 1.1 million last year. "Future demand for cobalt from the EV (electric vehicle) sector is looking tangible and is more positive than originally expected," according to Reuters, said one Commodity-focused Fund Manager. "China has some aggressive plans in terms of electric vehicles. It will be a major driver behind cobalt consumption growth."
Fortune Minerals Limited (OTCQX: FTMDF) (TSX: FT) earlier this week announced that, Hatch Ltd. ('Hatch') and Micon International Limited ('Micon') have been engaged to update the Feasibility Study for the NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth-Copper project. Hatch has also been retained to conduct additional engineering work. The vertically-integrated NICO project consists of a planned mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories and refinery near Saskatoon where concentrates from the mine will be processed to battery grade cobalt sulphate, gold, bismuth metal and oxide, and copper. NICO has already been assessed in a positive Feasibility Study in 2014 but requires an update to reflect current costs, commodity prices and currency exchange rates to support efforts to arrange project financing in progress. The Feasibility Study update is expected to be completed in early summer. Fortune is working with PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance Inc. ('PwC') to arrange the project financing.
Robin Goad, President and CEO of Fortune Minerals Limited, commented, "We are pleased to be working again with both Hatch and Micon as we advance towards arranging project financing for our NICO development and prepare for construction. NICO is positioned to become a unique North American vertically integrated producer of cobalt chemicals for the lithium-ion battery industry with a highly liquid gold co-product."
Earlier in the year, Siddharth Rajeev (MBA, CFA), Analyst of Fundamental Research Corp. stated in a Fortune Minerals Limited report that on, "January 18, 2017, Fortune also announced the appointment of PwC as their financial advisor to secure project financing for NICO. The company has all permits in place to commence construction of the mine."
Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Panasonic Corporation have signed an agreement on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States, known as the Gigafactory. The Gigafactory is being created to enable a continuous reduction in the cost of long range battery packs in parallel with manufacturing at the volumes required to enable Tesla to meet its goal of advancing mass market electric vehicles. According to a blog by the Tesla team from January 4, 2017, 'Finally, bringing cell production to the U.S. allows us to create thousands of American jobs. In 2017 alone, Tesla and Panasonic will hire several thousand local employees and at peak production, the Gigafactory will directly employ 6,500 people and indirectly create between 20,000 to 30,000 additional jobs in the surrounding regions.'
General Motors Company (NSYE: GM) and its joint ventures in China delivered a March record of 345,448 vehicles, an increase of 16 percent from a year earlier. It was the company's largest year-over-year growth since last August. Buick, a unit of GM, announced in March that the Velite 5, its first extended range electric vehicle (EREV), will come to China shortly. In the coming two years, Buick will also launch plug-in hybrids and pure battery electric vehicles to expand its green lineup.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (OTC: NSANY) is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. The company engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Recently, the company announced that Electric vehicle advocate Plug in Adventures has created a specially modified Nissan LEAF that will be the first all-electric car to enter the Mongol Rally, driving 10,000 miles (16,000 km) from the UK to Mongolia in summer 2017.
On February 14, 2017, Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) announced cumulative global hybrid vehicle (HV) sales of 10.05 million units as of January 31, surpassing the 10 million unit mark. More than a numerical milestone, this demonstrates the staying power of a technology that is now emerging as a mainstream solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Toyota launched the Coaster Hybrid EV in August 1997 and the Prius―the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle―in December of the same year. Since then, Toyota hybrid vehicles have received tremendous support from consumers around the world. This latest milestone of 10 million units was achieved just nine months after total sales reached 9 million units at the end of April 2016.
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