INSIGHT-Electric car revolution brightens outlook for a medley of metals
* Electric cars boost demand for lithium, cobalt, graphite
* Depressed steel markets to hold back manganese demand
* GRAPHIC-Lithium ion batteries-tmsnrt.rs/2cNq1mw
By Jan Harvey
LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf may look no different from the standard family runaround. But the new materials that go into them could revolutionise the market for metals used in the industry, opening up a new field for commodities investors.
"We identified electric vehicles as an area where we are at an inflection point for demand," said Duncan Goodwin, portfolio manager of the Baring Global Resources Fund.
Around 12 percent of the fund's $378.2 million in assets is exposed to materials that are used in electric vehicles. It has investments in New York-listed Albemarle and Australia's Orocobre, two companies producing lithium, a key element in electric car batteries. Shares in both companies have risen sharply this year.
Governments, keen to push growth in electric cars in a bid to meet their carbon emissions targets, are tempting consumers with perks like subsidies, free parking and tax breaks. Growth in the market is in turn creating an opportunity for commodities investments currently estimated at $235 billion.
But it is not a simple one-way bet. Continuación...