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Hyundai outlines broad hydrogen strategy; focus on commercial vehicles; cost parity with BEVs by 2030

In an online event from Seoul, Hyundai Motor Group presented plans to popularize hydrogen by 2040 through the introduction of new technologies and mobility…

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This article was originally published by Green Car Congress

In an online event from Seoul, Hyundai Motor Group presented plans to popularize hydrogen by 2040 through the introduction of new technologies and mobility solutions in transportation and other industrial sectors.

The Group said it will electrify all new commercial vehicle models—featuring fuel cell electric or battery electric powertrains, as well as the application of fuel cell systems—by 2028. This central target to apply its commercial vehicle lineup fully with fuel cells by 2028 will make it the first global automaker to realize such ambitions for commercial vehicle transportation, the Group said.

The vision for Hyundai Motor Group is that by 2040 hydrogen energy will be used not only for transportation but will also be applied to wider areas of industries and sectors. The Group aims to make hydrogen energy available to “Everyone, Everything and Everywhere”.

The Group has already started mass-producing an improved version of the current XCIENT Fuel Cell heavy-duty truck. It is also developing a tractor based on the XCIENT Fuel Cell that will be released in 2023. The Group also unveiled the “Trailer Drone” concept, a hydrogen-powered container transportation system capable of operating fully autonomously, with a double e-Bogie configuration.

The Group will also develop a 5- to 7-meter fuel cell PBV (Purpose Built Vehicle) to target the global light commercial vehicle market projected for seven million unit sales per year by 2030. This will be in part undertaken by an expansion in its business capabilities and applying autonomous driving and robotics to the commercial vehicle sector.

Next-generation fuel cell systems. The Group plans to introduce a new generation fuel cell system in 2023 that realizes a reduced price and volume with significantly improved durability and output. Through ongoing R&D gains, engineering teams for the Group have been able to reduce fuel cell costs significantly over the last 20 years. By ensuring price competitiveness, the Group’s goal is to achieve a fuel cell vehicle price point comparable to a battery electric vehicle by 2030.

Currently in development, the third-generation fuel cell stack will succeed NEXO’s current stack. The Group showcased two power versions of the third-generation fuel cell stack: 100 kW and 200 kW.

The 100 kW stack has reduced in size by 30%, making it easier to apply to different vehicle types and applications. The 200 kW version has been designed for commercial vehicle applications and is similar in size to the current NEXO system, but the power output has doubled.

For the second-generation fuel cell stack launched in 2018, the company achieved 5,000 hours and 160,000 kilometers of usage, which is similar to the warranty of an ICE vehicle. For the third-generation fuel cell development, the goal is to improve durability by 50-100%. High durability stacks for commercial vehicles will achieve 500,000 kilometers of drive range.

Furthermore, the price of the third-generation fuel cell stack will be reduced significantly—with projections being upwards of more than 50%—which will be the key factor to achieving cost parity of FCEVs with BEVs by 2030.

With flexibility and modularity at its core, the third-generation system can also be applied in various application forms. A new Power Unit Module can offer a range of outputs from 500 kW to 1 MW by stacking 100 kW modular units—suited for use as an emergency power system for large ships or IT companies.

The Group also revealed an innovative fuel cell Full-Flat System that lowers stack height to 25cm, allowing it to be used for various applications such as PBVs, MPVs, buses and trams by mounting the system to either the upper or lower body of the vehicle.

Concept applications. The Group also presented a number of application concepts for hydrogen fuel cells and the supporting refueling infrastructure, including:

  • Trailer Drone.The Trailer Drone concept is a hydrogen-powered container transportation system capable of operating fully autonomously. With the number of intelligently packaged hydrogen tanks tailored to the journey profile, the flexible and efficient Trailer Drone ensures more than 1,000km of sufficient range from a single charge, comparable to existing container transportation systems.

    The autonomous capabilities of the Trailer Drone were not achieved by simply repurposing technology developed for passenger car applications. The unique requirements of container transport applications and the way container terminals operate meant that engineering teams from the Group needed to completely redefine how a container maneuvers. As a result, the engineering team developed the Fuel Cell e-Bogie.

  • Fuel Cell e-Bogie. The term bogie originates from the rail industry. Rail bogies are wheel subframes that sit under every train car. The Fuel Cell e-Bogie sits under the container just like a rail bogie and is a fully enclosed system with fuel cell propulsion and fully independent four-wheel steering.

