Elon Musk’s plan for a multi-billion dollar Gigafactory to fuel mass-market Tesla (NasdaqGS: TSLA) electric cars will also help power up lithium stocks and industry-specific exchange traded fund.
Electric automaker Tesla Motors will open a $5 billion battery factory, dubbed the Gigafactory, in Carson City, Nevada, reports Kirsten Korosec for Fortune.
On Friday, the Global X Lithium ETF (NYSEArca: LIT) rose half a percent on more than quadruple the average the daily average volume.
LIT tracks a diversified group of companies involved in the “full lithium cycle,” from mining and refining the metal through battery production. Lithium is utilized in batteries for their high charge density, or longer lasting life.
“An essential component in the advancement of alternative energy is the ability to efficiently store power,” according to Global X. ” Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind require generated electricity to be stored because they provide power inconsistently throughout the day. Overhauling the transportation industry to run on electricity, rather than gasoline, requires enough energy storage to power vehicles for hundreds of miles. To meet these energy storage demands, advanced batteries are made from Lithium.”
The massive factory is expected to churn out more lithium-ion batteries annually by 2020 than those made worldwide for all of 2013. Consequently, the greater potential demand has provided a lift to the lithium industry outlook.
“This factory is very important for the future of Tesla, because without it we can’t do the mass market car,” Musk said in an announcement.
Musk is attempting to accelerate production of electric Tesla cars to hundreds of thousands annually over the next few years from about 35,000 units this year, Bloomberg reports.
To make the lithium battery more affordable and accessible, the planned Gigafactory could drive down lithium-ion cell production costs as much as 30%.
Global X Lithium ETF
For more information on the lithium industry, visit our lithium category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.