At this year’s Lithium Supply and Markets conference in Las Vegas, the Investing News Network had the chance to catch up with Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital, who shared his insight on the battery metals market.
Hykawy said he is optimistic about future demand for electric cars, which will see the need for batteries increase exponentially in the next few years.
“I have no doubt electric vehicles are cheaper, they have better technology than internal combustion and with the developments in battery technology and some of the other engineering that is happening, I think we are going to see this push towards electrification continuing and maybe accelerate,” he said.
Despite news from US carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) suggesting cobalt use in lithium-ion batteries will be reduced to “almost nothing,” Hykawy still sees the need for cobalt in lithium-ion batteries.
“We need the nickel for the energy density and unfortunately we need some cobalt for stability. We need to ensure that there is not something catastrophic happening to the battery. So we are not going to get away from that,” he said.
But would it be easy to make a shift in technology at this point? For Hykawy, it’s going to be difficult, “because that tends to have knock on effects throughout the rest of the battery supply chain. These things, if they are happening, are going to occur over a period of time.”
However, according to the expert, to make changes to the demand in certain chemicals and certain metals “through the application of slightly different technology is perhaps more possible.”
Speaking about what factors to watch out for in the space, Hykawy highlighted the importance of new technology again.
“[Whether] you are looking at new sources of lithium feedstock, whether you are looking at cheaper production or whether you are looking at enhanced production that’s less expensive as well, [all these things] are going to have a major impact on the lithium space moving forward.”
Listen to the interview above for more insight on battery metals from Hykawy, including his thoughts on nickel and cobalt, the future of lithium-ion batteries and what’s ahead for the market.