Cobalt-free chemistries are touted for their use in vehicle electrification.

If you’ve been paying attention to the debate about lithium-ion battery materials then you will know there is a price problem with lithium, but the real market danger is with cobalt.
While experts doubt that cobalt scarcity will halt the growth of the lithium-ion battery business, demand for the metal is affecting battery markets and increasing the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s stranglehold on supplies.
To the uninitiated, this might seem like a major threat to the lithium-ion energy storage business. But it’s not, for the simple reason that not all lithium-ion batteries need cobalt.
Lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium

Bloom's latest S-1 reveals the company has faced significant losses in the past two years.

Bloom Energy has set the terms for its upcoming initial public offering. The company is seeking to raise from $235 million to $270 million through the sale of 18 million shares at a price of $13 to $15 per share. 

The terms, revealed by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based fuel cell maker on Monday, would put its midpoint valuation at about $1.6 billion — just about level with the amount of equity investment it has raised since its founding, and roughly half its peak valuation set back in 2011. 

Bloom filed its S-1 registration statement (PDF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Tariffs create a new headache for Elon Musk, who has been trying for years to gain a foothold in China’s EV market.

A burgeoning trade war has already affected Tesla’s business in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, China.

President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods Friday, and China retaliated in kind. Trump has threatened a 20 percent tariff on imported cars; China went ahead and included automobiles in its list, raising the tariff for American-made vehicles to 40 percent.

That creates a new headache for Elon Musk, who has been trying for years to expand Tesla’s foothold in China’s electric vehicle market. That country is already Tesla’s second largest market, receiving approximately 17,000 Teslas last year, according to

China's solar investment dropped, along with its change in policy.

New data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows a 19 percent reduction in solar financing in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period last year.

Continued declines in project costs along with a policy shake-up in China drove the drop. BNEF expects the ramifications from both to build in the second half of the year. 

But where investment in solar faltered, other clean energy technologies made up the difference. Wind saw a particularly sharp 33 percent increase in investment over the first half of 2017, to a total of $57.2 billion. While lower relative to previous years, solar investments still out-performed wind

Sources of lithium are located far away from shiny EV showrooms.

The surging electric vehicle market is driving the lithium industry into volatility as it confronts unprecedented demand growth.

Pricing for the battery essential lithium has tripled from $5,000 per ton to up to $15,000 per ton as industry players jockey for mining resources and capital. Lithium now accounts for about 10 percent of the cost of making a battery cell, according to David Snydacker, CEO of lithium extraction startup Lilac Solutions.

Global battery-making capacity is set to double by 2021 to more than 278 gigawatt-hours per year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Global demand for lithium is expected to quadruple by 2025. EVs have surpassed consumer electronics as the biggest

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