Will Electric Vehicles Drive Nickel Endlessly Higher?

Print Email

Electric Vehicles have been an increasingly popular trend of late. This has become popularized by Elon Musk and Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), and it’s been taking hold at other major auto manufacturers across the globe. Although car models and features might differ from one company to another, one thing that all these electric vehicles seem have to in common is the battery.

Without facing direct exposure to the auto markets, many investors are asking how to invest in this trend. We can look deeper to what makes up this common component.

Nickel sulphate is a key ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries that power these cars, and analysts are predicting this commodity could prove to be very profitable. It’s worth pointing out that cobalt and lithium are also used in making these batteries, but the costs of these commodities have doubled since the start of last year while nickel prices have remained subdued due to large inventories.

Saad Rahim, chief economist at Trafigura, believes that it might be time for nickel sulphate. Glencore, a multinational commodity trading and mining company recently told analysts that it will increase its nickel production to 1.2 million tons by 2030, which is equal to more than all the current global production. This is all in an effort to keep up with demand from the battery industry.

Rahim further posited that future batteries likely will use more nickel and less cobalt, as the result of rising cobalt prices, and the biggest source of supply is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Investors looking to make a play on this should look into these two options. The iPath Bloomberg Nickel SubTR ETN (NYSEARCA: JJN) which was last seen trading up over 6% at $14.99, in a 52-week range of $10.11 to $14.99. The iPath Pure Beta Nickel ETN (NYSEARCA: NINI), which traded up 5.6% at $20.10 and has a 52-week range of $14.71 to $20.20.