Industry news

Tesla’s Gigafactory Plan Powers Up Lithium ETF

2014/02/28

The lithium industry-related exchange traded fund is getting energized as Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) plans the world’s largest battery factory,

The Global X Lithium ETF (LIT) jumped 3.3% Thursday on almost ten times the average volume, after rising 3.1% the previous session. LIT has gained 6.2% over the past week and is up 3.1% year-to-date.

The electric-car maker is planning to build a lithium-ion battery factory, dubbed the Gigafactory, costing $5 billion and creating 6,500 jobs, reports Alan Ohnsman for Bloomberg.

“This has a huge impact beyond Tesla” Harley Shaiken, a labor economist at the University of California, Berkeley, said in the article. “It gives enormous legitimacy to battery production and the future of the electric car because that lies in the battery. It’s high stakes, high technology.”

The plant will help Tesla mass produce 500,000 or more electric vehicles per year, compared to 35,000 this year, according to Musk.

Lithium-ion batteries are used for storing large amounts of electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources, James Albertine, an equity analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., said.

The Global X Lithium ETF provides exposure to the largest and most liquid companies that are active in exploration and/or mining of lithium or the production of  lithium batteries.

The lithium ETF has seen some correlation to Tesla news in the past, namely when Tesla fires stoked speculation regarding the safety of lithium batteries. [Tesla Fires Weigh on Lithium ETF]