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Does Sono Group Have a Breakthrough Innovation That Could Put “Range Anxiety” to Bed?

In a blink-and-you-miss-it moment this week, one of the most interesting electric vehicle (EV) startups in the world went public through a super successful…

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This article was originally published by Investor Place

In a blink-and-you-miss-it moment this week, one of the most interesting electric vehicle (EV) startups in the world went public through a super successful initial public offering (IPO).

Source: Sono Motors

That company is the Germany-based Sono Group (NASDAQ:SEV) – a small EV company that’s unlike any other electric vehicle firm on the planet. This isn’t the next Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), nor is it the next Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) or Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN)… and that’s by design.

Because, while all those EV makers are making plug-in electric vehicles, Sono is making the world’s first solar electric vehicle, or “SEV.”

Soaring 150%-plus from its $15 IPO price Wednesday, investors have sat up to take notice of this company that is helmed by a CEO barely out of university.

Indeed, at age 26, Sono founder Laurin Hahn cuts a very different image than your typical CEO. Hahn’s an environmentalist and idealist at heart, which is why Sono’s goal isn’t just to sell cars, but to “implement an innovative CO2-neutral mobility concept.” Out of that vision comes the Sion – an understated, no-frills attempt at designing an effective solar EV for the masses.

And unlike the glossy, leather-clad premium electric vehicles dominating most conversations around EVs, the Sion actually feels like a vehicle designed to put the world on the right path toward net-zero carbon emissions.

To ensure its vision aligned with the needs of everyday drivers, the company’s signature vehicle – the Sion – had its users in mind from the very beginning. Everything from the color and upholstery of the car to the voltage and resulting range of the battery was voted on by a community of 15,000.

As for its look, the Sion essentially replaces the exterior aluminum and paint on an electric car with 248 flexible solar modules that are perfectly adapted to the shape of the vehicle.

Source: Sono Motors
Source: Sono Motors

The car looks, drives, and acts just like any other mass-market EV. But as it drives, it charges itself through these solar cells. There’s a still a battery at the core of the vehicle, but it doesn’t rely on being plugged in – the battery can be recharged by simply leaving it out in the sun.

The huge value-add here, of course, is solving so-called EV “range anxiety,” or the fear that EVs won’t be able to drive you as far as you need to go.

To-date, such fears have proven very legitimate. After all, your typical EV today fetches around 250 miles of driving range. Your average gas car can travel up to 400 miles per tank. So, yes, EVs have historically been limiting in terms of how far they can travel.

Sono Motors believes that its solar EV tech will fix this issue. And while it is a very innovative solution that we find super interesting, there’s just one small issue: It doesn’t actually solve the “range anxiety” problem.

Sono’s claim is that its solar cells collectively add about 70 miles of driving range to its Sion EV, which has a built-in driving range of 190 miles. Add it up, and even with these solar panels, the Sion still gets less than 300 miles of real-time driving range – much less than the 400 miles a gas-powered car fetches per tank.

But solar technology is not static –it’s very dynamic. And right now, scientists across the globe are working on multiple solar technology breakthroughs to dramatically improve the performance of solar cells. One such promising breakthrough is the inclusion of perovskites in solar cells. Perovskites are a very flexible material, and therefore, could be included in Sono’s solar mobility tech to significantly improve the performance of these SEVs.

In other words, while solar electric vehicles are cool, the underlying solar cell technology here is still many years away from being robust enough to actually solve EV range anxiety fears.

That’s the bad news.

The good news, though, is that we don’t even need solar electric vehicles to solve range anxiety…

Because there is another breakthrough battery technology being pioneered today, which is ready to add not just 70 or 80 miles of driving range to an EV – but potentially thousands of miles of driving range to an EV, thereby allowing electric cars to travel as much as 10X as far as gas-powered cars on a single charge.

These batteries are the future and will forever solve the EV “range anxiety” problem.

And that’s why I’ve arrived at a simple name for this battery tech breakthrough: The Forever Battery.

It’s simple, really… With them, EVs will last forever.

The technology behind these forever batteries is exceptionally complex – so complex, in fact, that no one has been able to make one big enough to power an electric car yet.

But that’s changing right now, as some companies in this space have – for the first time ever – built small-scale “forever batteries” that are working. Now, all these companies have to do is scale these batteries and make them bigger.