    The Trailer Drone concept requires two fuel cell e-Bogies, allowing for unprecedented maneuverability through sideways movement. The Trailer Drone can move autonomously through portside operations and tight urban environments. Efficiency is further boosted by the Cluster Mode which enables multiple Trailer Drones to travel together in an almost train-like configuration.

    The Fuel Cell e-Bogie is not exclusive to the Trailer Drone and caters to a wide value chain such as ground logistics, construction, firefighting and disaster relief missions. It offers a multi-purpose platform, capable of a variety of objectives – all in zero-emission and autonomous operation.

  • Vision FK. Fuel cell technology is equally applicable to high-performance vehicle applications. In this respect, the Group has showcased a concept hydrogen-powered hybrid sports car, named the Vision FK. With a maximum output of over 500kW, the Vision FK concept can accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than four seconds. Combining a fuel cell energy converter with a high-power, RWD, plug-in powertrain, the Vision FK aims to achieve over 600km in range.

  • Rescue Drone. The Rescue Drone is a new concept mobility solution that combines with a Fuel Cell e-Bogie to create a flying drone that can be operated remotely and autonomously for critical operations such as fire-fighting and life-saving. The Rescue Drone features an independent steering system for in-place turning maneuvers and ‘crab-walk’ driving. It can also carry out missions via images transmitted from drones mounted on the vehicle exterior and achieves a 450 to 500km driving range from a single charge.

  • H Moving Station. The H Moving Station is a heavy-duty vehicle equipped with charging facilities for FCEVs. This portable hydrogen refueling station ensures convenience as well as charging options in areas with limited hydrogen refueling stations.

  • RHGV (Rescue Hydrogen Generator Vehicle). The RHGV supplies power to vehicles in aid of urgent assistance in remote, off-road areas. The portable electric vehicle charger offers single-phase 220V and 3-phase 380V simultaneous power supply.

Energy & Critical Metals

High Voltage: Will the global market follow where Chinese lithium carbonate prices lead?

Technical and battery grade lithium carbonate prices increased by over 20% in the first two weeks of September in the Chinese domestic … Read More

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Technical and battery grade lithium carbonate prices increased by over 20% in the first two weeks of September in the Chinese domestic market.

And they’re now up 188.9% and 215% respectively this year.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s lithium price assessment said this is due to surging demand and raw material supply concerns which have combined to push Chinese domestic prices up to their highest levels since mid-2018.

“Throughout August and early September, the price rally for lithium chemicals and feedstock has been re-ignited on incredibly strong downstream demand, especially within the Chinese domestic market, which acts as a bellwether for the rest of the world’s lithium market,” Benchmark analyst George Miller said.

Carbonate price increases are outpacing lithium hydroxide – and could soon race ahead.

And China EXW lithium hydroxide prices rose 14.2% in the first half of September, up 162.7% year-to-date.

Li2CO3 prices
Lithium carbonate prices could soon outpace lithium hydroxide.

But not everything is rosy in lithium land

On September 11 protestors demanded a halt to the development of Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) proposed $2.4 billion Jadar lithium project in Serbia.

It’s the latest in a wave of community protests against battery metal projects in Western jurisdictions.

It’s a bit of a pickle because Europe is poised to become the second-largest consumer of lithium chemicals worldwide within the next decade – and the goal is supply chain accountability and security.

Not to mention Serbia is seeking to join the EU and environmental regulatory improvement has been cited as one key area where the country needs to improve.

Roskill’s Dominic Wells said countries like Serbia need to decide what mineral policy direction best suits their needs.

“They can maintain their reliance on overseas imports and have little direct control regarding the environmental cost of production, though will be insulated from the environmental impacts,” he said.

“Alternatively, they can develop domestic sources of these chemicals, set their own standards of production but bear the environmental cost and attempt to lessen it where possible.

Community conflicts inevitable

“Given the growing number of European mining projects looking to capitalise on domestic demand for lithium chemicals, further conflict between communities, miners, and the governments is inevitable,” Wells said.

“Regulation such as the European Union’s proposed Battery Passport scheme and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism touch on the issue, attempting to improve the environmental cost of non-EU producers.

