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Old Jan 29, 2017, 6:12pm   #9
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mark2017 started this thread CARS TECHNICA / ALL THINGS AUTOMOTIVE
Why electric buses may very well be the future of getting to school
Some schools are going electric to get away from diesel buses.
by Erica Cirino - Jan 28, 2017 10:00pm CST

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An electric school bus manufactured by Motiv.
School bus driver Jenifer Chiodo takes a moment to admire the orange-pink sunrise while she gets ready to spend the next few hours on the roads. Then she grabs her clipboard and jots down the date, her name, and the mileage on the odometer before starting up the engine of a Thomas Built Type-A “mini” bus owned by her employer, First Student Inc.

Chiodo drives about 21 miles on her two morning routes and 40 miles on her four afternoon routes, transporting just one or two special-needs children at a time across the suburbs of Rocky Point, New York. A Type-A bus gets just nine to 10 miles per gallon, and Chiodo says she’s come to realize how unsustainable and unhealthy her driving can be.

“I don’t even want to think about how much carbon my bus spews out into the air every day and how it’s warming the atmosphere,” says Chiodo. “Kids are breathing in exhaust, I’m breathing in exhaust... I’m very happy to help get these students to school, but I wish there was a safer and more environmentally friendly way of doing so.”

Too much, magic bus
Turns out, there might be a better way—and it’s being tried out just 40 miles west in another Long Island town. Copiague Public School District bus drivers are test-driving an electric version of Chiodo’s Type A bus. This past August, the district quietly added the all-electric vehicle to its fleet of traditional fossil-fuel-powered school buses, becoming the first in the state to do so. The district says its choice to try electric aligns with its goals of sustainability and safety.

America’s school buses burn through an estimated 822,857,143 gallons of diesel and gasoline per year. All-electric school buses emit nothing when running, and they have the potential to significantly cut down on the nation’s fossil fuel use and thus its contribution to climate change. Proponents of electric-vehicle technology argue that traditional gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses are far from safe, spewing out toxic emissionswhile relying on a body design that puts them at a higher fire risk than other types of vehicles.

“Compare an electric battery that’s placed low in between the buses’ frame rails, out of the way of impact, to a 50-gallon tank of highly flammable material that’s sitting right under kids for the duration of the ride,” says Jim Castelaz, CEO of California-based Motiv Power Systems, a company that creates the electric power train on which electric school buses and other vehicles are based. “It’s crazy to think we’re doing this.”

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, an average of six buses—including school buses—caught on fire each day from 1999 to 2003, the most recent years for which data is available. Instead of gas tanks, electric buses have batteries. While some lithium batteries have notably caught fire, electric buses use batteries made with a sodium-nickel or lithium material that solidifies upon impact to prevent fires that could be caused by leaking acid.

Thruppence and sixpence every day
The human and environmental health benefits of electric school buses are clear. But electric school buses cost about $200,000 to $300,000 per bus, as opposed to a mere $65,000 to $85,000 for a bus powered by fossil fuels. For many school districts, the only concern appears to be cost-effectiveness.

Driving up the cost of electric school buses is the dearth of companies building them and the parts they need to function. Besides Motiv, only a handful of other big names in the electric school bus business exist in North America: Lion Bus, Green Power Motor Company, Inc., Trans Tech, and Trans Power.

What’s more, many school districts shut down some or all of their bus fleet on weekends and over the summer, in contrast to municipal buses used for public transportation, which often run all day, 365 days a year. So while going electric in high-use municipal buses offers some return on investment, electric school buses have not yet reached that point. They’re simply not used enough to offset their high costs, according to Fraser Atkinson, chairman of Green Power Motor Company, Inc.

But he suggests that this shouldn’t deter school districts from buying electric school buses, especially in cases where a particular bus or group of buses will get a lot of use. For example, school districts often utilize Type-A school buses more frequently than the long “classic” Type-C buses. Like Chiodo, their drivers often run multiple routes a day to transport just a few students at a time, such as special-needs students who may go to separate schools. When an electric bus is driven as many routes as possible, school districts reap a higher return on investment.