Make no mistake. They’re going to do just that. And the companies behind this forever battery technology will turn into titans of the EV industry.

Not to mention, their stocks will score shareholders enormous returns.

So what will it be?

You could go out and buy Sono stock right now, after it’s already doubled from its IPO price… or, you could learn about this world-changing “forever battery” breakthrough and how to capitalize on it by investing in one tiny $3 stock.

On the date of publication, Luke Lango did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

The post Does Sono Group Have a Breakthrough Innovation That Could Put “Range Anxiety” to Bed? appeared first on InvestorPlace.


Author: Luke Lango

Articles

Resources Top 5: Hopeful uranium stocks, an important graphite deal, and lots of imminent news flow

Aspiring graphite miner Black Rock invited to finalise agreement with Tanzanian government Cauldron Energy dusts off Yanrey uranium project, despite ……

  • Aspiring graphite miner Black Rock invited to finalise agreement with Tanzanian government
  • Cauldron Energy dusts off Yanrey uranium project, despite government opposition
  • Redstone (copper, cobalt), Latrobe (magnesium) and Empire (gold, copper, nickel, PGEs) up on no news

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday December 7.

 

CAULDRON ENERGY (ASX:CXU)

(Up on no news)

When the WA state government implemented a ban on most new uranium mines in 2017, CXU stopped work at its flagship ‘Yanrey’ uranium project and began searching for other dirt to play with.

It now has a historic gold project called ‘Blackwood’ in Victoria and a silica sands play called ‘Ashburton’ in WA. It is also poking around Yanrey again, which is a lot more interesting now that uranium prices are on the move.

While government support (or lack thereof) for new mines has not changed, a recent survey uncovered a bunch of “highly prospective targets for follow-up drilling” at Yanrey.

“Our ultimate objective is to explore for uranium mineralisation amenable to extraction by ISR,” CXU exec chairman Simon Youds says.

“Economic deposits of sandstone-hosted, palaeochannel-style uranium can be mined using ISR in the lowest cost quartile of uranium mined globally.”

“This characteristic makes these deposits extremely attractive for mining at any uranium price and necessarily must form the basis of any uranium resource portfolio.”

Yanrey exists within a larger uranium province that is slowly being uncovered, Youds says.

“There is potential here for a scale comparable to the best uranium-endowed province globally and that, with astute leadership, Western Australia is at the threshold of a new energy resources boom.”

At Blackwood, CXU has stumbled upon visible gold in an underground area historically excavated for access purposes only:

“The visible gold observed, coupled with the beautiful sandstone-shale contact and structurally complex geology, provides an exciting new target for drill testing,” Youds said in November.

“The observation of visible gold further increases our confidence in the remaining mineral potential of these historical mines.”

The $11.5m market cap stock is down 6% over the past month, and 30% year-to-date. It had $1.5m in the bank at the end of September.


 

REDSTONE RESOURCES (ASX:RDS)

(Up on no news)

The nanocap, which has partially bounced back from recent losses in early trade Tuesday, is drilling to grow the 38,000t copper, 535t cobalt ‘Tollu Copper Vein’ deposit, part of the ‘West Musgrave’ project in WA.

Tollu hosts “a giant swarm of hydrothermal copper rich veins” in a mineralised system covering a +5sqkm area, ~40km from OZ Minerals’ (ASX:OZL) world-class Nebo-Babel nickel-copper deposit.

A conceptual (theoretical, not real yet) exploration target suggests up to 627,000t of copper may be present, the company says.

Recent portable XRF analysis of new drilling returned hits like 16m at 2.62% copper from a 74m downhole, including 6m at 6% copper from 76m.

These will be confirmed by traditional assay, the company says. Labs are backed up to the hilt, so who knows when that will be.

RDS say exploration will continue “at the earliest opportunity” in 2022 with a deeper RC drilling program at priority targets.

The $12m market cap stock is up 30% over the past month. It had $2.6m in the bank at the end of the September quarter.

 

BLACK ROCK MINING (ASX:BKT)

It’s been a good news week for aspiring graphite miner BKT.

Today it announced it had been invited by the Mining Commission to attend a ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday 13 December “to finalise an agreement with the Government of Tanzania”.

Black Rock managing director John de Vries is currently in country and is expected to attend, BKT says.

The company has also just completed a massive 500t pilot plant run – the largest ever, it says — to send off for qualification (testing) to potential customers in North America, Asia and Europe.

