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Octillion Power Systems moves US headquarters to Richmond, Calif.; Li-ion packs for transportation and stationary storage

Octillion Power Systems, a global provider of advanced lithium-ion batteries, has moved to a new US headquarters in Richmond, California. (Earlier post.)…

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This article was originally published by Green Car Congress

Octillion Power Systems, a global provider of advanced lithium-ion batteries, has moved to a new US headquarters in Richmond, California. (Earlier post.) The company’s North and South American operations will be based there. Octillion also has relocated a battery manufacturing line from its previous facility in Hayward, California, where the company has operated since its founding in 2009. The new facility is 6,500 square feet.

With demand for lithium-ion batteries continuing to grow, the new facility gives us a lot more space to expand.

—Paul Beach, president of Octillion Power Systems

Octillion is a global supplier of advanced high-density lithium-ion battery packs for passenger cars, trucks, buses, and energy-storage systems. The company has operations in 16 locations in Asia, Europe and North America with a global workforce of more than 400 employees. Battery manufacturing facilities operated by Octillion are located in the United States, China and India.


Octillion’s Caspian pack—one of its products—is a 660V/88.9 kWh system using prismatic NMC cells.


Globally, Octillion has more than four Gigawatt hours (GWh) of production capacity. The company has delivered more than 300,000 EV batteries to the global EV market with over 2 billion kilometers driven on its systems.

Among the vehicles powered by Octillion batteries is the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, currently the best-selling electric vehicle in China. Other products powered by Octillion batteries include electric buses in India and electric trucks produced by Brazilian manufacturer FNM (Fábrica Nacional de Motores) for beverage maker Ambev.

Octillion also supplies batteries for the energy-storage market. Wyoming-based Orison uses Octillion batteries to store energy for its home-battery system. Last year, the company entered the electric two-wheeler market with supply contract in Europe.

Whether it is for clean transportation or clean energy, we offer customized, mass-produced solutions. Our products undergo a robust design process, including extensive thermal modeling, and standardized production processes. We can ramp up quickly to meet your needs.

—Paul Beach

Octillion is a turnkey battery supplier for the transportation market providing its customers with a bridge from design to manufacturing. By remaining cell-agnostic, Octillion offers a flexible platform that evolves with improvements in new chemistries and cell types.

Energy & Critical Metals

Evergrande Auto Hasn’t Sold A Single Car, But Has Enriched Its Founder And His Friends Plenty

Evergrande Auto Hasn’t Sold A Single Car, But Has Enriched Its Founder And His Friends Plenty

While everyone has been focusing on Evergrande…

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Evergrande Auto Hasn't Sold A Single Car, But Has Enriched Its Founder And His Friends Plenty

While everyone has been focusing on Evergrande as a property developer, few know the story about how Evergrande Auto became worth $86.6 billion at one point without selling a single car. The company now trades at a fraction, about 4%, of its all time high. While shareholders were wiped out for the most part, insiders made out well. 

On Tuesday of this week, the company did what it does best. No, not make vehicles: pay insiders. Evergrande Auto "granted 323.72 million share options worth HK$1.26 billion to three directors and around 3,180 employees of the company," a new report from Caixin notes.

Founder Hui Ka Yan and "friends" in his circle have made out the best from the fallen company. How well have they done? One "friend" of the founder bought 80 million shares in the company before it was renamed as Evergrande Auto for HK$0.30 each. They then sold them all for HK$50 per share, netting the friend more than HK$4 billion.

Hey, it's great work if you can get it. 

Caixin reports that the primary purpose of Evergrande Auto was to raise capital for the group company Evergrande. While the parent company claimed it was investing some 47 billion yuan into the auto company, analysts are starting to wonder if the market funded these investments instead. 

One analyst told Caixin: “Evergrande Auto had raised 30 billion yuan in two rounds, which means that the company mostly used investors’ money — instead of its own capital — to invest, and it managed to gain a high market value (for the auto company). Consequently, with its shares (in the auto company) at high price, it could use them as collateral to raise even more money.”

The company focused more on M&A than it did on making cars, the report says. For example, it bought a major stake in Xinjiang Guanghui Industry Investment Group Co. Ltd. for 14.5 billion yuan in 2018. As Caixin notes, that company is a stakeholder in China Grand Automotive Services Group Co. Ltd., which is one of the largest auto dealers in the country.

The stake was later sold off in 2019 when Evergrande needed cash. 

In 2019, Evergrande Auto's predecessor bought a 51% stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) for $930 million, the report notes. Evergrande's stock price rose as a result. 

Part of the mechanics that helped Evergrande Auto's predecessor rocket higher included the fact that 18 shareholders owned 19.83% of the company's shares. When combined with the 74.99% of the issued shares held by the company, that only left 5.18% of Evergrande shares to be traded freely. 

