The lithium battery developer Magnis Energy Technologies Ltd [ASX:MNS] share price is up today on news it has hired battery experts to lead production at its New York lithium-ion battery plant.
This news comes on a down day for the market.
In a win for Magnis, Tesla’s first engineer at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, Chaitanya Sharma, was hired as chief executive officer.
At time of writing, MNS shares are up 7.8% to trade at 28 cents a share.
Let’s look at today’s announcement.
MNS announcement highlights
Magnis announced key appointments at Imperium3 New York (iM3NY).
The expert hires will oversee production at the iM3NY lithium-ion battery plant in Endicott, New York.
Some of the key appointments include:
- Chaitanya Sharma, Tesla’s first engineer at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, hired as CEO
- Bill Shannon, former vice president of Duracell USA, hired as chief operating officer
- Mike Driscoll, former CEO of Glypath Systems, hired as chief financial officer
- Dr Priyadarshi Panda, former director at Applied Materials, hired as vice president of engineering
Having been officially appointed, the team have already ‘started immediately with the goal of production in late 2021.’
Magnis Energy’s management were obviously pleased with the news.
Magnis chairman Frank Poullas commented:
‘Lithium-ion cell manufacturing is highly sophisticated and needs a quality team in place to be able to deliver.
‘With the handpicked team we have assembled, we have the right people in place to help us get our operations going at iM3NY and accelerate our production schedule towards production in late 2021.’
Positive March announcements for MNS
This builds on MNS’s strong results from its fast-charging battery program using commercial battery cells, announced this Monday.
As we’ve recently covered here at Money Morning, MNS reported:
‘They have produced results using a commercialised cell whereby the battery retains 93% capacity after 600 cycles with a 30-minute charge and 30-minute discharge.
‘Importantly, the optimised cell is within 99% energy density of MNS’s regular battery.
‘Meaning there is minimal energy density loss in these new fast-charging cells.’
Monday’s announcement also revealed that a ‘demonstration program in New York has commenced for a Public Transit Technology and Innovation Program funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.’
What’s the outlook for MNS share price?
So, what does this all mean for the MNS share price outlook?
These positive developments come after Magnis completed a ‘heavily over-subscribed A$34 million placement to fast track development of [the] NY Battery Plant.’
The raised capital featured a placement to institutional and sophisticated investors of 121,428,572 ordinary shares at 28 cents per share.
In an interview with Eureka Report published on 26 January, Poullas told Alan Kohler that the company’s NY plant ‘would be the second-largest plant in the US and in the top 10 plants in the world.’
Poullas also said that ‘for those who are in production, there’s roughly this $5 billion US per gigawatt hour of battery production in valuation.’
Importantly, Poullas then suggested that that’s where MNS plans to be:
‘… we believe we’re on track to be producing at that level … within nine months.’
As Poullas stated in an ASX press release in February, ‘strong investor appetite for clean energy technologies was evident through the overwhelming demand’ for MNS’s capital raise.
This strong investor appetite may well remain if MNS’s newly assembled team succeeds in bringing the NY lithium plant to full production later this year.
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For Money Morning