Daily Management Review

Heyday of Tesla threatens the platinum market


05/06/2016


Elon Musk’s plans for development of the automotive industry promise a swipe at another commodity market - the platinum market. Threat of oil is not very big, yet demand for platinum could fall significantly.



Steve Jurvetson - Flickr: Tesla Autobots
Steve Jurvetson - Flickr: Tesla Autobots
And it's not only about increase in popularity of Teslas. Virtually, every automaker is developing or already producing electric cars. As a result, experts predict strong decline in demand for gasoline and diesel fuel, with consecutive decrease in harmful and toxic emissions.

The diesel car market has suffered from the scandal with Volkswagen, and the future looks increasingly bleak. Even Saudi Arabia is preparing for the post-oil era.

However, oil failure is still very far away. Electricity consumption is going to grow, and now it is produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels. Coal consumption, of course, is also great, but this raw material is being gradually phased out.

However, if electric cars receive the widest distribution worldwide, the demand for platinum will be strongly reduced. The thing is that these elements of these type of vehicles do not use this metal.

Last year, half of all platinum, mainly produced in South Africa and Russia, was sold to the automotive industry.

Government in many countries offer to buyers and owners of electric cars subsidies and incentives, and automakers reduce price of production every year. This, of course, expands the potential buyers list.

When Tesla unveiled its Model 3 cost $ 35 thousand in March, buyers had literally lined up. This year, Chevrolet will start selling its electric ‘Bolt’ for $ 37.5 thousand. The vehicle can travel 320 km on a single charge.

Germany, Europe's largest car market, last month announced its plans to stimulate the production of electric vehicles to 1.2 billion euros. About a quarter of this amount will be spent on construction of high-speed nationwide network of charging stations. In the US, buyers of electric vehicles receive a tax credit of $ 7.5 thousand.

Tesla had started this automotive revolution, and others have picked up. By 2020, share of electric cars can reach 5%. China, South Korea and Japan are already creating huge battery productions.

Nevertheless, decline in the platinum market is neither imminent nor certain. Yes, now the automotive sector is the main consumer of this metal, but platinum can be part of the energy balance, too, even after 2050. Many hybrid technologies still use it, according to the calculation of the International Energy Agency. 

source: bloomberg.com






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