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EVs & Energy Storage
The Financial Post - May 13, 2024

A tiny, low-priced electric car called the Seagull has American automakers and politicians trembling…The car, launched last year by Chinese automaker BYD, sells for around $12,000 in China, but drives well and is put together with craftsmanship that rivals U.S.-made electric vehicles that cost three times as much. A shorter-range version costs under $10,000…Tariffs on imported Chinese vehicles probably will keep the Seagull away from America’s shores for now, and it likely would sell for more than 12 grand if imported…But the rapid emergence of low-priced EVs from China could shake up the global auto industry in ways not seen since Japanese makers exploded on the scene during the oil crises of the 1970s. BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” could be a nightmare for the U.S. auto industry…U.S. politicians and manufacturers already see Chinese EVs as a serious threat. The Biden administration on Tuesday is expected to announce 100% tariffs on electric vehicles imported from China, saying they pose a threat to U.S. jobs and national security…Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told industry analysts Chinese EVs are so good that without trade barriers, “they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world.”…Even with its minimalist design, the Seagull still has a quality feel. The doors close solidly. The gray synthetic leather seats have stitching that matches the body color, a feature usually found in more expensive cars. The Seagull “Flying Edition” tested by Caresoft has six air bags, rear disc brakes and electronic stability control…BYD would have to modify its cars to meet U.S. safety standards, which are more stringent than in China. Woychowski says Caresoft hasn’t done crash tests, but he estimated that would add $2,000 to the Seagull’s cost…BYD sells the Seagull, rebranded as the Dolphin Mini in some overseas markets, in four Latin American countries for about $21,000, twice what it costs at home. The higher price includes transportation costs, but also reflects the higher profits possible in less cutthroat markets than China…Some members of Congress are urging Biden to ban imports of Chinese vehicles, while others have proposed even steeper tariffs. This includes vehicles made in Mexico by Chinese companies that now would come in largely without tariffs.

The Wall Street Journal - May 10, 2024
Administration is preparing to announce higher levies on a range of Chinese goods next week ...
Administration is preparing to announce higher levies on a range of Chinese goods next week ...

The Biden administration is preparing to raise tariffs on clean-energy goods from China in the coming days, with the levy on Chinese electric vehicles set to roughly quadruple, according to people familiar with the matter…Higher tariffs, which Biden administration officials are preparing to announce on Tuesday, will also hit critical minerals, solar goods and batteries sourced from China, according to the people. The decision comes at the end of a yearslong review of tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump on roughly $300 billion in goods from China. 

BNN - May 13, 2024
Ford Motor Co. has begun cutting orders from battery suppliers to stem growing electric-vehicle losses, according to people familiar with the matter, as it throttles back ambitions in a rapidly decelerating market for plug-in models.
Ford Motor Co. has begun cutting orders from battery suppliers to stem growing electric-vehicle losses, according to people familiar with the matter, as it throttles back ambitions in a rapidly decelerating market for plug-in models.

Ford Motor Co. has begun cutting orders from battery suppliers to stem growing electric-vehicle losses, according to people familiar with the matter, as it throttles back ambitions in a rapidly decelerating market for plug-in models…Ford continues to maintain partnerships with its battery suppliers, which include South Korea’s SK On Co. and LG Energy Solution Ltd., as well as China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., said the people, who asked not to be identified revealing internal decisions. The move is part a retrenchment of Ford’s EV strategy, which includes reducing spending by $12 billion on battery-powered models, delaying new EVs, cutting prices, and postponing and shrinking planned battery plants. Ford has forecast EV losses of up to $5.5 billion this year and Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley recently said its EV unit, Model e, “is the main drag on the whole company right now.”…As EV prices have plunged and demand has slackened, Ford’s losses per EV exceeded $100,000 in the first quarter, more than double the deficit from last year, one of the people said. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates the losses Ford expects to sustain in its EV unit this year will come close to wiping out the profits it earns from its Ford Blue division, which makes traditional internal combustion engine vehicles like the Bronco SUV and gas-electric hybrids such as the Maverick truck…The reduction in orders is a fresh sign of the headaches plaguing the industry. Automakers in the US are confronting EV demand that continues to fall short of expectations. Meanwhile, battery makers in South Korea, China and elsewhere are dealing with a backlog of unsold inventory…That, in turn, is rippling even further up the supply chain to impact prices for key metals like lithium, cobalt and nickel, which have all traded at multiyear lows this year, stalling investment decisions on new projects and, in some cases, leading to mine closures…Ford is fast-tracking the development of small EVs that will start at $25,000 and debut in late 2026, Bloomberg has reported. Farley has said those models will be profitable within their first year on the market…Finding a path to profitability on electric vehicles is critical to the company’s long-term survival, Lawler said in an interview this month.

Reuters - May 13, 2024

European Union countries gave their final approval on Monday to a law to cut carbon dioxide emissions from trucks, which will require most new heavy-duty vehicles sold in the EU from 2040 to be emissions-free…The law will enforce a 90% cut in CO2 emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. That means manufacturers will have to sell a large share of fully CO2-free trucks - including electric vehicles and those running on hydrogen fuel - to offset any remaining sales of new CO2-emitting vehicles in 2040…Most trucks on Europe's roads currently run on diesel, which produces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants linked to lung cancer and respiratory diseases…European autos group ACEA has described the EU policy as the world's most ambitious, and said the targets will only be met if governments match them with a rapid roll-out of 50,000 truck-suitable public electric charging points by 2030.

For further information about the NICO Project and its Mineral Reserves, please refer to the Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for NICO, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon, which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at


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