The EV Wave Continues: Positive Financials, Government Grants and Battery Solutions Drive Institutional Investing

2/9, 2:00 PM (Source: Newsfile Corp)

Vancouver, Kelowna, Delta, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - February 9, 2022) - Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering EV and battery technology stocks releases a special report featuring NEO Battery Materials Ltd. (TSXV: NBM) (OTCQB: NBMFF), a Vancouver-based company focused on battery materials.

As we move forward in 2022, the market is seeing a string of positive financials from EV manufacturers and battery producers which, combined with Government grants and new innovations, is bolstering institutional investor sentiment.

This is further solidifying the EV sector as a growth category that is here to stay.

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https://www.investorideas.com/News/2022/renewable-energy/02090EV.asp

NEO Battery Materials Ltd. (TSXV: NBM) (OTCQB: NBMFF) recently shared a January corporate update regarding the Company's commercialization development of its proprietary silicon anode materials for electric vehicle lithium-ion battery applications.

As per the news release dated January 24, 2022, NEO Battery Materials Korea Co., Ltd,, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEO, had received final approval by Gyeonggi-do's Provincial Government and the Foreign Investment Review Board for the usage of 106,700 square feet or approximately 2.5 acreages of land to construct NEO's Silicon Anode Commercial Plant. The facility will be located within an industrial complex designated as a Foreign Investment Zone by the Province.

The Company has undergone a strict due diligence process with the Province to qualify as a foreign investment company and may access various tax incentives and provincial financial support for equipment purchases, employment subsidies, and favorable lease rates for the facility. NBM Korea has received a long-term agreement for the site usage from the Province for the first 10 years with an option to extend up to 50 years. NEO has furthermore submitted an intention to append another lot of 106,700 square feet for further expansion, but the Company will not have to undergo an additional review process to secure the additional land.

On August 31, 2021, the Company announced the strategic decision to upscale the originally planned pilot plant to a semi-commercial scale facility, effectively increasing production capacity by 12-folds from 10 tons to 120 tons per annum. Most recently, with the final site approval, NEO has additionally doubled the initial target annual silicon anode production capacity to 240 tons on the same mass-production lines and has consequently renamed the semi-commercial plant into a commercial-scale plant facility to accommodate for industry capacity standards. The full-fledged facility, after installing the maximum number of mass-production lines through expansion, will have the capacity to manufacture 2,000 tons of NBMSiDE per year.

The commercial-scale expansion can be attributed to a more lean and optimized manufacturing method with cost efficiencies to be realized through converting into a continuous process compared to a batch process. With a 5% loading of NEO's silicon into the anode material of the lithium-ion battery, which implies a 19-to-1 ratio between graphite and silicon, the initial capacity of the commercial plant will be able to supply to 160,000 electric vehicles.

Moreover, NEO has initiated the architecture and design process of the plant and has currently received proposals from multiple architect offices in South Korea. The Company, concurrently, has been negotiating with a third-party for the EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contract to both facilitate and accelerate the commercialization process as a turn-key basis.

NEO has also shipped NBMSiDE samples to 3 parties in January and is preparing to supply additional NBMSiDE products with the same parties in February as mutually agreed. Simultaneously, work is underway to target the initial operation of NBM Korea's R&D Scale-Up Centre at Yonsei University by the second week of March. Upon commissioning the Centre, NEO will possess an increased output capability to better prepare the 3 prototype products, NBMSiDE-P100, NBMSiDE-P200, and NBMSiDE-C100, and provide continuous samples to any demands from NDA counterparties and incoming new parties.

The Company also shipped NBMSiDE samples to a third-party institution in South Korea for evaluation testing and performance validation. The institution will be executing a full breadth of tests with stacked pouch cells by applying NBMSiDE to their standardized cell manufacturing process.

Mr. Spencer Huh, President and CEO of NEO said, "At NEO, we retain the obligation to remain transparent through our commercialization developments and to provide necessary updates that we deem as significant to the progress of the Company. We are now planning to schedule webinars regularly to enhance our communication with shareholders and the global investment community."

A recent financial news article discussed Morgan Stanley's position on the EV space, specifically its attention to Rivian Automotive Inc. when Morgan Stanley asked its customers this question: "RIVN ($60bn) or LCID ($50bn): What Would You Rather Own Right Now?"

From the article: The response from the investment bank's clients was equally as clear. By a margin of 87% to 13%, the 46 big Morgan Stanley clients answering the survey voted that they would rather own Rivian stock than Lucid Motors.

