LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
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It appears that one of the last frontiers for the EV revolution is getting a boost as UPS opens its fleet to plug-in vehicles in 2018.
This news comes as demand for lithium supplies are already forecasting a shortfall as early as the end of this year.
Lithium companies are bracing for the push from global increases in demand including NRG Metals Inc. (TSX-V: NGZ) (OTC: NRGMF), Pilbara Minerals Ltd (OTC: PILBF), Neo Lithium Corporation (TSX-V: NLC) (OTCQX: NTTHF), and Galaxy Resources (OTC: GALXF).
The electric vehicle revolution seems to kick into higher gear every day as more and more transport services adopt EVs. With Tesla having already made a foothold in the family sedan car category, new categories like mass freight and delivery services now look ripe for the taking.
No one could be more concerned about where all the lithium to power this increased demand will come from than the EV industry.
Newly developing sources for lithium like NRG Metals Inc. (TSXV: NGZ) (OTCMKTS: NRGMF) offer a potential supply. That junior miner is developing a potentially large lithium brine project in South America's well known lithium triangle.
The trend for lithium demand also has advanced lithium miners working overtime in order to bring on greater supplies of the valuable metal including Pilbara Minerals Ltd (OTC: PILBF), Neo Lithium Corporation (TSXV: NLC) (OTCQX: NTTHF), and Galaxy Resources (OTC: GALXF).
The lithium-focused producers are all experiencing heightened activity and wild price hikes in lithium.
UPS READY TO ADOPT EVs STATESIDE
In late 2018, UPS will introduce a fleet of 50 plug-in delivery trucks in the US with the expectation of an even larger fleet in 2019.
UPS already has a sizeable fleet of electric vehicles in service across the US and Europe, but the new fleet comes at a much lower cost that is almost similar to diesel-fueled trucks. As such, the company is able to scale up its electric fleet much faster without the need for subsidies.
UPS is working with transport company Workhorse Group to design and build the trucks from scratch.
The trucks are reportedly able to perform at four times the efficiency of combustion engine trucks while emitting lower noise and zero pollutants.
With delivery services expected to grow steadily due to online shopping, UPS's stance to turn to electric trucks is crucial in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions.
Carlton Rose, the president of global fleet maintenance and engineering at UPS sees the improving battery charging and mileage as a crucial factor in the success of the company's fleet. Rose described UPS's new trucks a "quantum leap forward" for the company's delivery fleet.
The new trucks have a range of about 100 miles on a full charge, which makes them for service in dense city areas. A number of cities including Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta have been selected as test zones for the trucks.
UPS currently has around 35,000 combustion-engine trucks in its fleet. While replacing that volume with fully electric trucks will be a tall order, advancements in battery technology will continue to make it progressively easier to move in that direction.
Longer range trucks will enable unrolling in rural areas and for long distance parcel delivery, making the electric fleet more suitable for the company.
JUNIORS SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL
This unique climate has created a significant opportunity for all lithium companies.
A likely scenario that will become increasingly popular over the next few years is direct investment into junior lithium exploration companies. One of the early movers in that category is NRG Metals - A Canadian company committed to creating lithium resources.
NRG Metals, a start-up focused on the development of lithium brine assets in Argentina, has already attracted a Chinese battery material producer through closing on a $1.4 million private placement to fund ongoing exploration activities in Argentina and the potential, as an Off-Take producer, for future lithium products extracted.
The company has two projects, with the most significant project being the "Hombre Muerto North Project" or HMNP. HMNP is located in the Salta and Catamarca provinces and comprises a total property package of over 3,000 hectares encompassing six concessions.
The company has reported good surface sample collections, magnesium to lithium ratios, and is located across from Galaxy Resources' Sal de Vida lithium development project.
Most importantly, the project is within 20km of FMC Corporation's well established Fenix lithium brine project.
With an offtake agreement of this kind, it's possible that NRG Metals will sell lithium before it's even mined or at least provide a great asset value to the company.
ADOPTION OF EV FLEETS ANOTHER DRIVER
As electric vehicle technology reaches into new frontiers, the demand for batteries will most certainly grow exponentially and with it, the demand for lithium, the most vital battery metal at present.
Demand for the metal has been on a continual upward trend in the last few years and its price has equally soared. Current installed lithium production capacity is unlikely to sustain demand growth for many more years to come and it will be up to mining companies, especially juniors to explore and bring new reserves into production.
Normally with mined commodities, investors tend to wait for prices to soar to attractive levels before risking their capital in expensive mining infrastructure. These mining operations also take considerably long to set up, hence it is expected that demand will outstrip supply growth for some time.
The environment is ripe for reward. The price of lithium ore is set for massive spikes, which is an attractive prospect for investors looking to find the upside in lithium.
Pilbara Minerals Ltd (OTC: PILBF)
Pilbara Minerals is an emerging lithium and tantalum producer focused on the development of its world-class 100% owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project, located approximately 120kms from Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Pilgangoora has been confirmed as one of the largest spodumene (lithium pyroxene) and tantalite projects in the world and is set to be developed into one of the world's largest lithium mines, also producing tantalite as a valuable by-product.
Neo Lithium Corporation (TSXV: NLC) (OTCQX: NTTHF)
Neo Lithium Corp. engages in the exploration and development of resource properties. The company explores for lithium deposits. It holds interests in the 3Q Project comprising 10 mining claims covering approximately 35,000 hectares located in Tinogasta area, Catamarca province, Argentina. The company has filed a Technical Report with Positive PEA Results on its 3Q Project Showing a Capital Cost reduction of US$98.5M. The company was incorporated in 2016 and is based in Toronto, Canada.
Galaxy Resources (OTC: GALXF)
Galaxy Resources Limited is a lithium-focused resources company, with assets spanning Australia, Canada and Argentina. Galaxy is currently advancing plans to develop the Sal de Vida Lithium and Potash Brine Project ("Sal de Vida") in Argentina, which is situated in the Lithium Triangle, a region where Chile, Argentina and Bolivia meet. Sal de Vida is a proven high quality resource has excellent promise as a future low cost production facility. Galaxy also owns the Mt Cattlin Spodumene Mine near Ravensthorpe in Western Australia and the James Bay Lithium Pegmatite Project in Quebec, Canada.
For a more in-depth look into NGZ you can view the in-depth report at USA News Group: http://usanewsgroup.com/2018/03/12/analysts-predict-lithium-sector-is-growing-faster-than-any-other-sector-in-the-past-decade/
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