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Electric Vehicle Industry Steadily Grows

Electric cars increase in popularity

Electric Vehicle Industry Grows at Rapid Pace

Plug-in vehicles are still only accessible to high earners. However, this is expected to change in the coming years as the electric vehicle industry reports consecutive monthly sales records.

The 2018 global market for EVs is around 3 million. Adoption is led by China, while Europe and the US experience record growth.

Meanwhile, each market is dominated by a very small number of producers.

The US has Tesla, Europe has the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, while China has several state-owned and private companies leading the pack. Most notably, BYD (Build Your Dreams).

Electric cars rely on lithium-ion batteries

Global Electric Vehicle Industry to Hit 125 Million by 2030

This estimate was provided by the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental agency dedicated to clean energy initiatives.

If this estimate is true, EVs will become a staple of middle-class life in the next decade.

However, only .15% of the world’s cars are electric. This increase means that 12.5% of all vehicles in 2030 will be electric.

While this doesn’t seem like a major change, it demonstrates exponential growth.

Lithium is a vitally important resource

Lithium’s Importance to Increase

As zero-emission vehicles grow in popularity, so too will the resource powering them. The electric vehicle industry relies heavily on lithium-ion batteries.

Powered by lithium, the battery’s storage capacity drastically improves. Consequently, both charge range and vehicle cost steadily fall.

However, China owns nearly half of the global lithium supply. With several projects in Africa, South America and Australia, the government is taking steps to improve air quality.

Electric vehicles are central to this effort. After all, zero-emission vehicles can save lives.

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V: ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

the lithium triangle-plains

The Lithium Triangle Explored

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The lithium triangle holds nearly half of the world’s lithium

The Lithium Triangle: Clean Energy’s Trump Card

Most people’s lives are affected by the lithium triangle. If you’ve ever used a cell phone or PC, chances are you’ve benefited from the region’s rich mineral wealth.

Made up of South America’s 3 largest lithium producers: Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, the lithium triangle possesses 54% of the world’s lightest metal.

Each country exploits this advantage in different ways.

the lithium triangle-argentina

Argentina offers the best conditions for lithium production

Argentina

Ultra Lithium has several lithium brine projects in Argentina. Our flagship venture, the Laguna Verde site, comprises nearly 8,000 hectares and contains a new high grade of lithium.

Most sites throughout Argentina are at high altitudes. Large drills bore into the ground, allowing lithium to dissolve into evaporation pools. These pools also produce potassium and represent the most sustainable way to mine lithium.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s depressed economy is working to take advantage of its natural mineral wealth. Consequently, the government has streamlined mining and exploration processes to attract business.

Of the 3 lithium triangle members, industry experts point to Argentina as the best-positioned to benefit. Both working conditions and policies support this claim.

the lithium triangle-bolivia

Bolivia is struggling to attract foreign lithium investors

Bolivia

Almost a quarter of the world’s lithium can be found in Bolivia. Not surprisingly, it’s investing heavily in exploration and mining operations.

However, production lags behind both Argentina and Chile. This has happened for a number of reasons.

First, the left-leaning government scares off foreign buyers. The socialist state is not a free market darling, meaning an ideological clash hurts progress.

Second, brine mining is affected by weather. It relies on natural evaporation to dissolve lithium.

Lastly, it owns the lithium triangle’s worst working conditions. The poor country lacks the infrastructure enjoyed by its competitors.

the lithium triangle-chile

A single mine in Chile holds 33% of the world’s lithium

Chile

Chile’s thirst for lithium has created a water war. Needed to pump lithium out of aquifers in the ground, companies are forced to compete for H2O.

Unfortunately, this rings true for the world’s largest lithium mine. Called Salar de Atacama, the Chilean mine holds 33% of the world’s known lithium supply.

The salar runs 55km and forms the country’s lithium base.

Currently, Chile is the world’s largest supplier of lithium. However, Argentina is now a worthy challenger.

Paving the Future

The lithium triangle is the key to overcoming dirty energy. With Argentina leading the pack, these South American countries are positioning themselves to meet global lithium demand.

Furthermore, the global lithium shortage is expected to increase the mineral’s value.

As China, North America and Europe electrify their transport industries, the lithium triangle will grow in global importance.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of lithium experts with a finger on the pulse of clean energy news, Ultra Lithium is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

lithium mining

Lithium Brine Mining and Sustainability

lithium brine mining

Lithium brine mining produces evaporation ponds, called salars

Lithium Brine Mining is Environmentally Friendly

Clean energy relies on lithium. Electric vehicles, smartphones and PCs all use lithium-ion batteries. Consequently, lithium brine mining is the most eco-friendly way to extract it.

