Rare earths company jumps 38.46% yesterday as the world searches for a NA supply

As good news continues to flow for the rare earths sector, today I look at one of the recent best performers, whose stock was up 38.46% yesterday as they led the pack of rare earth companies higher. Impressively, the stock is up 80% so far in 2020.

Avalon Advanced Materials leads the pack as the rare earths miners make a comeback

Source: InvestorChannel’s Rare Earths Watchlist Update – July 27, 2020

What has caused the surge in prices for western rare earth miners?

The recent price surge appears to be due to a combination of factors, all positive for rare earths:

These are in addition to several other Acts currently before the US Senate, such as:

Added to all of this the US Department of Defense recently said that it will seek $1.7 billion to purchase rare earths in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. You can read more on the three Acts here.

With this extremely favorable backdrop, today I take a look at yesterday’s star performer Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF).

Avalon is focused on critical minerals and cleantech materials including rare earths, lithium, tantalum, cesium, cobalt, nickel, tin, and others with near term production potential. Avalon has a very large project pipeline of promising, mostly development stage projects including:

  • Their flagship Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property (Thor Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada) with a 3% NSR on on the near surface T-Zone and Tardiff Zone bought by Cheetah Resources, and the 100% owned HREE Basal Zone. The Basal Zone retained by Avalon contains a rich polymetallic rare metals resource, with potential for economic recovery of several rare earth elements. A Feasibility Study was completed in 2013 on the Basal Zone resulting in a pre-tax NPV10% of $1.35 billion (post-tax NPV10% of $900m). The post-tax IRR was 19.6%. CapEx was $1.575b. Sales of the five critical REO (neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium) account for over 82% of the separated REO revenues.
  • Their Separation Rapids Lithium Project (70 km by road north of Kenora, Ontario) holds one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world. A PEA was completed in 2018 resulting in a pre-tax NPV8% of $156m, post tax IRR of 22.7%, CapEx C$77.7m with a 20 year mine life. You can read a company update here. Currently Avalon is working on optimizing the process flowsheet and producing new petalite product samples for glass-ceramic manufacturers.
  • Their Lilypad Cesium Property (150 km northeast of Pickle Lake, Ontario) is an exploration stage project with cesium-lithium-tantalum mineralization.
  • Their Warren Township Feldspar Project (100 km west of Timmins, Ontario) hosts a significant resource of high purity anorthosite, consisting of up to 98% high calcium plagioclase feldspar. The PFS was completed in 2003.
  • Their East Kemptville Tin Project (45 km northeast of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) with a PEA completed in 2018.

Avalon Advanced Materials’ project pipeline are all located in North America

Source: Company investor presentation

Since Avalon did not release any new news in July, I can only conclude that yesterday’s 38.46% stock price surge was related to the very positive rare earths market news from the U.S. government and European Commission reported on July 24 as I discussed above. The fact that Avalon surged more than the rest is likely due to their lower market cap resulting in greater leverage to the positive rare earths news. Certainly having a low market cap and a very significant local Canadian rare earths project with a pre-tax NPV10% of $1.35 billion would go a long way in explaining the potential ahead. Most companies would trade on ~20% of the post-tax FS value. In this case that would mean ~20% of $900 million or ~$180 million. Even allowing for the large CapEx, using 10% of the $900 million would suggest a market cap of $90 million. The Feasibilty Study costs alone were ~$60 million. Also this does not include any value for the other projects. Avalon is trading on a market cap of just C$31 million.

Closing remarks

The good thing about western rare earths companies is they actually do better if US-China relations get worse. This is because of the implied threat that China may one day cut off or severely restrict their rare earths supply to the US as they did before to Japan.

Rare earths stand to be one of the biggest winners of the new economy this decade as the world continues to decarbonize and moves towards using powerful magnets for electric motors used in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Investors wanting broad exposure to multiple rare earths and critical materials should consider Avalon Advanced Materials. Avalon gives investors exposure to four advanced stage projects and one exploration stage project – with exposure to lithium, tin, cobalt, indium, beryllium, niobium, cesium, zirconium and tantalum, as well as the rare earth elements, neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.




