In 2017, we saw people finally believe that rapid lithium demand growth is real and the future debate will be on things like speed of EV penetration (spoiler alert – I am still on the low end at < 5% but even with that lithium demand in 2025 is 3X demand in 2016.

I can’t write about 2018 without giving Elon his due. Clearly Tesla’s aspirational production goal of 500K cars in 2018 isn’t going to happen when they are currently making the model 3 literally by hand. Likely Tesla will be forgiven for the continued misses and remain an important story but the recent announcements by German automakers regarding massive investments in electric models and batteries will be more significant to the lithium world going forward. Who knows if VW will really invest $84 billion as they recently stated but it is clear electrification is going mainstream. Based on my recent expert calls, it seems automakers finally realize they may have to finally make investments in lithium resources. Unfortunately, it takes huge bureaucracies a long time to make decisions but it seems the review process has started in earnest.

Lithium demand is increasing and supply is not keeping up. The thing most technology people forget is that to manufacture all these gadgets materials from the ground must be mined and processed. 

You can’t just build an app or a website and have instant lithium and cobalt. That is where the opportunity for clear thinkers comes in, understanding and exploiting the lag in the supply response due to all this mew demand.