Ultra Lithium Inc. has several lithium brine mining operations throughout Argentina, in South America’s lithium triangle.

lithium brine mining

Lithium brine mining is the safest way to extract the mineral

How does Lithium Brine Mining Work?

Brine mining is quite simple. Brine allows salt to naturally dissolve from lithium in evaporation pools. These pools are called salars.

This process takes a number of months.

To begin: geologists survey an area that could have lithium beneath the watery surface. This is usually at a high altitude. Once potential is confirmed, drilling starts.

If results are positive, water is pumped into salars. Then, potassium is extracted. Eventually, lithium is available. 

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Beijing, China – Lithium is the key to improving global air quality

The Global Importance of Lithium Brine Mining

Storage capacity isn’t the only reason lithium is valuable. On the contrary, it’s the best alternative to refining oil.

This explains China’s commitment to lithium. In various Chinese cities, air quality reduces average life expectancy by 1 year. In 2015, both China and India had 1.1 million air-pollution-related deaths. Consequently, China strives to change this.

The communist state has set a lofty standard: zero transportation-produced carbon emissions by 2030. Therefore, a nation of 1.4 billion will stop using gas-powered vehicles.

lithium brine mining

ULI has lithium brine projects in Argentina, Canada & the US

Ultra Lithium Inc. Powers the Future

Acquiring enough lithium to supply this dream goes through South America. 

Ultra Lithium’s (ULI) current projects will play a large role.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V: ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

Electric Cars 2018: Top Producers

electric cars 2018-electric vehicles

Our Electric Cars 2018 list looks at Asia, North America and Europe

Electric Cars 2018: An industry disrupted

The 21st century is all about disruption. Not surprisingly, the auto industry is no exception. Our Electric Cars 2018 list breaks down the industry’s major players.

With China leading the way, plug-in vehicle sales records are regularly broken. North America and Europe are steadily catching up, but the Asian superpower has a clear lead.

In the wake of such rampant change, we’ve decided to let you know who the major players are.

Without further ado, our Electric Cars 2018 list.

You’ll find 3 offerings. One from each of the world’s largest markets. Asia, North America and Europe.

electric cars 2018-nissan leaf-renault

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance offers the Nissan Leaf, among other EVs

Europe: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

Regrettably, the European Union relies on Russian gas to fuel its automotive industry. As a result, electrifying its motorways could improve the region’s energy situation.

Leading the domestic charge is the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which originally formed in 1999. The Nissan Leaf is the current global leader in units sold per month.

Ultimately, the merger is a tool to increase shareholder value and EV market share. So far, it’s working.

electric cars 2018-tesla-size

Tesla’s size is expected to grow rapidly

North America: Tesla

The continent’s flagship EV producer is also its most successful. The Model 3 laps the pack in monthly EV sales, and over half of overall sales run through Tesla’s factories.

With its gigafactory set for completion within the next few years, Mr. Musk’s early start has benefited the firm immensely.

Competition for the American behemoth is growing, but nowhere near fierce. Furthermore, Tesla sits very close to the United States’ largest lithium reserve in Nevada. As companies and countries lobby for lithium projects, Tesla is well positioned as lithium demand intensifies.

electric cars 2018-ev-china-byd

BYD leads an impressive Chinese EV push

Asia: BYD (Build Your Dreams)

We finish with a Chinese Titan. While China is home to many producers, we chose BYD because the private company has ascended the auto ranks remarkably fast.

That and Warren Buffett invested $230 million USD in BYD’s parent company. He owns a 10% stake.

On top of this, BYD sold the most EVs in the world in 2017.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

 

 

Electric Cars Misunderstood

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Electric cars are a staple of urban life

Electric Cars Becoming More Common

Despite the 2016 election, electric cars are becoming a common sight on North American roads. Each month, EV manufacturers break sales records, suggesting the industry is more than a ‘fad.’

Boosting such excitement is success abroad. China is the global champion when it comes to plug-in vehicles, and Scandinavian countries have been predictably big on green tech.

electric cars-tesla

Tesla routinely tops monthly N.A. sales polls

However, the American market is currently dominated by Tesla. In August, its Model 3 comprised nearly half of all domestic plug-in sales.

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EV adoption is expected to improve China’s air quality

Chinese Electric Cars Dominate

While the American EV industry is only just beginning to realize its potential, demand for electric cars in China has persisted for years.

With government subsidies and a smoggy skyline, over 43% of all EVs were Chinese-made in 2016.

