Lithium-ion Batteries and Nine Years of Price Stagnation

This May will mark the nine-year anniversary of "Costs of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Vehicles," a seminal study from the DOE and Argonne National Laboratory that sent America lurching down a path toward an HEV, PHEV and EV future based on Li-ion batteries. Since nine years is a respectable length of time in most industries, I thought it might be interesting to review the prevailing expectations in May of 2000, consider the cost reductions achieved over the last nine years and question whether the market frenzy over Li-ion battery companies is even close to rational. Regular readers know that I'm...

Why I’m Thrilled By Axion’s Financing Transaction

John Petersen This morning Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) announced the closing of a $26 million private placement of straight common stock that was sold to institutional and individual investors lead by Special Situation Funds, Manatuck Hill Partners and Narragansett Strategic Master Fund. While some current shareholders will no doubt complain that the private placement price of $0.57 per share represents a $1.01 discount from yesterday's close and seems pretty dilutive, I'm thrilled that my fondest wish has come true a couple days before Christmas. After several months of nagging doubt over whether Axion would be able to...

My ATVM Loan and ARRA Battery Grant Preview

John Petersen The next few days are going to be a very exciting time in the energy storage and electric vehicle sectors because the Obama Administration is preparing to announce a series of major ATVM Loan and ARRA Battery Manufacturing Grant awards. President Obama will be in Elkhart, Indiana where he will presumably announce an ATVM loan to Navistar (NAV) and may announce some additional ATVM loans or ARRA battery grants. Vice President Biden will be in Detroit where he is scheduled to announce one or more ARRA battery grants and perhaps some ATVM Loans. Secretary...

Electro Energy: Drained, or Ready to Recharge?

Bottom-Fishing for Batteries I believe that we have only seen the beginning of the current market decline.  You should take that with a grain of salt, since I've been unremittingly bearish since 1999 and for more than half that time, the market has been going up. Even if the market has much further to fall, some stocks may have already taken most of the damage they are likely to take.  Knowing that I might be wrong, I've started to do a little bottom fishing among companies that people have been starting to dump as the realize stock prices can...

Metal-Air Battery Stocks

by Debra Fiakas CFA Earlier this year, we added metal air batteries and the companies who are working to commercialize the technology on our list of promising acts to follow.  The Israeli battery developer, Phinergy, was added to our Mothers of Invention Index.  Back when I wrote the post “More in the Air than Spring” back in April 2013, Phinergy had attracted a bit of attention for a road test of Citroen C1 car outfitted with a technology far different than conventional lithium ion.  No one knows Phinergy.  It is too small and too foreign to impress...

A123 Systems, An Object Lesson In Toxic Financing

John Petersen July has been a ghastly month for stockholders of A123 Systems (AONE) who've watched in horror as the stock price collapsed from $1.30 on July 5th to $0.49 at Friday's close. While there was unfavorable news of a director resignation yesterday, all the other news over the last month has been positive, at least at first blush. In my view the market activity was both predictable and directly attributable to recent toxic financing transactions that will have A123 printing stock faster than Ben Bernanke is printing dollars for the foreseeable future. I'd love to be able...

A Tale of Two Battery Companies

John Petersen The last few weeks have offered a fascinating object lesson for believers in Benjamin Graham's theory that "In the short run the market acts like a voting machine, but in the long run it acts like a weighing machine." Since January 4th I've watched in awe as Exide Technologies (XIDE) lost roughly 30% of its market value and Ener1 (HEV) lost closer to 40%. The difference is that Exide took a voting machine beat down because it lost a well-known but financially immaterial customer while Ener1 seems to be caught in the early stages of a...

Electro Energy and In-Q-Tel Announce Strategic Relationship and Development Agreement for Bipolar Lithium Battery...

Electro Energy Inc (EEEI) and In-Q-Tel, a private not-for-profit venture group funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, today announced the establishment of a strategic relationship, including a technology development agreement. In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve United States national security interests. This means that they like what they see with this next generation battery technology.

Ultralife Batteries Receives $2.7 Million BA-5390A Battery Order

Ultralife Batteries Inc (ULBI) has received an order valued at approximately $2.7 million for its new BA-5390A battery with state-of-charge indicator from the U.S. Defense Department. Deliveries are expected to begin this quarter and be completed in the second quarter. This is the first order against the company's Next Gen II, Phase IV five-year battery contract and is unrelated to the company's recently announced order for its standard BA-5390 battery.

