In this Article
- A Double-Edged Sword
- Is Lithium Already Dead?
- To Gain the Most, Buy Early
- The Best-Kept Secret in Tech?
With the electric vehicle market, the consumer wireless tech market, and the distributed energy storage market all set to explode in the next decade, it's only natural that the element they all depend on — lithium — will see a commensurate increase in demand.
That increase, based on industry analysts' best estimates, will amount to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9%.
Pretty dramatic to anybody well versed in growth rates, and enough to bring the total market value to around $120 billion annually by the end of this decade.
That makes lithium in all of its formats, ranging from exploration to lithium-ion battery production, one of today's most sought-after investments.
Tech-, resource-, and energy-minded investors are all piling into this space as we watch and wait for the world to gradually transition to an electron-fueled economy.
But what few investors know, and what few people outside the scientific and engineering community are aware of, is that this lithium revolution is already being questioned.
You see, lithium, for all of its benefits, also comes with some substantial drawbacks.
A Double-Edged Sword
It's tough to mine, it's highly taxing on the environment to extract and refine, and, perhaps worst of all, most of today's richest lithium-bearing properties are owned and operated by one of the Western world's most hostile political powers — the Communist Party of China (CCP).
This isn't surprising or shocking to anybody who follows the industry, as the CCP has been planning for the lithium revolution for decades, quietly buying up lithium exploration around the globe, from Asia to South America.
And their grip on the industry has tightened. Today 148 of the world's 200 biggest lithium-ion battery producing factories are now located in mainland China, compared with just 11 in the U.S., and 20 in Europe.
Even EV giant Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) gets most of its batteries from Asia, despite all the hype regarding “gigafactories” and market dominance you may be hearing from Elon Musk on Twitter.
In the years to come, Chinese influence over the lithium industry will only increase as the country charges toward its ultimate goal: a global lithium battery monopoly.
If it achieves this end, no war with the West will be necessary. China will have all the cards and all the power over tomorrow's economy.
Everything from your car to your smartphone will be powered by products with “Made in China” stamped across the housing.
Needless to say, the industry is scrambling to find a solution, and herein lies the secret that I alluded to earlier.
Is Lithium Already Dead?
The material at the heart of these next-generation batteries doesn't need to be mined or refined. It's produced artificially in high-tech laboratories, and the end result is a battery that's vastly superior on a technical level, not to mention completely independent of Chinese influence.
That material is called graphene. It's a high-tech nanostructure that's just one molecule thick and can be made using nothing more than natural gas and electricity.
Two hundred times stronger than steel, light as a feather, and highly conductive of both heat and electricity, this fabric has properties that make it almost extraterrestrial in nature.
When applied to a battery's cathode, the results are truly disruptive.
Graphene-ion batteries have a much higher energy density than lithium-ion, a longer service life, and a much, much faster charge time.
To translate these factors into meaningful numbers, a Tesla with a graphene battery pack would have a range of up to 1,000 miles, last for over 1 million miles, and charge from 0% to 100% in as little as one minute.
You read that correctly. A full charge in less time than it would take to fill up a gas tank.
That's a game-changer and just one of the reasons why the CAGR for graphene batteries has been pegged at right around 28% through the end of the decade.
To Gain the Most, Buy Early
That's almost three times the growth rate of lithium.
Now, to be clear, the graphene battery industry is just starting out.
In fact, there's only one company that's really producing any at all at the moment, and it's not Chinese. It's Australian.
The reason this company is leading the charge has to do with graphene production. You see, up until this company made a crucial breakthrough, the cost of production was too high to even consider making graphene for consumer needs — we're talking something on the order of $100,000/kg.
With the new production method, that cost has fallen by orders of magnitude, which has opened up an entire host of potential applications for this space-age material.
This company is currently quite small, with a market capitalization of less than $250 million — a mere drop in the bucket compared with the mammoth industry it's set to replace.
Its stock is also already public, which makes this a rare opportunity for investors in the know.
The Best-Kept Secret in Tech?
As you may have surmised by now, there aren't too many such investors out there today. Otherwise the stock would already be trading at a price several times higher than it is.
Today, only a handful of individuals outside the scientific community know anything about the company or the stock, which means you're on the cusp of a massive opportunity.