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The entire world is about to run on batteries, which makes the next new battery innovation and the materials that go into it the best way to capitalize on the lucrative momentum of a multi-trillion-dollar energy transition.

That lithium-ion battery that the world has relied on for their smartphones has now gone way beyond consumer electronics. It's the feedstock for a lineup of rival EVs …And for energy storage, things are blowing up on a global scale. Investment in the global energy transition hit a record $501.3 billion in 2020, according to Bloomberg NEF, and big money is pouring into new energy in a manner fitting a revolution. Over $14 trillion in assets of institutions, foundations, and endowments are ready to back an energy transition. Forbes calls it a "paradigm shift" …The costs of clean energy are becoming dramatically cheaper. EVs will soon be as cheap as conventional cars, possibly by 2024 or earlier, and energy storage prices are heading south on a fast train as well. And storage is the key to it all. None of it happens without advanced batteries … and that means battery metals. There's never been a better time to invest in the backbone of the clean energy transition. That means getting in early on the next big battery advancement, and the next well-placed lithium discovery.

Solid-State Batteries

QuantumScape is a completely speculative stock, but while it's not producing anything yet, it holds one of the most tantalizing promises in the industry: a solid-state lithium battery that could revolutionize both batteries and the entire EV and energy storage industries. This is one of those defining "early-in" opportunities, keeping in mind that QuantumScape likely won't be releasing anything into the market for 3-4 years. That hasn't scared Wall Street away, though.

In November, QuantumScape stormed Wall Street in a SPAC and big backing from Volkswagen, and investors loved it. The stock shot up from $9.86 in August 2020 to $131.67 in December for gains of over 1,235%. Since then, it's pulled back a bit, but it's still at 12-month gains of 356%. It's a smarter play now, as many investors got wrapped up in the SPAC debut.

Now, it's cashed-up from its IPO, at a more reasonable price given the timing of the product coming to market, and it's got plenty of money to get its brand new-generation battery to the market. Wall Street likes that--a lot. It's even more exciting when considering that Bill Gates is backing it, along with Volkswagen, which isn't just an investor--it's a client. The attraction here is with the potential because when this one breaks into the market the returns for early-in investors stand to be astronomical. Patience is required, as with all good things, and the fundamentals for QuantumScape look the same now as they did when it was soaring 1,235%.

The European Lithium Boom

With lithium set to finally see that supply squeeze everyone was hoping for years ago, there are arguably few better places to be than with a junior pure-play lithium miner with considerable upside. Even better … a lithium miner that's sitting on an agreement to buy a property that has proven lithium mineralization, making this an exploration stage play for which they are defining the size. The announcements expected to follow over the course of the coming weeks and months are expected to contain good news on what they find. And there is hardly a better place to be for a lithium miner sitting on a discovery than Europe.

​Europe is the leader in EV adoption, with a massive 137% sales increase in 2020, compared to 2019. And United Lithium Corp. is about to be right in the middle of it.

​The company's soon to be closed Bergby Lithium property in Sweden has so far shown itself to contain surface or near-surface mineralization, parked right next to tons of critical infrastructure, that should make it less expensive for extraction and direct access to one of the most important battery markets in the world. And one whose governments are willing to spend billions upon billions to ensure Europe can become lithium independent for its massive battery-focused emissions ambitions.

The Bergby project includes three exploration licenses that cover a total of 1,903 hectares of prime EU market-bound lithium potential. In Q4 2016, the Bergby discovery showed lithium mineralization in three outcrop areas. In Q4 2017, the first drill program was completed with 28 of the 33 drill holes intersecting lithium mineralization. The exploration found three types of lithium mineralization in Bergby's boulders and outcrops, including Spodumene bearing very coarse pegmatite with crystals up to 30 centimeters in length. All of this is a very promising indication that this could lead to extensive development.