Four Green Money Managers’ Top Stock Picks

Green money managers' stock picks after the Japanese nuclear crisis. Even as the nuclear disaster in Japan unfolds, it's clear that the world's energy industry will be forever changed. Russian reactors were never considered safe, but a Japanese to have a nuclear meltdown is an entirely different story. Market Reaction Since Monday, nuclear stocks and ETFs have been plummeting. As of Wednesday night, The Market Vectors Uranium + Nuclear Energy ETF (NYSE:NLR), the iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index (NASD:NUCL), PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy Portfolio ETF (NYSE:PKN), and the Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE:URA) are down...

Ener1 And Delphi Sign LOI To Form Lithium Battery Joint Venture

ENER1 INC (ENEI) and Delphi Corp. (DPH), today entered into a non-binding letter of intent to create a joint venture to leverage their combined expertise in lithium batteries. Delphi and Ener1 will be negotiating definitive agreements and conducting due diligence in the coming weeks. "The combination of Ener1's vapor deposition process and its nanotechnology for production of high-rate, low-cost lithium batteries with Delphi-developed high energy capacity technology would allow the venture to have a key advantage in penetrating its target lithium battery markets," — Kevin Fitzgerald, Ener1's CEO. ENEI is up over 14% on this news...

Axion Power is Poised to Dominate Energy Storage for Stop-start Idle Elimination

John Petersen After eight years of rarely speaking above a whisper, Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) has found its voice, taken the scientific wraps off its PbC® battery technology and shown potential customers, competitors and investors that it's carrying a big stick and is poised to dominate energy storage for stop-start idle elimination – a cheap and sensible fuel efficiency and emissions reduction technology that's expected to grow at spectacular rates for the rest of the decade as shown in the following forecast of battery demand in vehicles equipped with stop-start systems. In a new white...
Epanko

Canadian and Tanzanian Graphite Connections

A list of graphite companies covered in this series can be found here. Like performance test results, customer relationships are critical stepping stones for graphite developers.  In June 2018, Northern Graphite (NGC: TSX-V) announced a memorandum of understanding with a European trading company to sell 100% of the output from Northern’s Bisset Creek resources in Ontario, Canada.  China-based manufacturers are the intended end-users.  Northern management is using the arrangement as leverage with prospective investors to finance mine infrastructure and processing equipment.  Capital costs are expected to exceed CA$145 million. Northern claims a proprietary purification technology the company intends to use to upgrade its graphite output.    Its Bissett Creek deposit...

Batteries for HEVs, Batteries for EVs

I'm a longtime fan of electric vehicles (EVs) as well as Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), in all their variations.  When it comes to investing, I think the best way to invest  in on the growth of electric transportation is batteries, partly because pure play battery companies exist (although my top battery pick, Electro Energy (EEEID) , has been one of my poorest performers, in a classic case of a cheaply priced company getting even cheaper. Given these interests, I was speaking to the President of Porous Power Technologies, a private battery components firm a couple weeks ago...
SS Battery Diagram

In Search Of Solid State Battery Stocks

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Greater energy density or the amount of energy stored is the mission of every battery developer.  The higher the energy density, the longer a battery can serve its owner.  Scientists have been adjusting circulating chemistry, cloaking electrodes in exotic metals, and otherwise tinkering with conventional battery designs.  Debate even spills over into the raw material supply chain as it has recently over the use of expensive and sometimes difficult to source cobalt as an additive to lithium ion battery designs.   Others are trying to tame silicon for use in battery anodes. Perhaps the most daring developers have abandoned conventional battery design...

Battery Investing for Beginners, Part II

John PetersenLast Friday I published "Battery Investing for Beginners" as an introductory piece for investors who don't know much about the energy storage sector but are interested in learning more because of the hugely successful initial public offering by A123 Systems (AONE). Since the article was well received and there seems to be a good deal of reader interest, I've decided to continue the theme with a series of articles where I'll try to build a contextual framework for the industry and show where various types of energy storage devices and their manufacturers fit into that framework. Since I...
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