Friday, 21 July 2017

Apple's Electric Car Dream Can Be Back Powered By CATL - Biggest China's Lithium Battery Maker.

Apple's electric car project "Titan" is so secret that Tim Cook must be not believing in it officially himself anymore. We have another round of rumours reported by ElecTrek about the groundbreaking Electric iCar from Apple. Time is changing everything. Electric cars are coming faster than a lot of people are anticipating. Now it will be more crucial for the Apple's dream about $1 Trillion dollar market cap than for our dream that all cars will be electric.

A Magna Steyr conceptual vehicle from 2012.

Tesla Model 3 is here, dozens of new models of electric cars are coming in the next 3 years and Bloomberg is reporting about more than 100 new models of electric cars by 2022. There are more than 70 models of electric cars on sale in China already and somebody is getting seriously excited about lithium these days. Chinese companies will bring total disruption to the cost structure of lithium batteries and there are already reports about Audi buying its batteries at $114 per kWh from China. The time to launch electric cars for the mass market could not be better and Apple still can take this market by storm.

Energy rEVolution: Ganfeng Lithium Hits All Time High, Up Over 117% In A Year - The Lithium M&A Heatwave To Follow.

Ganfeng Lithium hits all time high and up over 117% from the year ago. The sales are booming and there is a total disconnect in the raw material supply lines and the exponential growth in the lithium battery capacity coming online. The heat wave of M&A in lithium sector will be one of the most spectacular in the all commodity space. Read more.
"The heat wave of Lithium M&A this summer has officially arrived. Lithium race now enters the ludicrous mode and SQM moves into the JV in Western Australia in the hard rock mining! SQM is the world's top lithium brine producer, but recent changes in Chile have brought some new challenges for the company. This move is diversifying SQM geographically and will allow finally increase the share of revenues in its fertilizers and chemicals stream towards lithium products. SQM is already engaged in JV with Lithium Americas and Ganfeng Lithium in the lithium brine project in Argentina. 
SQM is itself a target of constant dating from Chinese companies including Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi. We have just recently discussed the advance from GSR, another Chinese company. Now we can better understand the announcement by Ganfeng Lithium in June when SQM stopped to ship concentrated brine from Chile to China. Please note the announcement that SQM and Kidman have agreed to develop a proposed downstream lithium refinery operation to produce lithium carbonate and hydroxide in WA. All lithium majors are entering into the direct competition now and building their own vertically integrated lithium businesses when the security of lithium supply is everything. This process will drive M&A and consolidation in our industry in this Lithium 2.0 stage."


"Last year, Apple was rumored to be working on an autonomous all-electric car codenamed ‘Project Titan’. The company later confirmed development work on an autonomous driving platform and CEO Tim Cook even referred to it as “a core technology” for the company, but it showed signs of giving up on developing an actual car.
But now Apple is reportedly working on electric car batteries with China’s biggest battery maker.

Today, China’s Yicai Global reported that CATL, China’s largest automotive battery maker, is working with Apple on a confidential project:
“The Cupertino-based tech titan is working with Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), a battery manufacturer in China’s Fujian province, on a scheme based on a confidentiality agreement. The parties are working together in the field of batteries, sources involved with the cooperation said.”
Neither Apple or CATL commented on the report.
If true, it would mean that Apple’s Project Titan could be working more toward a fully electric car and not just a self-driving system that can be integrated into other vehicles, like what Alphabet’s Waymo is doing with other automakers.
Apple partnering with CATL would be a significant development for the project since battery production is often seen as a bottleneck in the electric vehicle industry and that’s a problem the company is trying to solve.
CATL tripled its lithium-ion battery production last year and plans to reach 50 GWh by 2020, which would make it the second biggest li-ion battery producer in the world behind Tesla/Panasonic if they all manage to deliver on their production goals.
If Apple wants to get into electric cars in a big way, CATL is among only a handful of potential partners that can make it happen on the battery front. Apple is already a big battery consumer due to its iPhones and Macbooks, but electric cars are on a completely different scale. One Tesla Model S represents roughly the same battery demand as 4,000 iPhones.
CATL’s batteries, which are primarily using LiFePo and NCM chemistries in prismatic cell formats, have been mostly going to electric bus production, but they recently signed a supply contract with SAAB successor National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in order to enable the production of hundreds of thousands of electric cars per year.
What do you think? Is Apple getting into the car business? Let us know in the comment section below."

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