“However, they have little to no impact on the conditions of domestic production. Should battery metal projects be developed, policymakers in lithium producing countries will need to self-regulate the conditions of production to appease both local groups and the producers themselves.”


Pangang moves into vanadium redox batteries

In other battery metals news, Chinese producer Pangang Group Vanadum and Titanium Resources signed an agreement with Dalian Bolong New Materials (BNM) to develop and promote vanadium redox battery (VRB) technology in China.

Roskill analyst Jack Anderson said the companies will also promote the potential of VRB use within the steel industry to reduce carbon consumption, new energy power generation and peak shaving services.

“Over the past couple of years an increasing number of primary and secondary vanadium producers have incorporated VRBs as an end-use application into their own business models,” he said.

“This represents a new precedent in vanadium market dynamics and has been reinforced by vanadium producers planning to vertically integrate mining and recycling operations downstream to VRBs.”

It’s part of China’s aim to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060 as part of the Paris Agreement.

“In order to achieve this, and in line with the country’s 14th five-year plan, China intends to massively expand its renewables energy capacity, which will require large scale energy storage,” Anderson said.

“Despite the large potential for Li-ion battery energy storage in China, the country’s significant vanadium production boosts VRB’s domestic potential.”


Here’s how a basket of ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, and vanadium are performing>>>

