This Morning in Metals: General Motors’ Ultium Charge 360 seeks to ease charging experience

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General Motors headquarters

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This morning in metals news: General Motors announced details of Ultium 360, which it says will simplify the charging experience for EV owners; meanwhile, Canadian miner Teck Resources released its Q1 2021 results on Wednesday; and, lastly, nearly 30% of the US population has been fully vaccinated.

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GM’s Ultium Charge 360 aims to make charging experience easier

As automakers continue the drive toward electrification, skeptics have many questions.

Will the energy used to generate electricity to charge these vehicles come from renewable sources? Will there be enough charging stations? Do we have the raw materials to facilitate such a transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric vehicles (EVs)?

General Motors’ answer to some of these questions might come in the form of its Ultium 360 application.

“Today General Motors introduced Ultium Charge 360, a holistic charging approach that integrates charging networks, GM vehicle mobile apps, and other products and services to simplify the overall charging experience for GM electric vehicle owners,” the automaker said.

Through Ultium Charge 360, GM said it aims to continue to improve access to charging. In addition, it will offer a mobile app that EV owners can utilize to find charging stations and process payment.

Teck reports Q1 results

Canadian miner Teck Resources reported adjusted EBITDA of $967 million in Q1 2021, which marked a 59% year-over-year increase.

Like other companies in the sector, the miner said robust commodities prices buoyed Q1 performance.

“Strong first quarter operational performance, in line with plan, and higher commodity prices contributed to a very solid start to 2021,” President and CEO Don Lindsay said. “We achieved major milestones for our priority projects, including surpassing the half-way point at our flagship QB2 copper growth project and moving into the commissioning phase of our Neptune steelmaking coal terminal upgrade.”

In addition, gross profit from its copper business surged by 79%. An average realized copper price of $3.92 per pound and production of 71,700 metric tons helped pace the rise.

CDC: US full vaccination rate approaches 30%

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.5% of the US population is now fully vaccinated.

Furthermore, 43% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose.

A CDC assessment released Wednesday said fully vaccinated adults ages 65 and older are 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19.

Some might not be ready to try to shift back to pre-pandemic patterns of living. However, increased vaccination rates mean a return to “normal” for more people.

In turn, that generally means more spending.

Gasoline for road trips, recreational and/or seasonal purchases (e.g., RVs, lawn mowers, grills, etc.), automobiles — all will become more attractive to consumers. Furthermore, this pent-up demand, if realized, will be supportive of metals prices.

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