Move over Iron Man, Lithium Man is coming, and he is faster, lighter and brighter than you’ll ever be! And not to rub it in but he’s also cheaper and way more compact.
Seems too good to be true, but Wesfarmers got involved and now everyone’s ears have pricked up.
So we had to have a look ourselves and find out what all the fuss is about.
Investing in and financing lithium developments are renowned for being expensive and this seems unlikely to change in the foreseeable future given the declining commodity prices and peer equity prices but with a $776 million takeover bid from Wesfarmers it would appear they have weighed up the risk and believe, along with their new mate Elon Musk, that we will all be scooting around in electric vehicles shortly.
We have seen little evidence in Perth for a massive uptake of electric cars and we defiantly don’t have the infrastructure in place yet but a short trip to Hobart only 18 months ago would suggest they are gearing up for an influx of electric cars on the island with charging stations dotted all over the place.
But it isn’t just Wesfarmers who are jumping on the super cool and bang on trend lithium car wagon, only last month a $135 million lithium research hub operated out of Curtin University was announced. $53 million will come from Federal and State Government while a further $82 million will be in-kind support from the sector. One of the things they will be looking into is how to make it viable for lithium batteries to be made in Australia using Australian minerals.
The majority of lithium activity is happening in Western Australia and according to the Lithium Market Outlook 2017, consumption of lithium products is forecast to grow at 11% per annum for the next few years. Growth is heavily concentrated in rechargeable batteries with car batteries in particular to grow at 27% per annum until 2025. So this can only be good news for the State.
Like you, Kuuwa will be watching with interest how Lithium Man proposes to take over WA and who knows, perhaps he will get a cameo in the next Avengers movie.