Code Company Price %Mth %SixMth %Wk %Yr MktCap
HNR Hannans Ltd 0.037 429 363 270 429 $ 51,919,498.22
LTR Liontown Resources 1.545 66 243 37 713 $ 2,950,260,451.05
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd 0.073 30 43 35 103 $ 22,748,680.82
ESS Essential Metals Ltd 0.22 22 91 26 134 $ 58,216,893.63
INF Infinity Lithium 0.12 22 -35 25 33 $ 46,335,173.94
CXO Core Lithium 0.425 29 93 25 963 $ 704,299,017.24
EUR European Lithium Ltd 0.099 43 41 24 111 $ 109,844,238.42
SYA Sayona Mining Ltd 0.1825 40 487 18 1987 $ 1,163,414,691.04
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 0.405 27 125 17 161 $ 172,585,590.75
ARR American Rare Earths 0.17 17 79 13 400 $ 67,237,623.57
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.026 30 4 13 100 $ 13,500,654.15
SBR Sabre Resources 0.005 25 25 11 -55 $ 8,415,318.25
STK Strickland Metals 0.045 22 119 10 -14 $ 51,870,384.19
MLX Metals X Limited 0.34 26 51 10 336 $ 326,615,784.12
QPM Queensland Pacific 0.24 33 155 9 1100 $ 359,237,479.72
MOH Moho Resources 0.065 5 -23 8 -41 $ 6,712,901.13
DEV Devex Resources Ltd 0.335 52 56 8 31 $ 115,437,737.63
TKL Traka Resources 0.014 0 -18 8 -32 $ 8,709,510.52
AML Aeon Metals Ltd. 0.059 5 -40 7 -59 $ 45,779,978.27
GME GME Resources Ltd 0.063 19 -6 7 47 $ 37,421,418.01
VR8 Vanadium Resources 0.065 18 59 7 150 $ 28,872,643.25
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 0.034 0 -32 6 278 $ 125,518,782.02
SGQ St George Min Ltd 0.071 6 -22 6 -35 $ 45,956,893.09
GL1 Globallith 0.41 17 5 $ 38,259,635.28
HAS Hastings Tech Met 0.22 5 10 5 76 $ 425,921,540.17
AVL Aust Vanadium Ltd 0.023 -18 0 5 35 $ 82,020,637.03
RFR Rafaella Resources 0.092 11 -12 5 16 $ 18,120,529.71
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 2.14 -3 99 4 529 $ 6,722,157,616.03
LPD Lepidico Ltd 0.025 32 0 4 257 $ 172,258,748.51
LIT Lithium Australia NL 0.125 -7 -7 4 140 $ 133,370,889.26
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.051 -15 -24 4 265 $ 47,787,709.72
NMT Neometals Ltd 0.825 4 106 4 371 $ 493,538,756.40
NMT Neometals Ltd 0.825 4 106 4 371 $ 493,538,756.40
RNU Renascor Res Ltd 0.14 59 0 4 900 $ 300,934,984.32
AXE Archer Materials 1.825 -13 84 4 238 $ 437,196,568.32
TNG TNG Limited 0.085 -3 -19 4 -8 $ 111,205,236.56
MAN Mandrake Res Ltd 0.057 -5 -58 4 -8 $ 28,169,583.63
MRC Mineral Commodities 0.15 0 -61 3 -54 $ 77,428,641.93
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.495 -19 141 3 395 $ 40,000,683.00
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.495 -19 141 3 395 $ 40,000,683.00
AOU Auroch Minerals Ltd 0.19 9 -12 3 164 $ 56,045,797.39
REE Rarex Limited 0.1025 11 -18 3 39 $ 50,064,468.46
HWK Hawkstone Mng Ltd 0.041 8 14 3 193 $ 70,366,704.98
EMH European Metals Hldg 1.55 -12 -14 2 252 $ 208,147,144.00
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.265 8 36 2 321 $ 901,088,350.40
TLG Talga Group Ltd 1.42 7 8 1 125 $ 459,393,307.59
BRB Breaker Res NL 0.25 25 22 0 2 $ 89,606,255.48
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.038 -5 -28 0 -5 $ 7,716,057.47
IPT Impact Minerals 0.013 0 -46 0 -48 $ 26,309,333.95
TON Triton Min Ltd 0.031 -9 -38 0 -42 $ 36,302,978.14
ALY Alchemy Resource Ltd 0.014 0 -7 0 -22 $ 10,083,651.80
ESR Estrella Res Ltd 0.042 8 -34 0 200 $ 49,967,880.82
VML Vital Metals Limited 0.062 -3 -23 0 226 $ 279,087,366.63
VMC Venus Metals Cor Ltd 0.175 -3 -10 0 -34 $ 26,438,769.53
TMT Technology Metals 0.4 0 10 0 63 $ 67,580,125.65
QXR Qx Resources Limited 0.012 9 -25 0 -29 $ 7,996,347.85
ATM Aneka Tambang 1 0 0 0 0 $ 1,303,649.00
AJM Altura Mining Ltd 0.07 0 0 0 0 $ 209,037,029.25
LML Lincoln Minerals 0.008 0 0 0 14 $ 4,599,869.49
GBR Greatbould Resources 0.155 99 297 0 231 $ 60,730,087.53
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd 0.325 25 -20 0 246 $ 104,473,896.45
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.185 -20 -19 0 -6 $ 14,762,980.05
LKE Lake Resources 0.515 -16 45 -1 820 $ 571,265,552.50
