I continue to write about the New Energy Plan developments in China and why it is now "The Centre Of Lithium Universe". There are 25 companies in China which are making 51 models of electric cars already. Now we will have to add a few more in a couple of years time. They are not just a bunch of wannabees, but the very dynamic start-ups usually backed by Chinese auto industry veterans and major conglomerates. It looks like now the only $1 Billion in raised funds can buy you a ticket into the electric future in China.
We have the most important part of the New Energy Plan: after the sate-level support private capital is pouring into the sector. Now it is not only my reports and wishful thinking for the lithium juniors: this money is getting into the lithium supply chain already. Two Lithium majors in China: Ganfeng and Tianqi - have revenues up more than 100% in the first 9 months of this year, according to Industrial Minerals report.
Meet another newcomer into the lithium Race in China. Reuters reports about Singulato:
"Shen Haiyin, Beijing-based Singulato's 42-year-old co-founder and CEO, says his company has raised about $700 million in total, much of it from an investment fund run by the municipal government of Tongling City in Anhui province as part of a "strategic partnership". Reuters."
Industrial Minerals reports about Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi Lithium from China and their incredible growth confirming my observations. Read more.
"Lithium: Goldman Sachs estimates that a Tesla Model S with a 70kWh battery uses 63 kilograms of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) – more than the amount of lithium in 10,000 cell phones.
Further, for every 1% increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) market penetration, there is an increase in lithium demand by around 70,000 tonnes LCE/year."
The Centre Of Lithium Universe: China Is Pushing For ZEV Mandate: 8% Of New Cars To Be Electric By 2018, 12% By 2020.
"China is The Center Of Lithium Universe, links below will provide you with more information why it is really happening so fast. China is already the largest market for electric cars, BYD backed by Warren Buffet is the largest EV manufacturer in the world and Chinese companies are producing the largest amount of lithium chemicals for the batteries. There are 25 companies which are making 51 models of electric cars in China now. This year we will see over 500,000 EVs sold in China. It took GM 7 years to sell 100,000 Chevy Volts from 2009. BYD will sell 100,000 EVs this year alone!Now Electrek reports that China is pushing for the very aggressive ZEV mandate: "8% Of New Cars To Be Electric By 2018, 12% By 2020." I will translate: this year we are getting just over 1% of new cars sales in China. By 2018 they are talking about a factor of 8 and by 2020 about the 12 times that amount! Digest. Maybe the Orange is the new Black, but economics has still the same language, money talks. And Green is the color of money these days. BYD estimates its profit up 84% this year after triple digits growth before! Read more."
Mr. Li Chairman of Ganfeng Lithium and Mr. Klip President of International Lithium Corp.
International Lithium and Ganfeng: Major Catalyst For Electric rEVolution And Security Of Lithium Supply.
Exclusive: Singulato is China's latest e-car newcomer to rev up with big fundraising
"The apparent ease with which Chinese electric car start-ups can raise new funds is largely down to government subsidies and favorable policies. Subsidies can total around 110,000 yuan ($16,285) a car, or around a third of the sticker price of a model such as the BYD e6.
While China today is reminiscent of Detroit in the early 20th century, with a host of new car makers arriving on the scene, Beijing is expected to phase out subsidies from 2020 - potentially crushing the start-ups' survival rate.
China has made a priority of making smart, connected electric . Entry barriers are relatively low, and Beijing sees the sector as a way for its auto industry to challenge, and even overtake, established global automakers, several of which have instead focused more on cleaner hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology.
Shen Haiyin, Beijing-based Singulato's 42-year-old co-founder and CEO, says his company has raised about $700 million in total, much of it from an investment fund run by the municipal government of Tongling City in Anhui province as part of a "strategic partnership".
Tongling city mayor Ni Duping said the decision to invest in Singulato is part of a strategy to promote the new energy automotive industry. "We believe this effort will definitely allow Tongling to accelerate the city's industry transformation," he said in a statement.
The company plans to invest in technology and build what Shen says will be a state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Tongling capable of making 200,000 cars a year, by around 2020.
The two-year-old start-up, with 140 employees, plans to roll out its first product, a crossover sport utility vehicle, by late next year or early 2018. Production will be outsourced, at least initially, to an existing automaker with excess manufacturing capacity, Shen said.
"We're targeting our EVs at young city dwellers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other large cities where buying a gasoline car is becoming more difficult because of purchase restrictions imposed by the government," Shen told Reuters in his modest office.
"If they buy an EV, they could buy a car immediately as EVs are exempt from purchase restrictions. Tech-savvy young people are naturally going to gravitate toward EVs."
Battling road congestion and air pollution, more Chinese cities are restricting new vehicle purchases - holding auctions and lotteries to sell a limited number of license plates. In Beijing, drivers of gasoline cars are barred from driving on one weekday per week. All-electric battery cars and heavily electrified plug-in hybrids are usually exempt.
Singulato's fundraising follows an around $1 billion financing deal for another Chinese EV start-up WM Motor, again largely involving a municipal government.
Other well-funded Chinese electric car start-ups include Future Mobility, LeEco's LeSee, Next EV, Ch-Auto's Qiantu Motor, and Changjiang Auto, as well as U.S.-based Chinese-funded start-ups Atieva and Faraday Future.
LeSee, which aims to launch an all-electric luxury car, for example, raised more than $1 billion in a latest financing, mostly from Chinese investors including state-owned enterprises and a local municipality.
Some 289,000 'new energy' vehicles, including all-electric battery and plug-in electric vehicles, were sold in China in January-September. Full-year sales are likely to fall well short of a 700,000 target, according to a top official at the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Singulato's Shen, who made his money as a tech entrepreneur in Tokyo, plans to aim straight for the electric car mass market rather than follow Tesla Motors' model of first making a high-profile electric battery super sports car to stir up buzz around a new brand.
Shen declined to elaborate on his pricing strategy beyond saying his cars would compete on price with Tesla's $35,000 Model 3.
For its first model, Singulato has developed in-house the electric propulsion and smart, connected systems, while doors, seats, panels and other basic parts were outsourced to Beijing-based IAT Technology Co.
For future models, Singulato plans to design, develop and manufacture more on its own, and has been scouting global automakers for talent.
"Compared to gasoline cars, EVs don't have complex mechanical systems like the engine and transmission. They're much easier to engineer and manufacture," Shen said.
"We think an even bigger differentiator will be how connected and intelligent the car is going to be, and we're focusing on that more than the car itself."
($1 = 6.7545 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)"