This will ultimately support project financing, BKT says.

The company now needs to finalise off-take terms with cornerstone investor POSCO, and secure finance to underpin a $US116m Phase 1 development capex program.

The $183m market cap stock is down 10% over the past month, and up 115% year-to-date. It had $9.3m in the bank at the end of September.

 

LATROBE MAGNESIUM (ASX:LMG)

(Up on no news)

Early works – like fixing fences, site clean-up, contracting — are happening apace at LMG’s magnesium project in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, with construction on an initial 1,000 tonne per annum magnesium plant due to kick off in Q1 2022.

Production starts up to 12 months later in Q4 2022.

The plant will be expanded to 10,000 tonnes per annum magnesium shortly thereafter, with further plant capacity expansion to be considered once it is operating successfully.

Magnesium has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all common structural metals and is increasingly used in the manufacture of car parts, laptop computers, mobile phones, and power tools.

In November, LMG said current magnesium price was US$6,150 per metric tonne and expected to hold.

“LMG’s revenue estimates are based upon US$3,250 per tonne which was the magnesium price in June 2021, before the China supply shortage commenced in September 2021,” it says.

“If the current price of US$6,150 per metric tonne held long term, it would increase LMG’s estimate of EBITDA for its 10,000tpa plant by some $56m.”

In 2020, world magnesium production was ~1 million tonnes, of which China supplied ~85%.  China has begun a 13-year plan to increase Mg in cars from 8.6kg to 45kg by 2030, requiring an additional 1 million tonnes of new Mg production per annum.

$131m market cap LMG is down 21% over the past month, and up 335% year-to-date. It has raised $11.5m  via placement to help fund the initial $39m 1,000tpa plant.

 

EMPIRE RESOURCES (ASX:ERL)

(Up on no news)

This busy polymetallic explorer has already drilled 13,000m so far in 2021 at the ‘Penny’s and Yuinmery’ projects in WA, with diamond drilling of some juicy gold, copper, and nickel-copper-PGE targets at Yuinmery due to kick off sometime this month.

ERL would’ve drilled even more if not for issues getting hold of a rig, something the company intends to fix in 2022.

“Our exploration plans for 2022 include the lock-in of a core drilling rig and driller for exclusive use by Empire,” chairman Michael Ruane says.

“This should assist in accelerating at least the drilling component of our exploration programs for the forthcoming period. The rig will be particularly useful for the deep drilling required for the promising Yuinmery targets (eg Smiths Well/YT01).”

The rig should be ready for commissioning this month, he says.

The $14.85m market cap stock is up 30% over the past month. It had about $3.5m in the bank at the end of November.


The post Resources Top 5: Hopeful uranium stocks, an important graphite deal, and lots of imminent news flow appeared first on Stockhead.







Author: Reuben Adams

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Energy & Critical Metals

Met testwork proves Sovereign’s Kasiya will deliver a premium natural rutile product

Special Report: Metallurgical testwork has confirmed Sovereign Metals’ Kasiya project in Malawi will deliver a premium natural rutile product, setting…

Metallurgical testwork has confirmed Sovereign Metals’ Kasiya project in Malawi will deliver a premium natural rutile product, setting the stage for the company’s landmark scoping study.

Testwork continues to demonstrate the world class nature of Sovereign’s (ASX:SVM) Kasiya deposit, with simple and conventional processing delivering levels of 95% to 97.2% TiO2 with low impurities at stand-out metallurgical recoveries ranging from 94% to 100%.

That makes Kasiya competitive on TiO2 grades with some of the world’s largest natural rutile operations like Iluka’s Sierra Rutile and Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals.

It opens the door for discussions with tier-1 offtakers in the markets for TiO2 pigment, titanium metal and welding, where customers are facing widening supply deficits in a strengthening market.

Additionally, testwork has shown conventional flotation methods can be used to produce a coarse flake graphite by-product from rutile gravity tails with 60% at a coarseness of +150µm, suggesting it will have a high basket value when sold to market.

A program at SGS Lakefield in Canada confirmed simple processing methods delivered a very coarse-flake graphite concentrate at 96.3% TGC.

“Consistently achieving premium rutile specifications with stand-out recoveries via conventional “off the shelf” processing methods reinforces the robustness of metallurgical and processing performance of the Kasiya rutile mineralisation ahead of the upcoming Scoping Study,” Sovereign managing director Dr Julian Stephens said.

