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Robert Baylis: The Supertrend for Lithium is Still Intact

Robert brings us his understanding of the lithium space. Only recently have automakers and governments focused on particulate matter what China describes as “cleaning the skies.” These policies have pushed the electric vehicle industry forward and thus the increased need for batteries. Meanwhile, prices for batteries have been falling while their capacity and capabilities have increased and we are now at the point of electric vehicles competing directly with fossil fueled cars.

The automobile industry is going through a huge technological shift. It’s a new type of tech that everyone wants, and at some point, electric vehicles will become the dominant transportation method. This means that enormous economic scaling is needed and thus a lot of lithium will be required.

Robert discusses the price of lithium and where the price is likely going from here. The demand picture is still there. Like most resources lithium is normally a cyclical business but this current market does not currently look cyclical. There are a few reasons why the price should not continue to increase. The only thing that could affect the lithium business would be a large financial shock to the economy of the world.

Lithium is likely to remain the battery technology in the medium term. Most E.V. manufacturers have a five to ten-year platform strategy. While it’s possible that some new battery tech could become developed it will need to scale and integrate into the existing demand market which would take time. Lithium-ion is a mature technology, and there is still room to grow in terms of battery performance.

Time Stamp Reference:

01:10 – Lithium history and promise.
02:20 – Electric Vehicles dominant market for lithium.
03:50 – Lithium supply pricing and contracts.
06:00 – Demand growth fundamentals.
06:50 – OEM’s moving into the marketplace.
08:40 – Possible risks with the lithium space?
10:00 – Electric vehicles likely to dominate.
11:00 – Possible future battery technology.

Talking Points From This Week’s Episode:
• Fundamentals for lithium seem to have improved this year.
• E.V demand has increased.
• Worldwide growing demand for lithium.
• There are no medium-term alternatives to lithium in batteries.

Robert Baylis has ten years of experience in metal and mineral market economics. He graduated in 2003 having undertaken a BSc in Geological Sciences and an MSc in Mineral Project Appraisal at Oxford Brookes and Imperial College universities. Robert worked as an environmental consultant before joining Roskill in 2006. In addition to managing Roskill’s minor metals research, Robert is an authoritative voice on the global lithium and tungsten markets, having contributed to multi-client and consultancy projects on the former for seven years. He has been Managing Director of Roskill since January 2012 and was previously manager of the industrial minerals division. Robert’s past research, consulting and managerial experience provides him with extensive subject knowledge across Roskill’s products and services.

Roskill’s website can be found at:

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