SHANGHAI, Nov 29 (SMM) – A weekly update on the trending stories from the New Energy sector.
1. Lithium ore developer Vulcan Energy Resources said that the company has signed a second lithium supply agreement with Renault. According to the latest agreement, Renault will purchase 26,000 to 32,000 mt of battery-grade lithium raw materials from Vulcan. The agreement between the two parties will last for 6 years. The two companies did not disclose specific financial terms. Vulcan revealed in a statement that the second agreement they reached with Renault will begin delivery in 2026.
Vulcan plans to use a geothermal plant at the project site in the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany to extract high-temperature lithium-containing brine from 2,000 meters underground, and extract lithium for further processing; the generated heat will be used for turbine power generation. The factory uses self-produced geothermal energy for lithium oxide refining, and the surplus electricity can be sold to the German Grid for additional revenue. Unlike the common use of evaporation ponds in brine lithium projects in Latin America, Vulcan can return the used brine to the underground aquifer. However, it should be noted that Vulcan is still in the pre-feasibility study stage.
2. Rivian, an American EV startup, was listed on Nasdaq on November 10, and its market value quickly surpassed many established car companies such as Ford and General Motors within two days of listing. Although the stock price has corrected in recent days, the market value of Rivian is still above $100 billion. However, Rivian's current income is still very limited, but it has created a market value myth that can be recorded in history.
Rivian is currently performing strongly in the industry, and its current market value once overpowered Volkswagen in Germany, ranking as the third largest car maker in the world. Although Rivian is still a startup, it has attracted a number of strategic investors including Amazon, Ford, Blackstone Group, and Soros Fund Management Company. The company's two products are about to be mass-produced, including the electric truck R1T and the electric SUV R1S. The former has been officially produced and delivered in September, and the latter is expected to be delivered in December. However, as far as the market is concerned, the current new energy vehicle sector is filled with powerful competitors. Tesla is the dominant player in this sector. At the same time, Ford and GM are also very competitive. Can Rivian be able to compete among them? It remains to be seen.
3. Xiaomi released its Q3 financial report on November 23 and revealed the latest progress of the company's EV business. According to Xiaomi Group, the smart electric vehicle business is progressing smoothly, with more than 500 team members. At the same time, it reiterated its goal of formal mass production of vehicles in H1 2024. Xiaomi Automobile Technology was established on November 18. The legal representative of the company is Lei Jun, with a registered capital of 1 billion yuan. Xiaomi Technology holds 100% shares.
Xiaomi Automobile had officially completed the industrial and commercial registration on September 1, with a registered capital of 10 billion yuan. As for a company that do not have gene in the auto industry itself, investment, acquisition and joint cooperation are the fastest way to enter the sector. It also invested in BYD Semiconductor, Zhanxin Electronics and other major groups. In terms of batteries, SVOLT Energy Technology, and Ganfeng Lithium Battery are also among its investment targets. Xiaomi's car business is not, and its vehicle platform design capabilities, autonomous driving and other aspects of technology are weak, so they quickly make up for their shortcomings through investment, mergers and acquisitions.