Furthermore, a waitlist plagues aspiring EV owners in China’s megacities. Some city-dwellers report waits of up to 4 years.

electric cars-ev-battery

EV battery prices continue to fall

EV Prices to Fall

Globally, potential buyers have two worries. First: if money isn’t an issue: battery range. However, this problem is easily solved (discussed below).

Second, plug-ins are too damn expensive.

Time will solve this problem. Currently, manufacturers and progressive governments direct funding to two things: improving charging infrastructure and increasing vehicle range.

As lithium-ion batteries improve and charging stations become more common, reducing price will be the next target.

electric cars-charge-home

EVs are easily charged at home

Electric Cars are Misunderstood

Above all, misconceptions and misinformation plague EV adoption. A survey conducted by BC Hydro found that 90% of people believe standard outlets can’t charge batteries.

Even more surprising, most people don’t know what the acronym EV stands for.

In addition, many doubt the range of a standard lithium-ion battery. Worry not: energy density is increasing 5-8% per year and charging stations are easier to find than ever.

After all, a little bit of education goes a long way.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

 

 

belt and road lithium

Lithium: Why the Mineral is so Valuable

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Lithium is commonly used in EV batteries

Lithium: Powering the Electric Vehicle Revolution

When it comes to sustainability, everyone knows how important electric vehicles (EVs) are.

Meanwhile, everyone understands how important smartphones and PCs are for economic growth.

But what about the resource powering these technologies?

Let’s take a look at lithium: the world’s lightest metal.

lithium-lithium ion-batteries-evs

A lithium-ion battery

In Electric Vehicle Batteries

Today, a global lithium shortage rages. As a result, companies and national governments fight to secure mining projects.

A major reason: the mineral powers clean transportation tech.

Companies like Tesla, VW and Renault-Nissan work tirelessly to make EVs a part of middle-class American life. Their greatest challenge: creating lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that hold long charges.

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Li-ion batteries power most consumer electronics, like film cameras

In Consumer Electronics

Laptops and Smartphones have been using Li-ion batteries for years, replacing the lead-acid alternative.

This development accelerated demand in the 90s. Consequently, it was relied on to power the growing information technology sector.

For this reason, the technology behind Li-ion batteries improves every year. Meanwhile, so do expectations. Better smartphones mean a more powerful battery is needed.

Behold the great clean energy paradox.

lithium-pharmaceutical-applicaitons

The mineral is commonly used in pharmaceutical applications

In Other Applications

It’s also used in ceramics, glass, medicine and various other applications.

Used to treat mental illness for years, it’s original purpose was treating bipolar disorder.

However, the resource is also used around the house. It’s found in windows, oven elements and pottery.

Without it, moulds don’t hold.

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An evaporation pond from Ultra Lithium’s Borita Brine site in Argentina

Eco-Friendly Mining

Especially in the case of brine, mining leaves a tiny environmental footprint.

Ultra Lithium has various sites in South America where the resource is extracted from ‘salars’. These are large evaporation pools.

To start, geological surveys are conducted and several test holes are drilled. Eventually, the mineral reaches the surface, ready to be refined and placed into an eco-friendly battery.

Mining can’t get much cleaner.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of clean energy experts with a finger on the pulse of mining news, ULI is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

 

 

 

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Hong Kong Market Slow to EV Adoption

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Hong Kong market suffers from street pollution

Hong Kong Market Craves Clean Energy

It is one of the world’s most congested cities. Over 7 million people live on just 3,000 square kilometres of land. The Hong Kong Market is a sweaty heap of pollution.

Air quality is so low, it’s inspired an app. Air conditioners account for 30% of the city’s energy use and contribute 60% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Even worse: the city’s recycling record. China laps the former British Protectorate in sustainable living.

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The Shenzhen-Hong Kong border

China’s Effect on the Kong Kong Market

It’s no secret that Hong Kong needs to go green. It’s also no secret that China leads the world in Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption. After all, Beijing residents must wait years for an EV license.

On average, Chinese government subsidies on EV vehicles cover $10,000 USD per purchase. Evidently, the CCP is serious about curbing carbon emissions.

These measures could spillover into the Hong Kong market. Cross the border and neighbouring city Shenzhen has already electrified its public transport fleet.

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China outpaces Hong Kong in EV adoption

Why is Hong Kong Late to the EV Party?

Several factors have slowed progress.

First, HK lacks public charging stations and gas-powered vehicles can still travel longer distances. However, this isn’t a major concern as HK is so small. Trip distance isn’t a problem.

Second, a lack of regulatory pressure provides car owners little incentive to switch. Hong Kong’s carbon abatement schemes lag behind China’s.

Third, most residents use public transportation. The bus and taxi companies are privately owned, and plug-in technology is still too expensive to warrant.

