Demand for graphite used in EV batteries is set to increase by 15 times over the next decade, rising from 200,000 to 3 million tonnes annually. On the other side of the equation, global graphite supply is expected to remain tight for the foreseeable future. Last year, the world’s total output came to 952,600 tonnes, a staggering 15% decline over 2019.
With an intensifying national focus surrounding EV raw materials, it’s no surprise that high-priority designation was given earlier this year to Graphite One Inc. (TSX-V:GPH) (OTCQB:GPHOF) to develop what is possibly the largest known graphite resource in the US.
The United States is back in the fold of countries pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that is helping to drive demand for an assemblage of metals that a global push to decarbonize and electrify is expected to require.
When looking for an investment, the approach I take involves looking at the global, big picture conditions. I study trends, read the news, basically watch and listen to what’s going on in the world. Then I study the different sectors to select the one (or ones) that I think is going to match up well with the overriding, long-term theme. This is top-down investing.
The second part of my search for the dominant investment is a bottom-up approach. This is where I find individual companies, in the specific sector I have chosen to invest in.
The common denominator for each countries climate action plan is electric vehicles; that’s easy to identify. But whether economies can acquire sufficient raw materials to reach “full electrification” is another story — it's a problem that has yet to be solved.
For years, the US has been heavily reliant on foreign supply of minerals required for key areas such as national defense, electronics and medical equipment, and its EV sector is no different.
Under Trump’s executive order (September 2020), graphite was identified as one of four minerals considered essential to the nation’s “national security, foreign policy and economy.”
Currently, only 1% of the world’s vehicles are electric, but by 2030 they are expected to represent about 11% of new car sales, according to commodities consultant Wood Mackenzie.
Like lithium, graphite is indispensable to the global shift towards electric vehicles; it is the second-largest component in lithium-ion batteries by weight, with each EV containing between 40 and 60 kg of material.