Neo Performance Materials manufactures high performance materials including very valuable rare earth magnetic powders

High performance materials, especially those involving rare earths magnet powders, are about to experience a huge demand as several massive macro trends develop this decade. Two of the biggest trends will be electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy (notably solar and wind). An important component for the best electric motors is powerful rare earth magnets.

Did you know?

  • By 2030, global demand for the two main rare earth metals (neodymium and dysprosium) used in wind turbines and electric vehicles is forecast to grow by 2.1x (that’s over 100% growth).
  • In a 100% EV world the demand for rare earths is forecast to grow by 655%.

Whilst China dominates rare earths processing and end products, there is one ‘Western’ company that is globally diversified and not fully dependent upon China.

Neo Performance Materials Inc. (TSX: NEO) manufactures the building blocks of everyday products and emerging technologies, including very valuable rare earth magnetic powders. The Company is headquartered in Canada but has operations in China, U.S., Germany, U.K., Canada, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Estonia. Neo has over 1,800 staff. Neo is positioned to benefit from key macro trends including vehicle electrification, industrial automation, consumer electronics, energy efficient lighting, air and water pollution control, and greater use of superalloys.

Macro trends that drive demand for Neo’s advanced industrial materials

Source: Company investor presentation

Neo’s materials deliver a range of powerful properties to the products in which they are used, including magnetic, catalytic, luminescent, electrochemical, thermal stability, and superconductive.

Neo’s three main operational segments (with revenue % in brackets) are:

  • Magnequench (42%) – Production of magnetic powders used in bonded and hot deformed fully dense magnets.
  • Chemicals and Oxides (35%) – Distributes a broad range of light and heavy rare earth functional materials.
  • Rare Metals (23%) – Sources, produces, reclaims, refines and markets high value metals and their compounds, such as tantalum, niobium, hafnium, rhenium, gallium and indium.

Neo has a balanced and well-diversified customer base that includes large industrial, consumer electronics and chemical processing companies. A significant portion of revenue contribution is from customers who have been with Neo for 10+ years. As western companies look to diversify their supply chains away from China Neo stands to be a potential winner.

Neo Performance Materials has a diversified and long standing customer base

Source: Company investor presentation

Neo is a profitable, dividend-paying company with a strong balance sheet and robust cash-flow generation. As you can see in the chart below revenue was impacted negatively in 2019 and so far in 2020 due to the global slowdown from the trade war and COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally the stock price was also impacted; however this is the opportunity for investors.

The current market cap is C$326 million. 2021 and 2022 revenues and margins are forecast to improve on 2020. 2021 forecast PE looks attractive at 14.0 and 2022 is 12.8. Analyst’s consensus is an ‘outperform’ with a price target of C$10.42, representing ~20% upside. Risks revolve around the length of the current global slowdown, demand for Neo’s specialty products, and Chinese competition.

Neo Performance Materials revenue breakdown

Source: Company investor presentation

Closing remarks

Neo Performance Materials offers investors a safe jurisdiction and exposure to some of the biggest macro trends ahead this decade.

The EV boom is set to take off this decade and so is renewable energy which includes wind turbines and numerous energy efficient products, as well as superalloy and other high performance materials. Added to this there will be a surge in demand for auto catalysts to reduce air pollution. Neo supplies the specialty materials for all these areas.

Investors can consider buying Neo during the current market lull knowing that once the global demand for Neo’s materials picks up, the Company will also pick up. Neo Performance Materials is somewhat under the investment radar, but this could well change soon once word gets out and revenues start to turn higher again.




MedX Health continues its global expansion in the fight against skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide, but early screening can save lives. Did you know these gruesome facts?

  • One in every three cancers diagnosed is skin cancer.
  • Between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.

Clearly the world needs a much better early skin cancer screening technology.

MedX Health Corp. (TSXV: MDX) is a leading medical device and software company focused on the early detection of skin cancer. MedX has approvals in 35 countries and distribution agreements in place for its key skin cancer diagnostic products – SIAscope and DermSecure™ telemedicine platform.