Why do Morgan Stanley clients prefer Rivian? Here are just a few of the responses tendered:
"I think Lucid aims to compete in the luxury sedan segment, which has a small TAM and big competitors including Tesla."

In contrast, "Rivian R1s do not yet face Tesla competition, particularly as Cybertruck is delayed."
"RIVN ... the Company has real products that are actually moving down the production line, whereas LCID doesn't have full scale delivery capabilities at this point in time. Add in the investments from AMZN/F ... it's hard to ignore."

And "RIVN ... because of the Amazon order and the support they are getting."

From the article: Granted, the voting was not unanimous, and as Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas observed, "the market appears to be making the case that LCID can scale its award-winning Air into new segments and far lower price points to achieve many hundreds of thousands or potentially millions of units of EVs at some point in the future." When combined with the belief (voiced by some Morgan Stanley customers surveyed) that "LCID tech is better" than Rivian's, there's actually the potential for both these stocks to outperform over time.

Zacks Research said, "Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for Rivian Automotive, Inc. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook."

Last week it was announced that Volkswagen AG will be able to build 1 million electric vehicles a year in China in 2023 according to CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, Ralf Brandstaetter, boosted by a new plant in Anhui province.

The plant, a joint venture with China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co first announced in 2019, is set to produce 300,000 electric cars a year, with production starting in 2023.

"Together with production from two further joint venture plants - one with FAW Group, and one with SAIC Motor - this should bring total capacity to the 1 million mark," Brandstaetter said. Volkswagen was not immediately available for comment.

The German automaker sold 70,625 of its ID electric vehicles in China last year, missing its goal of selling 80,000 to 100,000 cars, with production also affected by regional COVID-19 outbreaks in addition to chip-related issues.

"In the past, our approach was to develop in Germany and localize in China," he was quoted as saying. "But this approach will be changed significantly by setting up more local resources for R&D, especially for software, to be faster, to be more independent in China."

While some companies are finding innovative pathways to deal with the chip and battery shortage, major EV manufacturer Tesla Inc. was reported by Yahoo Finance "to have decided to remove one of the two electronic control units included in the steering racks of some made-in-China Model 3 and Model Y cars to meet fourth-quarter sales goals while coping with global chip shortage.

"The electric-car maker did not disclose the exclusion, which already affected tens of thousands of vehicles being shipped to customers in China, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and other parts of Europe, the report said, citing two employees and an internal correspondence."

More: Tesla decided against notifying customers as the part is considered a redundant backup and was not needed for the level 2 driver-assistance features, the report said, adding it was not clear if Tesla would make similar changes to the cars built in or shipped to the United States. Tesla has fared better than most automakers in managing supply chain issues by using less scarce chips and quickly re-writing software.

More: It expects chip shortages to last through this year before easing next year. Chief Executive Elon Musk told an earnings call last month the shortage was not a long-term issue, with factories increasing capacity and automakers guilty of panic buying of chips which slowed the supply chain.

Also last week, Ford Motor Company announced solid fourth-quarter and full-year operating results for 2021 despite persistent supply chain disruptions - a year the company said is most notable for rapid progress carrying out the ambitious Ford+ plan for growth and value creation, and establishing itself as a leader in must-have connected, electric vehicles.

"Financial performance is obviously critical," said President and CEO, Jim Farley. "We're also proud that customers see how Ford is taking EVs mainstream, and have already ordered or reserved more than 275,000 all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUVs, F-150 Lightning pickups and E-Transit commercial vehicles - and we're breaking constraints to deliver every one of them as fast as we can."

From the news:Customers made Ford the No. 2 seller of electric vehicles in the U.S. in 2021, what Farley called "an important early step toward eventually being the true EV leader." Earlier, he said that the company will double worldwide EV manufacturing capacity to at least 600,000 by 2023 - and for fully electric vehicles to represent at least 40% of its product mix by 2030.

"Our team did a fantastic job working with partners to maximize component availability," said John Lawler, Ford's CFO. "We allocated those volumes to in-demand new vehicles like the Bronco (SUV) and Maverick (small pickup), profitable models like F-Series (trucks) and Transit, and customer orders."

For example, Ford worked with LG Energy Solution to improve battery supply for the Mustang Mach-E, expanding capacity three times over the past 10 months. Benefits from those increases will continue to accrue - to more than double originally contracted volumes by 2023.

As more institutional attention is paid to this sector we can see the EV space, and subsequently the battery and semiconductor industries poised to continue to snowball momentum in 2022 and into 2023.

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