Although the finances are iffy, rebates, which lower the overall cost of purchasing electric school buses, are a major deciding factor in whether or not districts will adopt them. California and Quebec are seeing electric school bus popularity rise because local lawmakers have developed a suite of rebates, regulations, and infrastructure that’s made the technology more cost-effective.

I want it, I want it, I want it
Yet school districts in New York and Chicago, the latest regions to adopt rebates for electric school buses, have been slow to embrace them. This concerns environmental and health advocates who want to see gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses replaced as soon as possible. But transportation experts say the only way for electric school buses to see more widespread adoption is if school districts push for rebates.

“Electric school buses have the potential to reduce the harms of pollution to school children and communities while reducing the exposure to the volatile price of petroleum fuels that can wreak havoc on municipal budgets,” says Luke Tonachel, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Clean Vehicles and Fuels Project. “School districts should seek to work with their local utility to create programs that can make electrifying their buses a cost-effective solution.
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Old Jan 29, 2017, 7:24pm   #10
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mark2017 started this thread Galaxy Resources (GXY)

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Old Jan 30, 2017, 10:27pm   #11
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mark2017 started this thread Lithium Carbonate Market Research Statistics 2016-2020 Opportunities
Friday, January 27th, 2017 - China Market Research Reports
Global lithium resources are primarily concentrated in Chile and China. However, as the Chinese lithium carbonate manufacturers are restrained by production technology, the supply of capacity is limited and Chile and Australia hold the lion’s share of global capacity. The world’s top3 players- SQM, FMC, and Rockwood together seize more than 56% market share, which give them a strong bargaining power over downstream companies and powerful pricing power and allow them to adjust prices according to market supply & demand and changes in production costs. Global lithium carbonate companies have successively expanded capacity so as to meet ever-increasing market demand in recent years. Meanwhile, a large number of newcomers outside the industry build new capacity and get involved in lithium carbonate business, thus reducing the concentration of the industry.

The booming sales of new energy vehicles worldwide will boost lithium carbonate consumption significantly. According to estimates, every 100,000 new energy vehicles (electric bus (40%), electric sedan (20%), hybrid bus (25%), and hybrid sedan (15%)) will create a demand of 5,000 tons to 8,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate, about a rise of 5%-8% in global demand for battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Driven by a surge in sales volume of new energy vehicles in China, the upstream material- lithium carbonate was in short supply in the fourth quarter of 2015 with soaring prices. Global lithium carbonate output increased by 12.3% year on year to 202,800 tons in 2015 and is expected to arrive at 244,200 tons in 2016, 288,900 tons in 2017, and 341,000 tons in 2018, a rise of 20.4%, 18.3%, and 18.4% from a year ago, respectively.

Complete Report Spread across 135 pages with 154 Charts Now Available. Inquire more at http://www.chinamarketresearchreport...hp?name=115299

The price of lithium carbonate in China has been going straight up since Oct 2015 with that of industrial-grade and battery-grade lithium carbonate rising substantially (to RMB120,000/t and RMB150,000/t in Jan 2016, respectively, when battery-grade lithium hydroxide was quoted at RMB140,000/t, compared with the bottom price of lithium carbonate standing at RMB50,000/t). It is expected that global demand for lithium carbonate will outpace supply during 2016-2017, leading to a continued price rise during this period. As new lithium carbonate capacities are gradually released after 2017, the price will tend to stabilize.

Chinese lithium carbonate suppliers can be principally divided into two categories: salt lake providers represented by Tibet Urban Development and Investment, spodumene providers represented by Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries and Galaxy Resources. The exploitation of salt lakes in China is still in its infancy with small capacity, while spodumene providers represented by Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries are relatively competitive.

In 2014, China produced 43,000 tons of lithium carbonate, a year-on-year rise of 16.5%, 23,000 tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate, up 4.5% over the previous year and mainly concentrated in Sichuan, and 2,600 tons of lithium metal, an increase of 13% from a year ago, compared with global output of around 4,000 tons. An output of 49,000 tons and apparent consumption of 74,000 tons caused a supply gap of 25,000 tons in 2015, and the gap is expected to reach 31,400 tons in 2020, creating brisk demand for imports.