Following on from MedX’s regulatory approval and distribution agreement in Brazil (read here), the Company recently announced an exciting exclusive distribution agreement to launch SIAscopy on DermSecure™ in Mexico with EMC LABS, S.A.P.I. DE C.V.operating as MedX Mexico. MedX Mexico plans to launch an aggressive ease-of-access skin scanning/assessment program throughout Mexico, using MedX’s SIAscopy on DermSecure™ Telemedicine platform. MedX Mexico will cover all the upfront costs for application for regulatory approval in Mexico, all marketing costs, and will utilize their large-scale distribution network in Mexico.

MedX Mexico’s, President and CEO, Carlos Vizcaino, states:

“There is a significant opportunity for MedX’s rapid skin assessment technology in Mexico, as skin cancer is a very common type of cancer in Mexico……MedX’s SIAscopy on DermSecure™ Telemedicine platform and advanced SIAscopy imaging technology is a perfect solution to assist dermatologists and physicians in the diagnosis process for early detection of melanoma.”

Masterplan

MedX Health’s masterplan is to continue to rollout distribution agreements with partners globally. So far Brazil and now Mexico are underway. MedX’s revolutionary skin cancer detection device is approved in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Turkey, and many other places. In total MedX’s device has achieved regulatory approval in 35 countries. This means we can expect further distribution agreements in the future to many of the above countries. The potential for future revenues is enormous.

MedX’s business model is similar to Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. The revenue model uses front-end hardware sales coupled with recurring “platform” revenue based on a minimum number of screens per device (360/year at $10/image).

2019 revenues were only small at C$860,248, and 1st quarter 2020 C$95,544, as the Company was impacted by COVID-19 and had yet to ramp up distribution as is now occurring in 2020. For a guide on where revenues are headed the next two years the Beacon Securities report is most useful.

The report’s analysts says MedX has strong visibility on initial orders from the MedX Brazilian distribution partner, that could result in $8 million of hardware sales over the next 2 years and a run-rate of $14 million of high margin, recurring platform revenue by the end of FY21. Given that MedX currently trades on a market cap of C$24 million, the C$14 million, if achieved, would mean MedX would trade on a 2022 market cap/sales ratio of only 1.7. Beacon Securities rates MedX Health a ‘buy’ with a Price Target of C$0.45. Given the stock currently trades at C$0.135, the C$0.45 price target represents a very significant upside of 233% or a 3.3 fold gain.

Closing remarks

It is very clear to me that the market is yet to wake up to the potential very large boost in revenues that MedX is working to achieve, now with distribution agreements in both Brazil and Mexico.

Detecting skin cancer is an enormous global need and MedX is working hard to fill this need. MedX has the right device and approvals in 35 countries. All that is needed now is further distribution agreements and revenue to flow. The opportunity for investors to get in early on such a great company with a very bright future still exists. I would not recommend waiting too long as the cheap valuation is unlikely to last long, especially as further new deals are announced.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: The InvestorIntel Sr. Editor Matthew Bohlsen currently owns shares in MedX Health Corp. The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice. For more information, contact Tracy Weslosky at [email protected]




The Tesla led electric vehicle boom will lead to a tsunami of demand for the EV metal miners

The recent electric vehicle (EV) stock prices surge is telling a story. The story is one of change. The change is that electric vehicles are coming much sooner than many think. While EV manufacturer stocks have surged, battery manufacturers have done well, the EV metal miners are yet to jump. This presents one of the biggest investment opportunities of the 2020s decade, as a tsunami of demand hits the EV metal miners.

Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) stock is up over 8 fold the past 14 months (up 492% the past 1 year) and is now the world’s largest car company by market cap. Tesla is rapidly gaining market share and is severely production constrained, as shown by their over 650,000 Cybertruck orders, not to mention a backlog of orders for Model Y, Roadster 2 and Semi.

In fact it was reported yesterday: “Later this year, we (Tesla) will be building three factories on three continents simultaneously.” This followed the Tesla Q2 earnings release with Tesla now achieving 4 quarters of consecutive profitability making them now eligible to join the S&P500, a move that would typically see a surge of Index funds buying the stock. Meanwhile other pure EV plays are also booming. Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) is up 285% in the past year and NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) is up 250%. Will Fisker (NYSE: SPAQ) be next?