ARL Ardea Resources Ltd 0.46 -8 -15 -1 -14 $ 66,256,425.12
SRL Sunrise 1.665 -6 -34 -1 -43 $ 154,449,262.49
PGM Platina Resources 0.066 -6 38 -1 3 $ 31,275,528.62
SRI Sipa Resources Ltd 0.062 -2 3 -2 -25 $ 11,130,380.31
FFX Firefinch Ltd 0.605 8 163 -2 290 $ 595,842,336.05
LPI Lithium Pwr Int Ltd 0.28 0 -2 -2 75 $ 106,374,803.64
AUZ Australian Mines Ltd 0.0235 2 26 -2 50 $ 103,285,418.74
NKL Nickelxltd 0.215 -2 -2 $ 12,037,500.00
NTU Northern Min Ltd 0.041 5 5 -2 32 $ 203,351,944.57
HXG Hexagon Energy 0.078 8 -26 -3 34 $ 37,019,147.64
CWX Carawine Resources 0.195 -11 -30 -3 -25 $ 21,505,755.65
BKT Black Rock Mining 0.18 24 33 -3 233 $ 174,400,185.46
AZS Azure Minerals 0.345 53 3 -3 68 $ 111,324,859.56
AGY Argosy Minerals Ltd 0.17 17 72 -3 209 $ 225,048,906.72
JRV Jervois Global Ltd 0.5 9 9 -3 64 $ 840,887,083.41
CHN Chalice Mining Ltd 6.97 9 48 -3 344 $ 2,661,153,877.20
VRC Volt Resources Ltd 0.033 18 74 -3 120 $ 92,672,200.43
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.0145 32 -24 -3 -48 $ 32,240,313.24
BEM Blackearth Minerals 0.13 18 0 -4 217 $ 33,696,266.39
ORE Orocobre Limited 8.63 -6 75 -4 220 $ 5,955,522,648.90
PAM Pan Asia Metals 0.465 174 244 -4 $ 33,986,028.78
PAM Pan Asia Metals 0.465 174 244 -4 $ 33,986,028.78
BMM Balkanminingandmin 0.765 25 -4 $ 26,000,000.00
NWC New World Resources 0.064 -12 -10 -4 52 $ 107,958,408.64
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.63 37 48 -5 473 $ 1,256,769,954.66
PEK Peak Resources 0.08 -10 -12 -5 176 $ 156,291,618.67
RXL Rox Resources 0.4 1 -28 -5 -57 $ 65,407,159.81
S2R S2 Resources 0.093 -34 -47 -5 -61 $ 35,281,110.65
CHR Charger Metals 0.55 -10 -5 $ 18,257,689.95
FGR First Graphene Ltd 0.175 -20 -33 -5 40 $ 101,698,382.41
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 6.68 -4 6 -6 175 $ 6,804,183,117.16
SLZ Sultan Resources Ltd 0.16 -9 -14 -6 -24 $ 11,125,502.24
PRL Province Resources 0.155 3 29 -6 485 $ 186,393,868.82
GLN Galan Lithium Ltd 0.985 -15 103 -6 579 $ 284,809,614.60
PNN PepinNini Minerals 0.29 -6 -17 -6 133 $ 14,591,200.64
ARU Arafura Resource Ltd 0.14 12 -24 -7 82 $ 240,241,836.46
BSX Blackstone Ltd 0.48 12 7 -7 9 $ 173,280,738.80
WKT Walkabout Resources 0.205 -13 37 -7 -13 $ 87,208,379.04
IGO IGO Limited 8.92 -6 40 -7 96 $ 7,095,599,407.81
IGO IGO Limited 8.92 -6 40 -7 96 $ 7,095,599,407.81
OZL OZ Minerals 21.83 -1 -6 -7 52 $ 7,774,160,870.90
GAL Galileo Mining Ltd 0.265 -22 23 -7 -9 $ 48,749,349.45
MCR Mincor Resources NL 1.26 1 32 -7 42 $ 623,014,720.90
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 0.69 -12 -32 -7 431 $ 409,580,611.00
BUX Buxton Resources Ltd 0.07 -30 -3 -8 -42 $ 9,523,880.24
LEG Legend Mining 0.069 -14 -45 -8 -55 $ 192,859,500.47
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 0.985 -4 -31 -9 42 $ 2,741,381,665.59
VUL Vulcan Energy 14.55 9 129 -8 1553 $ 1,650,364,991.88
PAN Panoramic Resources 0.205 21 58 -9 116 $ 451,201,080.88
AAJ Aruma Resources Ltd 0.088 4 60 -9 -35 $ 11,588,458.28
CNJ Conico Ltd 0.058 -16 76 -9 287 $ 58,741,087.04
BHP BHP Group Limited 37.37 -27 -19 -9 0 $ 115,531,844,589.04
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 0.32 -3 0 -10 60 $ 311,360,572.91
BAR Barra Resources 0.026 37 24 -10 24 $ 22,151,850.36
AQD Ausquest Limited 0.017 -15 -15 -11 -47 $ 15,640,606.79
POS Poseidon Nick Ltd 0.105 -9 69 -13 88 $ 337,035,547.86
G88 Golden Mile Res Ltd 0.048 -16 -8 -13 -23 $ 9,234,989.71
GED Golden Deeps 0.01 -9 0 -13 -41 $ 8,534,365.84
SYR Syrah Resources 1.155 -13 -3 -13 148 $ 603,469,014.83
CTM Centaurus Metals Ltd 0.93 2 14 -14 94 $ 350,603,633.04
EGR Ecograf Limited 0.715 -16 3 -14 430 $ 337,375,094.25
GW1 Greenwing Resources 0.31 22 -11 -15 77 $ 35,803,805.05
MIN Mineral Resources. 45.05 -21 17 -15 81 $ 9,113,911,182.86
CLA Celsius Resource Ltd 0.025 -4 -44 -17 -24 $ 29,322,386.27
ASN Anson Resources Ltd 0.091 0 18 -17 379 $ 85,372,475.99
MLS Metals Australia 0.0015 -25 -25 -25 -50 $ 8,454,376.09
JRL Jindalee Resources 2.31 -33 32 -32 413 $ 142,054,549.56