We believe that as the Chinese government scales up its support for new energy vehicles, the demand for battery-grade lithium carbonate will be a tipping point. China’s demand for battery-grade lithium carbonate was about 27,800 tons in 2015 and is expected to exceed 100,000 tons in 2020. The country’s total demand for lithium carbonate will increase at annual rate of 20% over the next couple years, higher than the global average and approximating 167,000 tons in 2020.

The report focuses on the following aspects:

Global and China’s lithium carbonate supply and demand, supply gap, the demand for lithium carbonate from downstream sectors, especially new energy vehicles, energy storage, and consumer electronics.
Global and China’s competitive landscape, including market share of foreign and domestic companies, capacity planning, market pattern, etc.
China’s lithium carbonate imports and exports, covering import/export value, prices, sources, destinations, etc.
China’s production costs of lithium carbonate with lithium extracted from ores and from salt lake brine, price trends, etc.
China’s lithium battery industry, including shipments, technology routes, market pattern, etc.
Operation, technology, development planning, and output & sales of 8 lithium carbonate players in the United States, Chile, Australia, etc.
Operation, technology, development planning, and output & sales of 14 Chinese lithium carbonate companies.
Order a Copy of This Report at http://www.chinamarketresearchreport...hp?name=115299
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Old Jan 31, 2017, 12:01pm   #12
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Old Feb 2, 2017, 12:59pm   #13
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mark2017 started this thread Tesla’s Battery Plans Could Push Lithium Prices Even Higher

The global lithium market is now projected to reach US$1.7 billion by 2019, and the hunger for this decade’s most precious commodity is set to intensify further now that America’s first battery gigafactory is online and ready to start pumping out batteries to support the mass production of electric vehicles—just for starters.

Against this backdrop, there is nowhere more exciting to be than on the ground floor of a new lithium development, and the general consensus is that 2017 will lend critical acclaim to small-cap lithium companies hitting up the U.S. state of Nevada or the Latin American ‘Lithium Triangle’.

Lithium has become such a high-demand material driven by rapid expansion of the battery industry, Freedonia Group Global projects demand to rise 8.9% through 2019, which in dollar value for lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) is roughly $1.7 billion.

Lux Research, a leading independent research and advisory firm, believes the electric vehicle market will grow to $10 billion within the next four years, while Navigant Research forecasts sales of electric vehicles to increase from 2.6 million in 2015 to over 6 million in 2024.

According to Deutsche Bank, demand for lithium will rise from 209,000 tonnes in 2016 to 534,000 tonnes in 2025.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) is leading the market for now because competition is all about lithium-ion batteries. But German and Chinese competitors are racing to the finish line as well. This is a heated battle for new market share, and the key weapons are lithium and batteries. Tesla is ahead of the competition because it’s got its own battery gigafactory. And it’s only a lack of battery supply that could give its competitors—like BMW (NASDAQ:BAMXF), Volkswagen (NASDAQ:VLKAF), and Daimler’s (NASDAQ: DDAIF) Mercedes-Benz—a chance to cut in.

Still, there’s a way to go before anyone starts catching up with Tesla. By 2018, Tesla predicts it will churn out 35 gigawatts of batteries per year. It’s a massive amount that surpasses more than what the rest of the world combined produces. In other words, one of Elon Musk’s many claims to fame will be doubling global battery production capacity as early as 2018.

And while the mass production of Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan is one of the more exciting and visible drivers of demand—with 370,000 vehicles already ordered—there are other major drivers, such as massive energy storage systems, that will push demand exponentially higher.

What it all means is that we’re set for one of the biggest bull runs of since the shale boom thanks to limited lithium supply availability. If lithium grows at its expected rate of 16 percent annually, it will be the fastest-growing commodity of the century. With this in mind, small-cap lithium companies—the heart of new supply—are where the smart money is going.

With Tesla looking to “absorb the entire world’s lithium production”, in the words of Elon Musk, and seeking “American lithium sources first”, there’s no better place to start looking than Tesla’s own back yard—Nevada.

And when there are only a small number of lithium companies listed on the TSX.V., it comes down to picking the one that’s got the right resources and the right management team. For that, we follow the money and the mining legends behind Lithium X, which has just popped up on the radar again thanks to its phenomenally fast-paced growth strategy. This time, it’s acquired a 100% interest in yet another major project in Argentina, in one of the world’s largest and least-explored lithium hot spots.
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