Lithium-ion battery megafactories are being built as fast as they can to meet the surging battery demand. There is currently over 115 Li-ion battery megafactories either built or in planning until 2029. This equates to enough capacity to make 39 million EVs per annum by 2029. This is a massive increase on the 2.2 million electric cars sold worldwide last year.

As a result, shares of the leading battery manufacturers are flying higher. LG Chem is 57% higher the past year and Chinese giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (“CATL”) is 174% higher over the past year.

The 2017 boom in EV metals was merely the entree. What is coming this decade is so much bigger. Nickel sulphate battery demand is set to lead the pack with a staggering 14x increase in demand from 2019 to 2030. Aluminum, phosphorous, and iron will also be needed to meet the EV production surge. Copper demand for EVs is forecast to surge 10x due to its use in electric motors, wiring, and charging infrastructure. Finally the other battery metals are all set for a surge in demand. These can perform the best as they are often smaller markets with supply constraints as most investors know with cobalt in particular highly reliant on the volatile and corrupt DRC.

  • Graphite – A 10x increase in battery demand from 2019 to 2030.
  • Lithium – A 9x increase in battery demand from 2019 to 2030.
  • Cobalt – A 3x increase in battery demand from 2019 to 2030.
  • Manganese – A 3x increase in battery demand from 2019 to 2030.

Note: Rare earths will also see a surge in demand as they are needed for powerful magnets in EV motors and wind turbines.

Bloomberg forecasts a tsunami of demand coming for EV battery metals this decade

When have you ever heard of a car manufacturer publically saying this? Elon Musk’s plea yesterday for mining companies is quoted below:

“Please mine more nickel……Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way.”

Closing remarks

The EV boom is about to take off as EV prices become purchase price competitive with conventional cars by ~2022. The battery factory build out is well underway. What is lacking is investment into the EV miners to supply what will be the much needed raw materials, hence Elon Musk’s plea to miners. Many investors don’t understand to bring on a new mine to full production can take 5-10 years, compared to 1-2 years for an EV or battery factory. EV metals supply constraints will be the biggest obstacle that the EV boom will face this next decade.

For investors the opportunity is now clearer than ever. Buy EV metal miners with quality assets in safe jurisdictions and with ability to scale rapidly to meet surging demand. While current producers are the safest and preferred way, the near term junior producers (developers) can offer tremendous returns, albeit with higher risk.

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Disclaimer: The InvestorIntel Sr Editor Matthew Bohlsen currently owns shares in Tesla. The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice. For more information, contact Tracy Weslosky at [email protected]




Apparel Retailer PK Beans reports ‘substantial margin improvement’ in their bottom-line, so what’s new with Peekaboo?

COVID-19 has meant that retailers need to be agile and adapt their product ranges to meet the community’s needs. For example producing personal protective clothing such as face masks, or focusing on online sales and services, rather than bricks and mortar stores. Those companies that have proven to be adaptable have seen some superb stock price increases resulting from boosted sales. The following company is moving in the same direction with some early signs of success.

Peekaboo Beans Inc. (CSE: BEAN) (now re-branded as ‘PK Beans’) offers ‘online shopping’ in clothing fashion, for both toddlers and children. Peekaboo is focused on environmentally responsible clothes that are intentionally designed to inspire play.

The Company engages sellers through social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, as well as online retailers, to maximize revenue and build brand loyalty. They also sell directly from their own website pkbeans.com.

Despite COVID-19 and the temporary closure of PK Beans flagship store (re-opened on June 2), the Company is performing well with online sales. In April, the Company reported March 2020 sales stating: “Monthly sales increase of 47% year over year, and continue to see consistent, strong and positive return on digital ad spend.”

In May the Company reported:A 21% increase in sales for April 2020 (over April 2019), online visitors were up 66% from 2019 for April and 32% of sales attributed to first time customers.” Also in May we learned that the PKB Explorers’ Club (the Company’s monthly subscription interactive adventure series, launched in March) has grown quickly to reach 107 subscribers. PK Beans also designed and produced over 2,000 comfortable and reusable masks for children that sold out instantaneously.