With mineralization already in hand, it gets even more exciting … there are additional known pegmatites in the area that have never been tested for lithium mineralization. That means we've got a tiny exploration with a contract to buy a lithium property that could be far bigger than they know.

Bergby is also right next to a giant lithium battery gigafactory under construction, the Northvolt Lithium Battery Gigafactory …And the world famous Woxna graphite mine. The icing on this cake: They'll have tariff-free sales to EU lithium customers.

For guaranteeing market share and getting product to market, it's hard to find a better setup than this …At the prime tipping point for batteries, nothing is more precious--or strategic--than lithium, and that could make junior, pure play lithium miners the best bets in the coming energy transitions.

The EV Hype Is Real

GreenPower Motor Companyis an exciting company that produces larger-scale electric transportation. Right now, it is primarily focused on the North American market, but the sky is the limit as the pressure to go green grows. GreenPower has been on the frontlines of the electric movement, manufacturing affordable battery-electric busses and trucks for over ten years. From school busses to long-distance public transit, GreenPower's impact on the sector can't be ignored.

GreenPower Motor has seen its share price soar from $2.03 to a yearly high of $28.45. That means investors have seen 1300% gains since the beginning of the year. And with this red-hot sector only gaining traction, GreenPower has a lot of room to run.

Lithium In Space

Maxar Technologies is another high flying tech stock to keep an eye on. While space firm specializes in satellite and communication technologies, it is also a manufacturer of infrastructure required for in-orbit satellite services, Earth observation and more. So what does Maxar have to do with lithium? Quite a lot, actually.

Maxar's wholelly-owned subsidiary, SSL, a designer and manufacturer of satellites used by government and commercial enterprises, has pioneered research in electric propulsion systems, lithium-ion power systems and the use of advanced composites on commercial satellites. These innovations are key because they allow satellites to spend more time in orbit, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Thanks to Maxar's incredible tech and innovative approach to the already-extremely complicated space industry, the company has seen its share price climb where many of its peers have struggled. In fact, in just the past two years, Maxar has seen its share price increase by well over 1000%. And as the company secures more deals in the great beyond, the innovative firm will likely maintain its upward trajectory for some time.

Lithium Isn't The Only Battery Metal Set To Soar

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. is a key player in Canada's resource and mineral industry. Like Teck Resources, Turquoise Hill is a major producer of coal and zinc, two resources with distinctly different futures. While headlines are already touting the end of coal, zinc is a mineral that will play a key role in the future of energy for years and years to come.

In addition to its zinc operations, Turquoise Hill is also a significant producer of Uranium. Uranium is a key material in the production of nuclear energy, which many analysts are suggesting could be a major component in the global transition to cleaner energy. While the mineral has not seen significant price action in recent years, there are a number of new projects set to come online across the globe in the medium-term, which could be a boon to Turquoise Hill.

Though 2019 was a particularly rough year for Turquoise Hill, its downturn led to an opportunity for new shareholders to get in on the company at reduced prices. Since dropping from all time highs and settling at a low of just $5, Turquoise Hill has outperformed many of its peers, climbing by nearly 150% in 2020 alone.

​Magna International is a fantastic way to get in on the explosive battery market without betting big on one of the new hot stocks tearing up among the millennials right now. The 63-year-old Canadian manufacturing giant provides mobility technology for automakers of all types. From GM and Ford to luxury brands like BMW and Tesla, Magna is a master at striking deals. And it's clear to see why. The company has the experience and reputation that automakers are looking for.

More than a decade ago, Magna International was already making major moves in the battery market, investing over half a billion dollars in battery production while the market was still in its infancy. At the time, electric vehicles as we know them had barely hit the scene, with Tesla launching its premiere car just two years prior.

Magna's massive investment has paid if in a big way, however. Since its battery bet, the company has seen it's valuation soar by tens of billions of dollars, and it has solidified itself as one of the leaders in the business.

By Andor Varga

FN Media Group / Market Commentary

This article contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

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