Market Overview

Why Sustainable Nickel Supply Could Becoming A 'Serious Issue' For EV Market

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PALM BEACH,  Fla., Nov. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The electric vehicle market has had some bumps in the road, but the industry has continued to move forward and to succeed by continually adapting… but their need for newer and better batteries and cells is an ever changing task… and the "recipe" of their energy cells is also evolving. Previously, according to the Wall Street Journal, one standard form of cathode—the most valuable part of an automotive-grade lithium-ion battery—used to contain equal parts of nickel, cobalt and manganese. Now it has eight parts of nickel to each one of the other two metals. A recent article in industry insider, future Net Zero, said that the sustainable nickel supply is becoming 'serious issue' for EV market and that EV powertrains are putting 'sudden and unprecedented strain on several raw materials industries'… especially nickel. Active stocks in the markets this week include Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Here To Serve Holding Corp. (OTCPK: HTSC), Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA), Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ:WKHS), Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE).

The article, referring to a report from IDTechEx, said: "Nickel is increasingly replacing cobalt in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, making the environmentally-conscious supply of the metal a "serious issue" for the market. That's the warning from IDTechEx, which says EV powertrains are putting "sudden and unprecedented strain on several raw materials industries" as they make up an increasing share of the world's vehicles. One of the environmental issues brought about by nickel mining is the fact that the metal is typically mined from ores that contain only a very small amount of useful material, resulting in a significant volume of waste material." The article continued: "(the) IDTechEx (report) highlights a trend towards increasing amounts of high-nickel content cathodes in EV batteries – nickel is an essential part of the cathode in lithium-ion batteries and allows a balance of energy and power density."BMW, Hyundai and Renault use variants of the Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) chemistry, while Tesl uses a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) chemistry – in 2019, more than 95% of new passenger EVs sold used batteries of these types… The study notes demand for the metal is being driven by increasing nickel content in battery cells, as manufacturers switch to new chemistries to improve energy density and reduce cobalt dependence."

Here To Serve Holding Corp. (OTCPK: HTSC) BREAKING NEWS:  Fortune Nickel and Gold Inc. Receives Geo-Environmental Report - Fortune Nickel and Gold Inc. ("Fortune"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Here To Serve Holding Corp., has received a geo-environmental report from Prairie Fire Enterprises. The report noted no recognized environment conditions and provided several recommendations as to how Fortune explores its nickel-rich mining claims on its Gowan property.

Three salient recommendations noted in the report are as follows:

  1. Re-drill the borehole (FH-68) and drill test the five best geophysical anomaly targets. A review of historical drillhole datasets coupled with various government geological and geophysical airborne magnetic and electromagnetic map layers at the Gowan property (and vicinity) has resulted in the identification of preliminary drilling targets composed of multiple linear, easterly trending, electromagnetic anomalies (conductive zone) that extend over several miles long across the property where Fortune holds the mining claims.
  2. Perform a detailed review of the historical drill hole data that includes the overburden drilling results and the variation in paleo-topography.
  3. Previous drilling reports have confirmed semi-massive to disseminated base precious metals, including gold, silver, copper and zinc mineralization hosted in ultramafic rocks at the contact with felsic metavolcanics and intrusive rocks in central Gowan Township.  The bimodal ultramafic and felsic intrusive-volcanic suite in the Gowan property is similar to that at the Giant Kidd Creek Mine and offers an exciting exploration target for precious metals as well the high-grade nickel that Fortune seeks to supply to the high-growth electric vehicle ("EV") market.  Tesla recently projected an 86-fold increase in battery production this decade that would allow Tesla to produce 20 million EVs by the year 2030.

Fortune's CEO, Paul Riss, said "I am pleased to announce that the completed review of historical and present datasets for our Gowan property is immensely exciting as it has highlighted the strong potential of the area for large amounts of gold, zinc and copper, as well as a massive nickel find.  This property is well diversified in base and precious metals as well as battery metals. We continue to move expeditiously through the exploration phase of the Gowan property." For more info on HTSC please visit:  https://www.heretoserve.tech/ 

Other recent developments of note include:

In an article from the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) blog this year, The freedom to travel anywhere is critical to Tesla's mission. Since the introduction of our 265-mile Model S in 2012, we've continued to revisit every aspect of the design to deliver the longest-range and highest-performance electric vehicles on the road.

Starting in June, all North American Model S Long Range Plus vehicles have an official EPA-rated range of 402 miles, representing a nearly 20% increase in range when compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design. This significant achievement reflects Tesla's obsession with efficiency and energy frugality, and is realized through several changes, both iterative and transformational, in core hardware and system architecture development by the Tesla engineering, design and production teams. These changes went into production earlier this year when we first started manufacturing Model S Long Range Plus at our factory in Fremont, California. All Model S Long Range Plus vehicles will receive the new 402-mile rating.

Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation systems, recently reported financial results for the third quarter of 2020. "In the third quarter of 2020, Nikola made significant progress on key milestones," said Mark Russell, Nikola's Chief Executive Officer. "We delivered on our commitment to assemble the first Nikola Tre BEV prototypes and are continuing to work with customers on the prospective and previously announced BEV truck orders. I look forward to building on our momentum as we execute our strategy and lay the groundwork to become an integrated zero-emissions transportation solutions leader."

Completion of the First Nikola Tre BEV Testing Vehicles at IVECO's Ulm, Germany Manufacturing Facility.  During the third quarter, Nikola and IVECO, (a CNH Industrial brand) began assembling the first five Nikola Tre BEV prototypes at IVECO's industrial complex in Ulm, Germany, and recently completed the assembly of the first Nikola Tre. The first truck is undergoing systems commissioning, including charging and discharging the high voltage batteries. It has also been put onto the chassis dyno and is undergoing torque command calibration to the e-axles on the test track to prepare for validation testing in the first quarter of 2021.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ:WKHS), an American technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective drone-integrated electric vehicles to the last-mile delivery sector, announced recently that it has received a purchase order for 500 of its all-electric C-1000 delivery vehicles from Pritchard Companies ("Pritchard").

Inventory financing will be provided by Hitachi Capital America ("Hitachi Capital America" or "HCA") as part of the Company's previously announced strategic partnership with HCA. Vehicles will be distributed through Pritchard Companies' dealership locations across the country. Throughout its 107 years of operating history, Pritchard Companies has developed a robust national network of partners and is one of the nation's largest commercial vehicle distributors, selling over 30,000 units annually to customers across all 50 states.

Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALErecently informed that its subsidiary Vale Canada Limited (VCL) has entered into exclusivity for 30 days with a consortium to negotiate the sale of its ownership interest in Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie S.A.S. (VNC). The consortium led by current Vale New Caledonia management and employees is supported by both The New Caledonian and the French governments and has Trafigura as a minority shareholder.

The negotiations include finalizing outstanding requirements to support the transition and continuity of VNC operations from VCL to the new ownership structure.  Any transaction for the acquisition of VNC would be subject to the prior consultation of the VNC works council and customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.  Vale reaffirms its commitment with its shareholders to transform the Base Metals business, simplifying operations flowsheet going forward and enabling the continuous focus on core assets, while also honoring its new pact with society, contributing to the maintenance of a sustainable environment for safe operations continuity.

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