“These continued very high-quality product specifications should generate further interest from end-users across the titanium sector as the global structural deficit in natural rutile supply continues to widen.”

Processed rutile being despatched to potential customers. Pic: Sovereign Metals

Kasiya scoping study round the corner

With the results in today’s announcement, Sovereign has now demonstrated the impressive metallurgical qualities of the Kasiya resource in two separate rounds of met testwork.

The testwork also confirms Kasiya will deliver strong recoveries and product specifications based on conventional off-the-shelf processing technology, which bodes well for its future development.

Proving the original results were certainly no fluke and opening the door to interest from Tier-1 offtake customers, they set up Sovereign to release a scoping study in the coming weeks.

With most of the technical disciplines now complete, mining optimisation and capital and operating cost estimations are currently being finalised.

A new indicated mineral resource estimate is also on the way after substantial resource drilling to build upon the world-class inferred resource released in June.

That confirmed Kasiya as one of the largest natural rutile deposits in the world, with an inferred resource of 644Mt at 1.01% rutile and a high-grade component of 137Mt at 1.41% rutile.

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Sovereign Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post Met testwork proves Sovereign’s Kasiya will deliver a premium natural rutile product appeared first on Stockhead.



Author: Special Report

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Economics

WoodMac reckons rumours of a resources supercycle could be more hype than truth

Word on the street is that a resources supercycle is underway. That’s when there’s a permanent step change in demand … Read More
The post WoodMac…

Word on the street is that a resources supercycle is underway.

That’s when there’s a permanent step change in demand that can’t be met by supply, leading to prices sitting above incentive levels for an extended period.

But Wood Mackenzie vice chair metals and mining Julian Kettle reckons that despite rampant end-sector demand, supply constraints and healthy prices, it’s not all roses – with demand likely to slow as the global economy returns to normal.

“Commodities risk becoming a victim of their own success as inflation rises,” he said.

“The unravelling of quantitative easing, combined with tax rises, could prompt a sharp slowing of global economic activity.”

Kettle says that over the next few years, it’s “inevitable that the global economy will slow from its frenetic pace in 2021.”
 

Have we borrowed demand from future years?

“Tax rises are inevitable, not only to pay down government debt but also to go some way to help fund ambitious ‘build back better’ infrastructure plans,” Kettle said.

“Restocking and the release of pent-up consumer demand has obviously helped economic recovery, but this is something of a one-trick pony that won’t be repeated this cycle.

“Whether we’ve also borrowed demand from future years in the mad scramble to buy products, only time will tell.”

He reckons that demand for many metals and mined commodities looks set to wane in the next few years despite the rampant growth in electric vehicles.

“It’s unlikely we’ll see a continuation of the pace set in 2021, when demand has been supercharged by economic stimuli, pent-up lockdown demand and restocking along the value chain,” he said.

The current projected rates compared with f the last resources supercycle in 2003-2007. Pic: Wood Mackenzie.

 

The energy transition could get the ball rolling

But the energy transition makes a supercycle almost inevitable.

“It seems there is little debate now around whether the energy transition, particularly an accelerated energy transition scenario, will lead to a supercycle for commodities,” Kettle said.

“I believe that if the world pursues a 2°C decarbonisation pathway (our Accelerated Energy Transition 2°C or ‘AET2’ scenario) a supercycle will exist across a broad spectrum of mined commodities.

“The exceptions will be coal, which will see a drastic drop in demand, and iron ore.
 

Nickel, cobalt and lithium will be first to kick off

Over the next five years, aluminium, copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt will all experience greater absolute growth than was seen during the last supercycle.

For lead, zinc and metallurgical coal, absolute growth will be similar.

“Demand for traditional base metals will also be growing more slowly, while the declines in percentage growth rates for bulk commodities will be stark even under our base case Energy Transition Outlook (ETO),” Kettle said.

“However, perhaps on the basis of percentage growth rates it can be argued that for nickel, cobalt and lithium at least, the supercycle has started?”

It’s worth noting that mined commodities are trending to surplus over the next few years, and as prices look set to decline, Kettle reckons we might only know if we’ve experienced a supercycle when we look back “through the lens of history.”

The post WoodMac reckons rumours of a resources supercycle could be more hype than truth appeared first on Stockhead.










Author: Emma Davies

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