InvestorIntel’s Senior Editor, Peter Clausi, states regarding the PKB Explorers’ Club: “My grandson is 3 and 1/2. He loves the play box. Both the box itself and the contents have kept him fascinated for hours. Excellent work!!!”

The Peekaboo Beans (PKB) Explorers Club is a subscription service for parents & kids to enjoy together

Source

In early June PK Beans successfully launched the PK Beans Summer 2020 Collection. By June 17 the Company announced that they had already sold 10% of their inventory and have increased their page views 65% and their new users by 58% year-over-year. PK Bean’s Summer 2020 Collection, which included children’s sleepwear, has so far resulted in a 23% increase in average margins for the Company.

Traci Costa, Founder, President and CEO of PK Beans commented:

“PK Beans Summer 2020 Collection highlight the strength of the Company during the challenges brought to all of us with COVID-19. Starting with a substantial margin improvement in our bottom-line, and on behalf of the PK Bean’s team, I would like to thank all our returning customers! With an unprecedented 75% returning customer rate, and with a 61% increase in average orders from $90 to $145, as always, our success is by providing high quality clothing that enhances our children’s life experience.”

In addition to the PK Bean’s Summer 2020 Collection, the Company recently consolidated office and warehouse space to one location, resulting in savings of approximately $100k for the Company annually.

PK Beans has even started selling face masks to help the fight against COVID-19

Source

Closing remarks

PK Beans continues to reinvent itself as it expands its offerings and grows its customer base. Just this past 6 months the Company has rebranded from Peekaboo Beans to PK beans, expanded their product line to include face masks and the 2020 Summer Collection including children’s sleepwear. Added to this was the introduction of services, such as the PKB Explorers’ Club.

As a result PK Beans has been attracting significantly more new customers, has had a large boost in repeat customers, and has improved margins. All of these are steps in the right direction and should start to lead to growing revenues ahead.




Scaling up graphene production to meet forecast demand, ZEN Graphene shares double since April

In recent years we have heard that graphene can be the next super material due to its immense strength and electrical conduction properties. The next step is for large scale, low cost, graphene production to occur so as to supply the market demand. It looks like graphene’s time has now come.

A 2019 Canaccord UK research report estimated worldwide graphene sales were likely to take off over the next few years reaching US$4.8 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 45%. That is a huge forecast demand increase, effectively forecasting in the next 2 years graphene demand will double, then double again, and so on.

Graphene – Properties, Facts, and Applications

Source

One company is currently scaling up their graphene production from their new facility in Canada to meet what should be extremely strong demand this decade. That company is ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSXV: ZEN) (“ZEN”).

ZEN is an emerging graphene technology solutions company with a focus on the development of graphene-based nanomaterial products and applications. ZEN sources its graphite to make graphene from its ‘unique’ Albany Graphite Project. I say unique because independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada have independently demonstrated that ZEN’s Albany PureTM Graphite is an ideal precursor material which easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene using a variety of methods.

Some of the numerous applications for ZEN’s graphene include:

  • Aerospace and aircraft – Graphene coatings that can greatly improve corrosion resistance, reduce friction and can be hydrophobic reducing ice formation. Graphene composites also help to increase strength and flexibility while potentially reducing overall weight.
  • Fuel Additive – Graphene oxide in diesel/jet fuel improves fuel economy and reduces greenhouse emissions.
  • Electromagnetic shielding and electrostatic dissipation.
  • Desalinization membranes and low-energy dehumidification.
  • Heavy metal scavenging –Graphene quantum dot/nanocellulose membranes are a recyclable material capable of removing industrial contamination.
  • Photovoltaics, displays, biomedical applications using graphene quantum dots. Graphene based virucidal inks embedded in protective clothing to fight COVID-19 are another useful application right now.
  • Material enhancement using graphene. Graphene is also useful to boost tires strength and performance as well as a concrete additive to boost performance. Graphene can also be used to strengthen clothing for military applications. Graphene also strengthens aluminum, rubber, plastics and other materials.
  • Hydrogen storage and production – Graphene is an ideal catalyst for water splitting (10x more efficient than platinum catalysts) and can store hydrogen in a solid state.
  • Advanced batteries –Anode energy densities are 1500mAh/g in graphene-enhanced aerogels and 840mAh/g with reduced graphene oxide. Graphene has greater conductivity and improves cold weather performance. Samsung is developing an advanced graphene phone battery.

