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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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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Emissions in China: 100% EVs by 2030

Emissions Push Government to Lofty Goal

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Carbon emissions in China fuel the nation’s EV push

The world’s roads are electrifying quickly. This is great news for China, a country with heavily-polluted six megacities.

Residents rarely enjoy clear skies, as carbon emissions ensure a thick haze blocks any view.

The Chinese government has responded to this crisis with a lofty goal: zero gas-powered vehicle sales by 2030.

China isn’t Going Electric Alone

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Western auto companies like VW are now making EVs

While Tesla leads the North American EV market in sales, Chinese manufacturers lead the world.

BYD (Build Your Dreams), Byton, BAIC and other Chinese firms set sales records every year.

In response, Western auto titans like BMW and Volkswagen enter the EV game.

Consequently, EV power stations will outnumber gas stations in the not-too-distant future.

America Goes Electric, but Slower

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America has only one lithium mine, in Nevada

An underreported executive order was signed in late 2017. It challenges a commonly held belief about the Trump administration.

It identifies 23 minerals deemed critical to America’s economy and security. Of no surprise, lithium tops the list.

Rest assured, America is not anti-green. National emissions levels continue to drop at record levels.

Lithium the Key to Reducing Emissions Levels

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EV automobile production and sales are booming in China

Lithium resources in the US exceed 5.5 million tonnes. 

However, the global hegemon isn’t a major lithium producer. Instead, South America and Australia lead the pack.

Lithium powers laptop, smartphone and EV batteries. A global shortage has caused demand to rise.

China the World’s Leading Lithium Consumer

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China is the world’s leading lithium-ion manufacturer

In terms of lithium-ion battery consumption, China leads the world. The same goes for battery production.

A nation whose megacities pollute the skylines of even its smallest villages, the communist state is committed to improving air quality.

EV subsidies and a massive ownership waitlist are promising.

This is great news for a region where oxygen bars replace nature walks.

 

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).

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Green Revolution in India

Green Revolution in India: 100% by 2030?

India’s Prime Minister has over 14 million Instagram followers. Narendra Modi’s Twitter following is even larger. Nearly 44 million receive live updates from Lok Kalyan Marg, the PMs official residence. The conservative leader is “with it.” A green revolution is never far from mind.

As a result, his vision of a nation pushing for modernization has few coal mines.

India-Prime-Minister-Narendra-Modi-Green Revolution

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi works toward a Green Revolution

India’s Air Quality is Horrific

It’s rare that a country of 1.3 billion agrees on anything. An exception: pollution levels.

Traffic congestion is largely to blame and costs the nation’s four largest cities nearly $20 billion every year.

The government has been vocal about changing this. However, few bought the hype when it echoed China’s goal of 100% electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.

Nearly 22% of Indians live below the poverty line

Maddening policy issues curb economic growth, so the public is used to tempering expectations.

Green Revolution-social-change

The Green Revolution can bring about major social change

Yet, the world’s largest democracy owns the world’s 6th largest economy. As a result, its size is cause for optimism.

Nevertheless, massive slums are everywhere. They are home to over 100 million. Any revolution – especially a green revolution – would greatly improve the overall quality of life.

India’s Green Revolution is Needed

The government is no longer aiming for 100% EVs by 2030. Instead, it now aims for 30% of all 2030 vehicle sales to be electric.

This is a far cry from the original goal, but a realistic approach is needed.

To achieve this goal, the country will support private, corporate and government partnerships

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Smog blurs Mumbai’s skyline

A Better India for the Next Generation

Pollution levels exceed China’s major cities. In addition, the country lacks the infrastructure to deal with health problems.

Even worse, 30% of the world’s poorest children live in India. Child labour is common and sanitation levels are unacceptably low. 

The country’s economy grew 250% from 1975-1995. Over the same time, vehicular pollution grew by over 700%.

In response, auto-rickshaws became commonplace.