Evergrande also acquired a 51% equity stake in Fangchebao Group Co. Ltd. using its shares. Fangchebao then brought in 17 investors in March 2021 that helped it raise capital at a valuation of HK$163.5 billion. Evergrande made HK$8.175 billion upon selling its shares.

Analysts, however, were baffled as to how Evergrande was able to bring in investors at the elevated valuation. The secret lied in a promise of a buyback from Evergrande.

One investor told Caixin: “What we valued was its valuation adjustment mechanism (对赌协议). If Fangchebao failed to go public within a year, Evergrande would buy back our shares at a 15% premium to the prevailing market price. At least, through this mechanism, we could get out money back.”

Those investors thought Evergrande could continue to push up Fangchebao's valuation and that Evergrande wouldn't fail within a year.

Another investor said: "However, Fangchebao was a relatively poor quality company, much worse than Evergrande Property Services. In Fangchebao’s case, it was better not to go public. It would be more troublesome after the listing because its poor performance would become public knowledge.”

Then there's the question of who truly benefitted from Evergrande's financial wheeling and dealing over the years. While investors and shareholders now suffer the consequences of the company's poor decision making, Hui Ka Yan's personal assets are now mysteriously being "transferred to new ownership", the report says. In fact, Hui was easily the single biggest beneficiary of the dividends paid by Evergrande from 2011 to 2020. 53 billion yuan of the 69 billion yuan that Evergrande has paid in dividends since it listed have gone to Hui.

You can read Caixin's detailed report here

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 19:20
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Energy & Critical Metals

Why Nio Stock Needs Some Help When It Comes to the Charts

The electric vehicle (EV) trade has finally cooled off, which is a good thing given how far it had run. It would be hard for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to justify…

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The electric vehicle (EV) trade has finally cooled off, which is a good thing given how far it had run. It would be hard for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to justify a trillion dollar market capitalization or for these revenue-less SPAC stocks to keep soaring higher. Meanwhile, Nio (NYSE:NIO) is somewhere in between, with NIO stock performing quite well but not exactly on Tesla’s level.

Source: Robert Way / Shutterstock.com

At least, not yet.

In order to get there, the company will need to continue its domestic expansion in China and work on expanding globally. Tesla has been trading pretty well lately as it works on consolidating its massive gains over the last 18 months.

For Nio, though, the charts aren’t all that great right now. Combined with a high valuation, that has me on guard with the stock. For Nio, it needs the technicals to work in its favor in order for the stock to be attractive.

Trading Nio Stock

Daily chart of Nio stock
Click to Enlarge
Source: Chart courtesy of TrendSpider

A look at the chart highlights the recent struggles for Nio stock. Shares bottomed in early May along with most other growth stocks, as the bear market in this group came to end.

Nio ripped back toward $55 and the 61.8% retracement, but ultimately failed to hold those gains. It later failed to hold its major moving averages, while giving us an “ABC” correction down to the weekly VWAP measure.

This measure had been decent support throughout 2021.

However, after its rally back to the 21-day and 21-week moving averages, NIO stock gave us the “D” leg of that correction, resulting in the recent flush lower. We now see the stock below the weekly VWAP reading, as bulls scramble to see whether Nio can find its footing

If it can, we need to see Nio stock reclaim the August low at $36.24, as well as the weekly VWAP level. As of now, it’s currently undergoing a “monthly-down rotation” so long as it’s below $36.24. Back above those measures, and the high $30s could be in play.

On the downside, though, it’s possible we see the $31 to $32 area again. This area has been support twice amid two nasty corrections in Nio stock this year.

As a whole, Nio stock has been a leader amid growth stocks when the group is hot. But it has not done too well lately and it shows on the charts. So if the overall market struggles, this stock may too.

Breaking Down Nio

So many people will point to the fundamentals of a company like Nio without taking into consideration the valuation. Granted, I don’t put a lot of weight in the valuation either. At one point, valuations played a much larger role in the way that stocks behaved.

However, I think a few things have altered some of that Benjamin Graham thinking.

First, tech stocks blew the market wide open. No longer were companies having to follow traditional paths with only decent margins. Now software companies can routinely generate massive profit margins, while the tangible addressable markets (TAM) are significantly larger.

That’s allowed valuations to expand as well.

Second, the Fed’s low-rate and easy-money policies have forced investors to plow funds into equities. The returns in bonds (particularly internationally) and fixed income have dried up, forcing investors to chase returns in growth stocks — like Nio.

Is it healthy? Not necessarily, but this has been our reality for quite some time and it will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.

I’m not calling for some great reckoning. A stock like Nio can continue to go up as long as it continues to deliver. But that remains a question mark.