ZEN Graphene Solutions Guelph, Ontario facility is scaling up graphene production in 2020

The Guelph graphene facility opened in March 2020 and is now scaling up graphene production to sell to the many potential buyers as discussed above.

Source

In addition to ZEN’s Guelph facility ramping up production, ZEN announced in July 2020 a new partnership with Evercloak and NGen for a ‘Graphene in Cleantech Manufacturing Project’. The announcement states:

“The project entitled “Advancing Large-Scale Graphene and Thin-Film Membrane Manufacturing” will support the scale up of graphene oxide (GO) production by ZEN to supply GO to Evercloak for their scale up and optimizing activities.”

For ZEN this is another significant endorsement and step forward along the pathway of commercializing their graphene. Evercloak is commercializing a manufacturing platform for producing continuous, large-area, monolayers of exfoliated 2D nanomaterials, including graphene, graphene oxide, molybdenum disulfide, and carbon nanotubes. These films are increasingly used for a wide range of applications such as energy storage, smart packaging, electronic devices, corrosion inhibitors, and membranes. Evercloak’s initial focus is on manufacturing graphene-based membranes for dehumidification to significantly reduce the energy use and associated greenhouse gas related with building cooling.

ZEN’s CEO Francis Dubé commented: “ZEN is pleased to support Canadian graphene-based innovations and Evercloak is a wonderful example of what can be achieved with nanomaterials and Canadian entrepreneurship. NGen supports the accelerated development of high potential technologies such as our graphene collaboration. We look forward to helping Evercloak bring breakthrough technology to everyday life.”

Closing remarks

Success in the manufacturing sector is about collaboration with your supply chain. ZEN continues to win interest in their graphene products and continues to develop a supply chain, on this latest occasion with Evercloak.

A recent C$2 million capital raise means ZEN has cash to accelerate their near term expansion activities, which will include funds for the Albany Graphite Project, further graphene research, graphene production scale up, COVID-19 initiatives, and other graphene applications development. Also the recent engagement of Hybrid Financial to help market ZEN should boost the number of eyes on the stock.

Combine the above with continuing commercial success selling graphene products and 2020 should see a successful year for ZEN. Late 2020 and 2021 should start to see revenues coming in and a lot more interest in both graphene and ZEN Graphene Solutions. Despite the stock price more than doubling since April 2020, the stock still looks reasonably priced trading on a market cap of C$57 million.




Surge in electric vehicle sales, has investors eyeing Exro Technologies

With the electric vehicle (EV) boom picking up pace recently investors are looking at EV related stocks that can benefit from the forecast surge in electric vehicle sales. Below I discuss a unique EV technology company that may well be at the center of the boom.

BloombergNEF 2020 forecast for annual electric vehicle sales give investors an idea of the tsunami that is on the way. BNEF forecasts annual electric car sales to rise from 2.2 million in 2019 (2.5% market share) to ~9 million by 2025 (10% share), 24 million by 2030 (28% share), and to a massive 54 million by 2040 (58% share). Added to this will be hundreds of millions of combined sales when including e-bikes, e-buses, e-semis, e-boats, e-trains, and some e-planes. The opportunity is enormous as shown in the chart below.

Global electric-car revolution set to take off – BNEF forecast

Source

Exro Technologies Inc. (CSE: XRO | OTCQB: EXROF) is a software design technology and smart energy company that creates an electric program module that uses Artificial Intelligence to make electric motors function better. The module integrates into the power electronics adjusting the output of the electric motor when needed, just like gears in a conventional car.