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:


Only 46 of the 130 ASX battery metals stocks on our list posted gains last week.

Over the past year 55 stocks have posted a gain of 100% or more.

Three of them – Vulcan (ASX:VUL), Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) – have posted a gain of 1000% or higher, and there are several more knocking at the door.

There were several standouts, including Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD) up 35% after completing three drill holes at its Kabanga Jirani Nickel Project in Tanzania.

Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF) was up 25% off the back of news it had delivered the first battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate and lithium carbonate produced at bench-scale from its San José project in Spain.

The company has commenced pilot-scale roasting which is scheduled for completion in early October and is a key step in the feasibility study for the project – which is poised to supply lithium to the European battery industry.

And Sayona was up 18% after a project review showed the potential to increase the lithium resource at its newly acquired North American Lithium (NAL) mine in Québec, Canada.

In 2017, NAL had a total foreign mineral resource estimate of 39.3 million tonnes at 1.04% Li2O and a conversion to Australia’s JORC standard is expected by the end of the year.




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Energy & Critical Metals

Undercover Trucker: Hauling Half-Ton Of Pot For Feds In Sting

Undercover Trucker: Hauling Half-Ton Of Pot For Feds In Sting

By Nate Tabak of FreightWaves,

On Dec. 1, a truck driver pulling a flatbed…

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Undercover Trucker: Hauling Half-Ton Of Pot For Feds In Sting

By Nate Tabak of FreightWaves,

On Dec. 1, a truck driver pulling a flatbed trailer presented himself to U.S. border officers at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York, one of the busiest commercial crossings with Canada. He had picked up his load of aluminum panels in Toronto and was delivering it some 450 miles away in Somerset, New Jersey. 

U.S. border officers have made numerous marijuana seizures from trucks coming from Canada via the Peace Bridge. (Photo: ricky shore/Flickr CC BY 2.0

At face value, it might have appeared as a typical cross-border run. But something aroused the suspicions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers after the driver presented his manifest. The address of the shipper was linked to a marijuana seizure made at the Peace Bridge nearly six months earlier.  

So the officers scanned the flatbed with an X-ray machine used for cargo inspections. After spotting an anomaly, they inspected the cargo itself by hand. They removed the top aluminum panel and found the source of the anomaly: The remaining panels had been hollowed out and filled with vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana, totaling nearly 1,000 pounds, along with a suspected GPS tracker.

An image released by CBP for a congressional hearing shows how border officers detect drugs hidden in commercial vehicles.

By the next day, the driver was back on the road to New Jersey, still with the shipment of aluminum panels containing the marijuana. A team of agents from the Homeland Security Investigations Buffalo office tailed him. The driver was aware of the detail, having agreed to continue the delivery under their supervision, HSI agent Timothy Carroll wrote in an affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York two days later. 

“HSI Buffalo personnel followed the tractor and trailer to its manifested destination of New Jersey, maintaining constant surveillance of the cargo,”  Carroll wrote. The surveillance included an overnight rest break in Pembroke, New York, after the driver ran out of hours.

The driver’s experience appeared in court documents filed in the case of two men charged with conspiring to smuggle the marijuana across the Canadian border and distribute it in the United States. In July, Ranjodh Singh, 22, pleaded guilty to a single charge in the case, while charges are pending against co-defendant Amanpreet Gill.

The case provides a window into the murky world of marijuana smuggling from Canada to the U.S. While the illicit trade has been active for years, seizures from commercial vehicles have soared after the border closed to nonessential travel in March 2020. That December marijuana seizure was one of 131 reported by CBP that month. Seizures in the Buffalo area accounted for more than half of that pot by weight.

The truck driver, who was not named, does not appear to have been charged. Court documents do not make any suggestion that he knew about the marijuana in the load or made any agreements with U.S. authorities in exchange for cooperation. Drivers caught with loads of drugs at the border aren’t necessarily charged, typically either due to lack of evidence or investigators or prosecutors concluding they weren’t involved.

Alvin Phillips, a spokesperson for HSI’s Buffalo field office, declined to comment on the case. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment. 

Trucker’s role in smuggling case unusual, lawyer says

Su Ross, a Los Angeles attorney who frequently represents carriers caught up in drug smuggling cases, said it’s unusual that a truck driver would be asked to continue with a contraband load. More commonly, authorities could be tracking the load without the driver’s knowledge, or a federal agent with a commercial driver’s license would take over to avoid “the appearance of impropriety,” said Ross, a partner with the law firm MSK.