Hong Kong Market-Shenzhen bus-electric

Shenzhen’s public transportation runs on lithium-ion batteries

Hong Kong Needs to Change its EV Policy

Last year, over 1,700 residents died from air pollution. Moreover, the city faces pollution levels that rival megacity Beijing.

The Special Administrative Region (SAR) has lagged behind China in adopting clean energy initiatives. However, the 1997 handover returned control of Hong Kong to the Asian superpower.

However controversial the handover may be, air quality in “Asia’s World City” would benefit from more vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

 

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of lithium experts with a finger on the pulse of clean energy news, Ultra Lithium is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

EV demand-skyrockets

EV Demand Continues to Skyrocket

EV Demand Not Best in the West

The Green Revolution captivates the world. It’s also changing the transportation industry, leading to a surge in global EV demand.

Tesla’s eccentric CEO dominates news outlets. For most people, he’s top of mind when it comes to clean energy.

Musk sees a very different world in 2038. He believes owning a vehicle without self-driving capabilities will soon be like owning a horse.   

To his satisfaction, global EV demand steadily grows. 

 

EV demand-charging-stations

Prepare to see more charging stations as EV demand skyrockets

 

The World has Over 1.4 Billion Vehicles

2 million of them are plug-ins. This means that just 0.15% of global transportation is battery-powered

Tesla and its other EV producers face a mammoth challenge. They must make their vehicles more affordable, and create batteries with more storage capacity. 

Wish them luck…

When factories decarbonize, carbon emissions in the US will reduce by over 30%.

Europe Is Miles Ahead of the US

The EU is the 2nd market to surpass 1 million EV sales. Scandinavia leads the charge, while Germany shows solid EV growth

 

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European charging stations multiply as EV demand grows

 

But EV sales in the West lag behind Asia’s superpower.

China boasts over 450 EV manufacturers. The populous nation sold over 770,000 plug-ins last year.

Obviously, the West has some catching up to do.

The EV Revolution is About to Take Off

China recently announced a $47 billion EV technology fund. The move gave market watchers perspective.

The message: China is serious about clean transportation.

This is great news for humanity. The communist state can single-handedly accelerate the EV revolution.

Of China’s nearly 30 million 2017 car sales, nearly 3% were electric. Now, this estimate may seem paltry…except when compared to the US.

Less than 200,000 of 18 million American auto sales were plug-ins in 2017. That’s just 1.1%.

 

EV demand-China

A common site in China, where EV demand outstrips supply

 

US Tariffs Won’t Hurt Chinese EV Sales

It’s unlikely the Trump Administration’s efforts to limit China’s economy will do much damage.

Rather, China isn’t as reliant on American exports as it used to be.

Consider its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), a plan to connect China with the world.

And don’t forget about its proven ability to weather economic stagnation 

As a result, China owns over half the world’s existing lithium reserves

Its transportation and energy sectors are primed to reap the benefits of overseas investment. Additionally, large lithium deposits are being found in global exploration and mining operations. These are mostly in Africa, South America and Australia.

The Chinese government wants 100% electric vehicles by 2030

 

EV-demand-China-smog

It’s obvious why Chinese EV demand is high

 

Not surprisingly, Xi Jinping is unlikely to invest heavily in oil and gas projects.

The Chinese government is playing its cards right, as global lithium demand is expected to triple by 2025. 

Meanwhile, technological advances increase storage capacity and reduce cost.

EV Demand Grows Exponentially

China leads the global charge. In Beijing, there are many reasons to go green. In the meantime, Europe and the US could quadruple sales by 2020.

Surprisingly, a late 2017 executive order goes against Trump’s promise to domestic oil producers.

America’s decision to become self-reliant on lithium exploration and extraction will speed up production. It will also increase EV demand.

The EU’s Desire To Wean Itself Off Russian Oil

 

EV-demand-Russia-EU

EV demand affects the EU-Russia relationship

 

Consequently, a lithium supply increase could change the zone’s energy situationThese motivations are promising for plug-in manufacturers.

Hopefully, EVs soon become a staple of middle-class life. 

Even more promising: producers of self-driving cars are attracted to the long-term benefits.

Talk about thinking ahead.

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of lithium experts with a finger on the pulse of clean energy news. Ultra Lithium is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).

Electric Vehicles and the Value of Lithium

Ultra Lithium Inc. A team of lithium experts with a finger on the pulse of clean energy news, Ultra Lithium is a lithium exploration company with holdings in Argentina, Canada and the US (TSX-V:ULI, OTCQB: ULTXF and Frankfurt: QFB).