|The surprising ways to cash in on the electric-car boom|
This year, Tesla’s stock price has surged 66%. And buying shares in Elon Musk’s company is far from the only way to cash in on the future of electric cars.
Investors are sending the prices of the raw materials used to make lithium-ion batteries rapidly higher on hopes that demand for electric cars surges. The rise comes amid fears that the supply of the metals needed for batteries might not meet the new demand.
Volkswagen, the world’s largest carmaker, said this year that it expects to need 200 GWh of battery-cell production by 2025 and plans to invest €20 billion ($23.4 billon) in zero-emissions vehicles. This would require a huge increase in production because there is only 266 GWh of new battery capacity in the worldwide pipeline between now and 2020, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Government environmental initiatives are likely to increase demand. The UK and France are banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and China says that 10% of cars it produces by 2019 must be zero-emissions. There’s huge room for growth, too: electric vehicles account for six of the ten fastest-selling used car models in the US, where they make up just 1% of total new sales.