“It’s surprising,” Ross said. “Maybe they [HSI] didn’t have someone available with a commercial license.” 

Ross also questioned the wisdom of having the driver’s role disclosed in publicly available court documents. Even though the trucker wasn’t named, Ross said it would have been easy for any criminal organizations involved to figure out their identity. 

“I’m surprised they disclosed that,” Ross said

Trucker being watched by the feds – and the criminals too

Court documents don’t detail the conversations the driver had with HSI agents, who are typically notified after CBP officers find contraband. But the driver’s cooperation appears to have extended beyond simply driving the load.

After his rest break in New York, the driver and the HSI agents continued toward New Jersey on Dec. 2. At some point, the driver received a call from someone named Alex, who informed him that the destination address had changed, according to court documents. The driver then received a text message with a new address and a phone number, along with these instructions: “Ask for Jim.”

By the time the driver arrived at the new delivery location just after 4 p.m., law enforcement already had the warehouse under surveillance. They observed someone who had arrived at the location earlier take photos of the truck and cargo, court documents state.

It took about one hour and 10 minutes for the aluminum panels and marijuana to be unloaded. The trucker drove away — followed by the man who had been taking photos of him. Singh later admitted to being that man in his plea agreement, which includes a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. His iPhone contained 16 photos of the tractor-trailer. 

Law enforcement continued monitoring the New Jersey warehouse after the trucker left. The next day, on Dec. 3, another truck picked up the aluminum panels and delivered them to a second warehouse. Authorities subsequently entered the warehouse, arresting the driver and Singh’s co-defendant, Gill, according to court documents. Singh was arrested later after arriving at the facility.

The second truck driver maintained not knowing about the marijuana and does not appear to have been charged. Gill also denied being involved in the marijuana distribution conspiracy.

Singh’s lawyers declined to comment on the case. Gill’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

As for the original truck driver, it’s unclear what happened to him. Efforts to locate him or his carrier were unsuccessful. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 09/20/2021 - 15:02
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Energy & Critical Metals

LICY Stock Charges Up as One Analyst Eyes Li-Cycle’s ‘Dominance’ in Battery Recycling

There is no denying that analysts who focus on growth stocks vary quite a bit. With that in mind, investors in Li-Cycle (NYSE:LICY) and LICY stock tend…

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There is no denying that analysts who focus on growth stocks vary quite a bit. With that in mind, investors in Li-Cycle (NYSE:LICY) and LICY stock tend to get a variety of different opinions on the risks and rewards of investing in such growth-oriented play.

a line of AA batteries to represent battery stocksSource: Shutterstock

Among the more bullish on growth stocks is Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. And today, Ives released a rather bullish report that has sent LICY stock more than 10% higher at the time of writing.

Putting this increase in context is important, because the markets have been selling off hard over the past week. Major indices are down 2%-3% at the time of writing. Indeed, as far as many investors are concerned, now appears to be the time to take some money off the table.

However, there are deals in every bull market. And while we are inching closer to a correction, it appears investors have reason to latch onto LICY stock. Let’s dive into what has shares of this lithium-ion battery resource recovery play shooting higher.

LICY Stock Moving Higher on Wedbush Upgrade

Today, Ives initiated coverage on Li-Cycle, placing a 12-month price target of $14 on this stock.

As the largest North American player in the lithium recovery space, Li-Cycle is getting a lot of attention right now. For those who haven’t noticed, EV sales are surging, and battery technologies are becoming more relevant. Where (and how) these batteries are being laid to rest is a key concern among environmentalists and good corporate citizens.

Wedbush cites data surrounding where the battery market is headed as a key determining factor of this outsized price target on LICY stock. Experts project that the global battery market will increase 12.3% through 2030, valuing the market at $115 billion in less than ten years. Given Li-Cycle’s positioning in this nascent, fast-growing space, there’s a lot to like about this company.

In this case, I think Wedbush is on the money with its bullish take on LICY stock. Indeed, the “pending green tidal wave with battery recycling front and center” is something I think many investors aren’t really considering right now. This is a downstream play on a surging battery sector that could see significant momentum. That is, should investors consider alternative plays on the battery technology space.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

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