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Auto rickshaws have reduced pollution levels

The rickshaw changed transportation nationwide. They are 3-wheeled, door-less vehicles that allow for increased mobilization. Many of these vehicles run on natural gas (CNG), a market that has diminished in recent years.

While this transition from two-stroke engines reduced overall emissions, it’s impact was small.  

Making Indian Roads Clean

India is a developing country with an economy hampered by overpopulation and civil disorganization.

Besides, traditional values keep one-half of its workforce at home. 

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Where a Green Revolution is needed – A highway in Delhi, India.

Electrifying its auto-industry would reduce the global EV price. This would improve the average Indian’s quality of life.

A nation used to coughing its way out of bed would benefit from a green revolution.

Help is on the way.

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OLA’s rideshare service uses electric vehicles

Rideshare company OLA is adding over 10,000 electric rickshaws to its fleet in 2018. 

The country produces over 500,000 rickshaws every year. Nevertheless, this represents a large shift.

Technology Improves the Green Revolution

India has much to be excited about.

Lithium-ion batteries are holding longer charges than ever. More countries are investing in clean transportation initiatives.

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Modi backed Obama’s clean energy initiatives

Green revolution technology is becoming cheaper and more sophisticated.

Modi could set his country on a prosperous path.

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. 

 

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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%.

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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).

lithium-uses-everywhere

Lithium Uses: Glass and Ceramics

Lithium uses go beyond car batteries

Lithium is about much more than batteries. Consumer electronics and electric vehicles account for only half of global lithium consumption. Surprisingly, lithium uses are diverse.

This misconception helps shape lithium market prices. Some believe undersupply is responsible for recent stagnation. Meanwhile, others suggest the world’s largest lithium consumer is responsible.

China is the world’s leading lithium importer

It has recently invested in lithium extraction projects of its ownSome of these projects are starting to bear fruit.

But lithium uses go beyond batteries. Lithium market price is closely tied to green transportation. Yes, EV manufacturers influence these valuations but don’t tell the whole story.

Now, let’s look at lithium uses in glass and ceramics.

Lithium Uses in Ceramics and Glass

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Little-known lithium uses – Blue ceramic pottery in Okinawa

1) Reduces Thermal Expansion
Take a look at that family heirloom in your hallway. Why doesn’t it expand in the summertime?

Lithium is responsible.

Glass-ceramic cooktops are the best example of this.  Lithium holds the moulding in place. As a result, no thermal resistance or expansion. 

2) Increases Mould Strength
Lithium increases ceramic body strength. This improves durability. 

So, go ahead and place that 20-year-old pot on a wobbly pillar in the front hall.

3) Ensures Colour Consistency
When applied to mixtures like cement, lithium reduces colour change. Without it, base ceramic colours influence colouration.

That’s why the hallway pot remains the same colour after all these years.

4) Improves Durability
Lithium is a major reason why windows don’t wilt under pressure. Normal windows are double-glazed, with two glass panes separated by an air gap. This helps with insulation and soundproofing.

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Lithium is used to insulate windows from the sun

However, better windows use lithium. A thin layer of the lightest metal on earth keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer

5) Increases Melt Rate and Lowers Viscosity
Lithium drastically reduces corrosion rates. It also ensures glass erodes slowly. Converting to an oxide while heating, lithium improves the physical properties of your kitchen window.

So, you can thank lithium for your ovenware. Without it, baked goods would be harder to make.

Now you know: lithium glass and lithium ceramics colour your world.

Lithium Market Price and Lithium Uses

Electric vehicles are expected to become more valuable. However, lithium exploration projects in Argentina aren’t exclusively tied to batteries.

Now you know: Ceramics and glass have played a major role in day-to-day life for decades.

Many technological advances in these areas are because of lithium. Even if you’ve never driven a Tesla, know that lithium affects your life every time you look outside your office window.

Or reach for that last cupcake.

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).