While the company reported solid quarterly results last month, Nio’s July and August monthly auto deliveries disappointed investors. Furthermore, Nio was forced to trim its third-quarter delivery expectations.

Throw in Nio’s plan to raise $2 billion in stock, and it creates even more pressure on the stock price.

The Bottom Line on NIO Stock

It’s not that I have any specific gripe against Nio, but the facts are simple. For an automaker, the stock commands a high valuation and the company doesn’t have enough momentum in its underlying business right now. Thus, we need to see beat-and-raise quarters and delivery results in order to spur the stock higher. In line and disappointing results aren’t going to cut it.

Second, the charts don’t look very good. Back above $36.25 and my tone will change a bit. Otherwise, I remain defensive on Nio stock for the time being.

On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell 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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell.

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Energy & Critical Metals

ChargePoint Stock Deserves to Double from Here

Even with the electric vehicle revolution in full swing, not everyone sees the bull thesis for ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT). Indeed, CHPT stock was cut in…

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Even with the electric vehicle revolution in full swing, not everyone sees the bull thesis for ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT). Indeed, CHPT stock was cut in half from the the beginning of 2021 to mid-September, so clearly investor sentiment is at a low point.

Source: YuniqueB / Shutterstock.com

This could present an opportunity for folks with a tolerance for volatility. After all, the essence of contrarian investing is to get excited when others are fearful.

Could the pessimism surrounding CHPT stock be misplaced? The answer is probably yes, since the U.S. government is leaning toward policies that should benefit ChargePoint.

That, along with the company’s impressive revenue growth, indicate the share price is lower than it ought to be. Over the long run, this situation should correct itself, leading to excellent returns for patient shareholders.

A Closer Look at CHPT Stock

There’s something about the $20 price point — it’s like a magnet for CHPT stock in 2021.

Without a doubt, this must be frustrating for the long-term stockholders. As you may recall, ChargePoint shares propelled as high as $44.50 in January of this year.

The sentiment was riding high, but it wasn’t the best time to take a long position. CHPT stock slipped to $20 in March.

Believe it or not, the stock rose and fell back to that same $20 level in April, and then again in May, and once more in August. As of Sept. 23, it was back to $20 and change yet again.

At least we can say there’s strong support at that level.

The sellers can’t expect to fend the buyers off forever. $30 and eventually $40 are reasonable price targets — CHPT has been there before, and the bulls can anticipate a revisit of these price levels.

ChargePoint Can Electrify the Nation

One great thing about investing in ChargePoint is that it allows you to be brand-agnostic.

To put it another way, you can hold the stock and be part of the vehicle electrification movement without betting on any specific automaker.

Yet you’d still have to believe in the future of electric vehicles. It’s a reasonable sector to invest in — at least, Bank of America analyst Martyn Briggs seems to think so.

As you may be aware, President Joe Biden’s administration aims to have 50% of vehicles produced in the U.S. be electric by 2030.

To achieve this ambitious goal, according to Briggs, “you’re going to need to see a lot of up– of supply-chain shifts. Obviously a lot of manufacturing capacity, huge amounts of battery manufacturing in particular to achieve that that we can come to.”

It’s not difficult to connect the dots and see how an electric vehicle charger maker like ChargePoint would benefit from this.

Briggs makes no bones about it: “Net-zero targets are real, and they’re not going away.” And if the government is going to enforce a transition to zero-carbon, zero-emission mobility, Briggs considers vehicle electrification “an obvious low-hanging fruit.”

More Ports, More Revenues for CHPT Stock

Speaking of low-hanging fruit, the CHPT stock bulls can simply point to ChargePoint’s outstanding second-quarter 2021 fiscal data. In a time when the government hopes to advance vehicle electrification, ChargePoint is making strides on the financial front.

For the second fiscal quarter, ChargePoint grew its revenue by 61% year-over-year. Plus, for the full year, the company raised its revenue guidance by 15% to a range of $225 million to $235 million.

Moreover, ChargePoint’s network of charging stations is expanding quickly. The company’s count of activated ports exceeded 118,000 as of July 31. And by the by, this is a global phenomenon — ChargePoint counted more than 5,400 of its charging ports in Europe.

It looks like the Biden administration is going to push hard for vehicle electrification. This should provide a long-term tailwind for ChargePoint. Is this a guarantee that CHPT stock will rally in the short term? Definitely not, as near-term price fluctuations are bound to happen.

But as Briggs said, the net-zero targets are real. They’re not going away, so investors must adjust their strategies accordingly. Given the company’s impressive fiscal data, an informed investor’s strategy could certainly include a position in ChargePoint.

On the date of publication, David Moadel 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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, Finom Group, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.

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