The future of the electric car as seen by Les Échos

Three articles published on three different pages in “Les Echos” on January 18, without any clear search for coherence between them on the editorial side of this daily, presented many arguments about the risks of converting producers to 100% in this race. electric vehicles in the coming decades. On page 31, an article titled “Lithium market plunged into deep doubt” reported: “The surge in demand for lithium over the past two years has surprised many observers. And for good reason, with sales of electric cars doubling in two years! Against this background, the prices of the white metal rose to $84,523 a ton in November last year from $5,658 in August 2020, up nearly 1,400%. Since then, they have lost some of their height to list at $70,000. The biggest losers of this increase are obviously the car manufacturers, who for the first time have increased the production costs of the batteries and increased the selling price of the vehicles. Globally, lithium notes grow from $3 billion in 2020 to $35 billion in 2022,” we still read in this article.

What will the price of lithium be in a few years?

It remains to be seen how this price of lithium, like copper and other metals, will change when all global automakers produce or attempt to produce tens of millions of electric vehicles per year on all continents. Although US experts are hoping for a 30% increase in the volume of lithium used in the automotive industry between 2022 and 2023, Claire Blanchelande, a lithium specialist at trader Trafigura and quoted by Les Échos, said: “I don’t. This much volume in the market will not balance it. Don’t think there’s any reason to believe it will magically appear to return.

On the same day, on page 17 of the same newspaper, the front page of Les Échos Entreprises et Marchés, an article by Guillaume Guichard informed readers that “British startup Britishvolt was forced to declare bankruptcy on Tuesday. » The company is filing for bankruptcy because it has not invested enough in research and development of its sites in the Midlands (in the center of the United Kingdom) or in the North East, “the firm explained. this bankruptcy process.”

Young French startups looking for capital

On page 25 of the same daily newspaper, Les Échos took the headline “Young Frenchman hits the narrow path of an electric car.” The headline informed us that “tech multi-entrepreneur Thibault Elzière founded Kate, a company betting on electric microcars. “Gazelle Tech and MidiPile companies have also started this competition, which requires large initial investments.” In the text of the article, you can read about these two companies:

“Many entrepreneurs have personally invested in Kate to start the pump and plan to raise funds over the next six months. His thick address book will be a valuable asset. Gazelle Tech and MidiPile are also looking for new money. Apart from investors, these young shoots will also have to convince consumers. It’s not won in advance: the share of SUVs in car sales in France continues to grow, and the international energy agency shows their heavy impact on the environment.

But LVMH capitalizes 400 billion euros

While waiting to see more clearly the future of the electric car market, Les Échos of January 18 noted on page 17 that “LVMH has passed 400 billion euros in capitalization.” Bastien Bouchaud reassured readers with these words: “Since the beginning of the year, investors have flocked to key luxury stocks, while China offers significant growth prospects for the sector. As a result, the title of LVMH (owner of Les Echos) has increased by about 18% since the 1st year. er January, almost twice as fast as the CAC 40 as a whole (+9.4%). This represents 17% of the total capitalization of the flagship index of the Paris Stock Exchange.

Les Échos readers are warned that in the coming months and years, buying LVMH shares will be more profitable and, above all, less risky than investing in startups trying to raise funds to produce electric cars.

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