There’s more to the electric vehicle battery market than cars and SUVs

Thor Trucks

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By Ellsworth Dickson

In the past few years, there have been many reports on the world’s transition from internal combustion-powered vehicles to electric power with production forecasts usually covering cars and SUVs. However, the market for electric vehicles – and their battery metals – encompasses much more; namely trucks, busses, motorcycles and aircraft.

Major auto manufacturers around the world are currently gearing up for electric pickup truck production. For example, the Ford Motor Company [F-NYSE] is preparing to introduce the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup for 2022 that can even provide full power to your home during a power blackout for three days and for 10 days with power rationing.

Autoweek reported that Ford indicated that it intends to double F-150 Lightning production from 40,000 units to 80,000 a year, after reservations for the truck had surpassed 150,000 units.

General Motors’ [GM-NYSE] Chevrolet is launching the electric Silverado pickup that will start production in November 2022 built upon what it calls the Ultium Platform. The company will build electric Silverado pickups at its Factory ZERO assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. The GMC Hummer EV SUV will also be built at the factory.

The electric Silverado will have an estimated range of more than 400 miles on a full charge.

Rivian’s R1T electric pickup is beating them all as it is expected to be available by year end.

There are also smaller manufacturers that are specializing in building electric trucks of various sizes to feed the growing market. For example, Los Angeles-based Xos, Inc. [XOS-NASDAQ] has delivered fully electric trucks to large commercial fleets, including FedEx Ground operators, Loomis, Thompson Cat, Lonestar and Unifirst. Xos also builds heavy-duty semi tractors.

The company has a 6,000-unit backlog of contracted and optional orders.

The Tesla Inc. [TSLA-NASDAQ] electric semi and pickup truck are scheduled for availability sometime in 2022.  Currently, there is a US$100 billion market for medium and heavy duty commercial electric trucks.

According to Markets and Markets™, the electric truck market CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) is estimated to be 69,597 units for 2021 and is projected to reach an amazing 1,413,694 units by 2030 at a CAGR of 39.7% from 2021 to 2030. In addition to commercial trucks, the high forecast also includes governments switching to electric vehicles.

While the COVID pandemic decelerated growth of the electric truck market, production is expected to rebound next year.

Besides the companies noted above, other major players include BYD (China), Daimler AG (Germany), AB Volvo (Sweden) PACCAUR (U.S.), Scania (Sweden) and others.

An important development for the electric vehicle market has been technological advancements and production of EV batteries on a mass scale that have steadily lowered the cost of EV batteries, an expensive component.

Busses are also going electric. The global electric bus market is projected to reach 704,000 units by 2027 from 81,000 units in 2021 at a CAGR of 43.1%. Again, governments around the world are switching from gasoline and diesel busses to EVs. For instance, as of 2018, London, UK, had nearly 2,500 electric busses. The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the largest market for electric busses in the future.

Electric motorcycles – and electric bicycles – are also set for growth. 360 Research Reports has stated that the electric motorcycle market will register a 4.7% CAGR in term of revenue over the next five years with the global market size reaching US$8,122 million by 2026 as compared to US$5,867.9 million in 2020.

As an example of confidence in the future, Damon Motors will move into a new manufacturing facility in Surrey, British Columbia where it will build electric HyperSport motorcycles. By 2025, the plant is expected to employ 800 workers.

Battery-powered aircraft are also part of the electric vehicle revolution. BIS Research estimates that the market to grow at a CAGR of 14.84% between 2020 and 2025 with North America expected to be the dominate player.

Every one of the above mentioned electric vehicles is powered by batteries that are usually composed of lithium, copper, graphite, nickel, cobalt, manganese and nickel which bodes well for explorers targeting those commodities in an environment of rising demand.

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