Limited range is one of the drawbacks of electric vehicles (EVs) and could be the key to wider acceptance among potential buyers, notwithstanding government dictates or cost.
Researchers are exploring ways to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries by incorporating high-capacity anode materials, which could extend the driving range of electric vehicles. Silicon-based anode materials are believed to have the potential to increase the driving range at least tenfold. (1)
In addition, a joint team of researchers from POSTECH and Sogang University has developed a functional polymeric binder for stable, high-capacity anode material that could increase the current EV range at least 10-fold. (2)
It is worth noting that solid-state batteries are also being researched as a potential replacement for lithium-ion batteries. Solid-state batteries replace the liquid electrolyte used in lithium-ion batteries with ceramics or other solid materials, which could potentially improve the range of electric vehicles and shorten charging times. (3)
It’s worth noting that the demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, driven by the need to reduce climate change through electrification of mobility and the broader energy transition. According to a report by McKinsey, the entire lithium-ion battery chain, from mining through recycling, could grow by over 30 percent annually from 2022 to 2030, when it would reach a value of more than $400 billion. (4)
Companies that produce lithium-ion batteries or their components could be a good option for investors seeking to profit from this trend. For instance, investing in companies like Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), Panasonic Holdings Corporation (PCRFY), and LG Chem could be a good way to gain exposure to the lithium-ion battery market.
Secondly, investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that focus on lithium-ion battery producers could be another option. For example, the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT) is an ETF that invests in companies that produce lithium-ion batteries and their components.
Finally, investing in companies that mine lithium could also be a good option. Companies like Albemarle Corporation (ALB) and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) are two of the largest lithium producers in the world.
Of course, investing in emerging technologies can be volatile and is only appropriate for investors with above-average risk tolerance and long-term objectives.
1 – https://www.electronicsforu.com/news/whats-new/revolutionary-lithium-ion-battery-technology-boosts-ev-range-10x
2 – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/03/230329091806.htm
3 – https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/01/04/1066141/whats-next-for-batteries/
4 – https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/battery-2030-resilient-sustainable-and-circular