In this Article:
- Fires Caused by Malfunctioning Batteries
- A Light at the End of the Tunnel?
- Did Graphene Come From Area 51?
- From Concept to Production Line
- The Cheapest Stock Trading Today?
You have, no doubt, heard already about the veritable epidemic of lithium battery fires that's been sweeping the nation in the past few weeks.
Fires caused by malfunctioning batteries are not news. New York City has at least 200 such fires every year — most of them triggered by the city's 25,000 e-bikes, available for rent via various mobile apps.
But a few weeks back, one such fire nearly destroyed an upscale high-rise in Manhattan's Midtown East neighborhood.
Firefighters responded, pulling dozens from the burning building located at 429 E. 52nd Street. When all was said and done, two were critically injured as almost an entire floor of the high-rise was engulfed in flames.
Like I said, this isn't a new thing, but this latest event was enough to send the New York City council into an emergency meeting for the sole purpose of controlling the city's lithium-ion battery secondary market.
Several other cities across the country followed suit in the days that followed, having tackled their own lithium fire problems for years.
But as lithium-fed fires raged on the east coast, we were getting a glimpse of the future from the other side of the continent.
A Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Last week, researchers at a company based in Southern California did something most of us can only dream of doing to a rechargeable battery — they shot it with a rifle.
The projectile, traveling at almost 3,000 feet per second, perforated an experimental new battery with no problem.
Alongside it, a standard lithium-ion battery was subjected to the same treatment.
The traditional battery instantly burst into flames — not surprising, as many lithium batteries do that with no provocation whatsoever.
The new battery however, didn't just fail to combust, but it actually continued to function as designed.
This experimental new battery featured a new material not found in today's mass-produced rechargeable batteries: graphene.
With the thickness of a single molecule and heat conduction properties unmatched by anything known to man, graphene is a wonder of the modern world.
Discovered at the start of the 21st century, it's so new that its two key researchers, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work back in 2010.
Did Graphene Come From Area 51?
Graphene boasts some other characteristics that will raise your eyebrows. It's lighter than paper yet 200 times stronger than steel.
It's almost invisible.
A sheet of it big enough to cover a football field weighs less than a gram.
It was also extremely expensive to produce, making it little more than a science project… until another company — this one based in the Eastern Australian province of Queensland — figured out a way to mass-produce it for just pennies on the dollar.
This new process, requiring only natural gas and electricity, was the final missing puzzle piece.
The company behind this new production process is a high-tech materials company, but very soon, it could become the biggest name in rechargeable power storage solutions.
You see, its graphene battery is in the final development stages before full-scale commercialization.
The batteries are already rolling off the assembly lines and getting shipped to prospective client firms for testing.
From Concept to Production Line
If reality comes anywhere near expectations, then this may well be the end of the lithium-ion market as we know it.
The new graphene batteries will have up to five times the life span in terms of charge/discharge cycles.
They will have up to three times the charge capacity.
And, most important of all by a long shot, they will charge up to 70 times as fast.
Just imagine charging your Tesla in less than a minute and not charging it again for the next 1,000–1,500 miles.
Imagine the battery pack not just outlasting the car, but outlasting you, on its way to a final odometer reading of over 1 million miles.
That's the sort of future that graphene has presented to the world, and it's all in the hands of a single Australian firm.
With prospects that huge, how would you value a company that holds the patents to this process and the products it makes possible?
$10 billion? Maybe $100 billion?
Not even close.
The Cheapest Stock Trading Today?
As of this morning, this Australian company's stock, which is already trading in North America on two major exchanges, was trading hands at a market capitalization of less than USD$200 million.
That's less than 1/1,000th the size of what the lithium-ion battery market is expected to be worth by the end of the decade.
And yet this company has the power to wipe lithium off the economic map.
Put all of these factors together and you get one conclusion: This may be the biggest inefficiency, and the biggest bargain, available anywhere in the public markets today.
I've been following this story for months now, and I'm convinced that it could be the biggest discovery of my career.
Fortune favors the bold,