Exro’s patented technology allows for multiple power settings in a single motor. This helps maximize the motors performance in terms of output and efficiency, thereby boosting a motors output and thereby performance and range. The technology enables 2 separate torque profiles within a single motor, hence the comparison with ‘gears’ on a conventional car. All this is done using a software module.

Exro’s coil driver technology – ‘Software with hardware solutions’

Following a string of new partnerships across a range of  different types of EVs over the past 2 years, Exro has recently succeeded again with a partnership to enhance electric powertrain technology for heavy-duty trucks and delivery vehicles. The partnership is with Australia’s SEA Electric Pty Ltd. SEA Electric is recognized as a global leader in the electrification of commercial vehicles.

The news release states: “SEA Electric products are now deployed in 5 countries, with collectively more than 1.6 million kms (1 million miles) of independently OEM tested and in-service operation, making it widely recognised as the market leader in the electrification of commercial vehicles.”

Prior to this latest success, Exro has also achieved the following partnerships:

  • Electric motorcycles and bikes – In June 2020 Exro announced a collaboration agreement (the “Agreement”) with Zero Motorcycles (“Zero”) to evaluate Exro’s patented coil drive technology using Zero’s SR/S powertrain platform. Zero are a big name in electric motorbikes. Last year in December, Exro partnered with Motorino Electric. Exro’s engineered technology provided a torque and acceleration increase of 25% for the Motorino e-bike.
  • Electric boats – Exro has a pilot project running with Templar Marine’s water taxis. The marine sector is a multi-billion dollar industry that can stand to benefit enormously from Exro’s technology as they increasingly switch across to electric motors for a cleaner environment.
  • Electric snow mobiles – Exro has partnered with Aurora Powertrains to improve the Aurora’s e-sled all-electric snowmobile.
  • Electric motors/generators – Exro has contracts with Potencia Industrial who design and manufacture special application, high efficiency, electrical motors and generators. One of their projects involves converting internal combustion engines in Mexico City’s taxis to electric motors, as part of a city initiative to green the city’s 250,000 taxi fleet. Exro jointly works to integrate its hardware and software technology into Potencia’s motor drives.
  • Electric farm equipment – On April 28, 2020, Exro announced it has signed a collaboration and supply agreement with Clean Seed Capital Group Ltd. (TSXV: CSX) to integrate Exro’s technology into Clean Seed’s high-tech agricultural seeder and planter platforms, advancing the electrification of the world’s heavy-farm equipment.

Exro Technologies growing list of partners

Source: Exro Technologies Company presentation

Exro states: “Exro is set to close on 8 strategic partnerships and licencing agreements in 2020 that will position it for high volume manufacturing in the future. Currently, Exro has capacity for a low volume of manufacturing projects…..The Company’s commercialization and licensing strategy is centered around its Partner Development Phase, which incorporates partnerships with leading innovative motor companies in the industry.”

Exro recently raised C$8 million of new capital at C$0.70 per share (plus a warrant exercisable at C$0.90). The capital will be used for further research and development of the Company’s coil switching technology for commercialization in the mobility segment including micro, light and commercial electric vehicle programs; marketing; capital investments and general working capital requirements.

Closing remarks

Exro Technologies has a tremendous opportunity ahead boosted by the impending EV boom led by Tesla. BNEF forecasts annual passenger electric sales to increase to 24 million by 2030, which would be a ~11 fold increase on 2019 sales. What’s even better for Exro is that they focus on improving the electric motor output and performance, so their technology is applicable across the entire range of EVs that will be coming.

Exro already has numerous agreements and contracts in place in electric motorcycles & bikes, electric boats, electric snow mobiles, electric motors/generators (being used for electric cars including e-taxis), electric farm equipment, and now electric heavy-duty trucks and delivery vehicles. As these partnerships mature, investors can reasonably expect Exro’s revenues to rapidly increase. Their soon to open Calgary Innovation Centre should also boost future partnerships and sales.

Exro is now fully funded following an C$8 million raise, so things can really speed up from here towards mass commercialization and revenues across all of the above sectors. Exro is still trading cheaply given their massive potential with a market cap of just C$74 million. Stay tuned to Exro Technologies Inc.