Evolving tech DNA in mobile era
Comment of the Day

February 13 2012

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Evolving tech DNA in mobile era

Thanks to a subscriber for this educational report from Woori Bank offering a Korean perspective on technological development and the leadership of Apple in the handheld devices sector. Here is a section on rechargeable batteries:

Key factors associated with developing next-generation rechargeable batteries: 1) developing rechargeable battery materials without using high-cost raw materials; and 2) ensuring capacity and power applicable for EVs

- Given that rechargeable batteries account for roughly 45% of EV manufacturing cost (56% including battery management systems (BMS)), use of high-cost raw materials needs to decline

- Voltage or current need to be increased in order to expand battery power (P=VI)

1) Method for increasing voltage (V): Escalate voltage difference between cathode and anode materials by increasing voltage level for cathode materials

2) Method for increasing current (I): Ensure mobility of ions and electrons between cathode and anode materials via technological improvements in electrolytes and separators.

Eoin Treacy's view

If the long-term potential of mobile devices, electric vehicles and various renewable energy power stations are to be realised significant innovation will be required in battery technology. Korean companies have been among the leaders in this sector for a number of years

The sector pulled back sharply from July but most of the better performing shares found support in October, have held progressions of higher reaction lows and pushed back above their respective 200-day MAs. Korea's, Samsung SDI and LG Chem and the USA's Johnson Controls and EnerSys Inc. all share a relatively similar pattern. 

Meanwhile the USA's Tesla Motors has held a progression of higher reaction since shortly following its IPO which is consistent with accumulation. Since it is building both batteries and cars it has a direct to consumer model quite different to other companies which gives it an advantage.  

That is shared by Hong Kong's BYD which found support in October following a two-year downtrend and has since staged its largest rally since 2010. A sustained move below HK$17 would be required to question medium-term scope for additional upside.

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