In a bold statement, which Elon Musk is known well for, Tesla’s leader has pronounced that he is “optimistic” that Tesla will exceed previously released specs of the Tesla Semi Truck, the most promising fully electric truck.
News of improved lithium powered EVs is sending lithium mining companies reeling. Early movers in the lithium mining space continue to gain including QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, FMC, and Nemaska Lithium Inc.
lon Musk’s pronouncements about his companies’ inventions have often been met with ridicule and puzzlement. But he always walks the talk and delivers novel technologies that revolutionize complete industries.
The new mass cargo transit truck appears to be another of the major advancements that will surpass our expectations.
Companies preparing for the increased demand for this new generation of EVs have focused on lithium production and are expanding their efforts to create new supplies including developing new lithium sources and capturing previously untapped resources.
QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. is a junior company headlong into the lithium supply race. The company is focused on Canada’s hard-rock lithium sector in a well-known region in Manitoba gaining interest for its favorable mining logistics.
Other existing lithium players who are ramping up the increase the production levels of lithium resources include Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, the largest producer of lithium, FMC, which has expanding lithium interest in South America, and Australia’s Orocobre Ltd., already expanding its production capacity since establishing production a short time ago.
HOW GOOD WILL THE TESLA TRUCK BE?
From rocketry to mass transportation and perhaps more pertinently to electric vehicles, Musk’s confidence in his ability to dazzle with unimaginable technology is now well known. With that in mind, we can conclude that his latest pronouncement about the Tesla Semi is no act of empty bravado.
After helping establish the electric family saloon as the car of the future with the Tesla range of EVs, Musk has now set his sights on mass cargo transit.
Musk says that his vehicle will exceed previously released specs of the Tesla Semi Truck hand down.
If this does not turn out to be a truly rare case of false embellishment by Musk, the Tesla Semi will definitely blow other cargo truck companies out of the water.
The specs released at the unveiling event in December 2017 were already pretty impressive:
– Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph with 80,000 lb: 20 seconds
– Speed up a 5% Grade:60 mph
– Mile Range: 300 or 500 miles
– Powertrain: 4 Independent Motors on Rear Axles
– Energy Consumption: Less than 2 kWh per mile
– Fuel Savings: $200,000+
– Expected Base Price (300 mile range): $150,000
– Expected Base Price (500 mile range): $180,000
Even the best diesel cargo trucks would struggle to beat this performance.
With the enormous savings, the company estimated that the truck, expected to hit the roads in 2019, will have a payback time of just 2 years.
As expected with every Musk announcement, doubters creeped out of the woodwork.
Daimler’s head of trucks expressed reservations towards this pronouncement, arguing that the listed specs already defied and surpassed the laws of physics.
One cannot bet against Elon and Tesla to prove him and other naysayers wrong. Tesla is currently testing the Semi with a number of partners and the results so far seem to have reinvigorated his confidence in the specs.
Although he did not specify the exact margins or provide an updated list of stats, he insisted that the Tesla Semi will be “something really special.”
Musk left the comments as a reply to an article on Elektrek which suggested that DHL would make substantial savings by adopting the Semi into its fleet.
QMC QUANTUM MINERALS READYING TO FUEL DEMAND
If miners for lithium are going to react to the spike in demand, they will need to move now on existing resources.
That’s the exact situation for QMC Quantum Minerals, which is fast tracking their current project in the Province of Manitoba, Canada. The mineral region is now ranked as the 2nd most favorable mining district in the world according to the Fraser Institute, displacing Australia and others.
QMC Quantum acquired a known lithium property –the Cat Lake Lithium Property, formerly known as the Irgon Mine in 2016.
Its property is in good company. The location is just 20km from the world class Tanco Mine, which was previously North America’s largest and sole producer of spodumene (Li).
A predecessor to QMC drilled 25 holes into the property’s Irgon Dike in the 1950s and reported a historical resource estimate of 1.2 million tonnes grading 1.51% Li20 over a strike length of 365 meters and to a depth of 213 meters.
QMC Quantum’s geological team agrees with the accuracy of those historical drill results and now started a drilling and assessment program to bring the results up to date. The company just reported samples with greater than 2% Lithium within the property and is expanding the sampling.
Direct to production sources like QMC Quantum Mineral’s Cat Lake Project could be vital sources as the entire transport industry is being remade in the form of EVs.
TRAINS, PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES (AND TRUCKS)
The massive market for virtually every type of EV is clearly driving demand and the so called “hype” produced by the likes of Elon Musk are only serving to push it even higher.
With battery technology continuing to usurp the transportation sector at a high rate, there is one commodity that will reap high demand growth; lithium.
Lithium is a critical metal in the construction of li-ion batteries which continue to be the most popular choice in EVs and consumer electronics. The current installed mining capacity of the metal is almost certain to be insufficient to meet future demand growth.
Since mining is a very expensive affair, junior mining companies tend to resist entering the market until the price has risen high enough to guarantee returns on investment.
As such there continue to be a demand-supply mismatch for the next few years making lithium and junior pure-plays a very attractive investment option.