Elon Musk Says This Battery Metal Is The New Oil: But Should The Vehicle Connoisseur Take His Foot Off The Accelerator?

Albemarle Corporation NYSE:ALB and a number of other stocks in the lithium sector gained ground recently, not only because the S&P 500 experienced a bullish reaction to the release of the Federal Reserve's monthly minutes, where the Fed raised the benchmark interest rate by 0.75% for a second month in a row.

Tesla Inc NASDAQ:TSLA CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter Inc NYSE:TWTR on July 13 to post that "lithium batteries are the new oil."

The comment was in response to a statement Craft Ventures co-founder and partner David Sacks made on the micro-blogging platform, which said "If this year proves anything, it's that there can be no security without energy independence," likely in reference to the ongoing oil woes caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Musk replied, "Absolutely," before comparing the EV battery metal to oil using a saying regularly reserved for describing clothing trends.

A Look At The Markets: Although the world is slowly but steadily moving toward EV adoption, markets are controlled by supply and demand. While lithium is experiencing high demand due to the increase in electric vehicle production, rising inflation and a looming recession could thwart the heavy adoption of the technology by consumers in the near term.

Oil is also in a tricky situation because, despite the transition away from traditional gasoline-powered engines, the war in Ukraine has pushed to the forefront how dependent the world remains on fossil fuels.

See Also: Did Elon Musk Predict The US Recession?

Lithium Vs. Oil ETFs: Lithium-based ETF, Global X Lithium and Battery ETF NYSE:LIT experienced a massive bull run between April and November 2021, but has since been in decline. LIT has plunged about 23% since its Nov. 22, 2021, all-time high of $97.13 and is down 13% year-to-date.

On the other hand, the United States Oil ETF NYSE:USO, which holds mostly short-term NYMEX futures contracts on WTI crude oil experienced a longer bull cycle, soaring 100% higher between Dec. 2, 2021, and its June 8 all-time high of $92.20. The ETF has since retraced about 15% from the all-time high, but is trading up about 44% year-to-date.

The Benzinga Take: Eventually, Elon Musk's statement will become fact, as the paradigm continues to shift and countries around the globe work to meet their green initiatives to phase out gas-guzzling vehicles in favor of electric modes of transportation.

For the time being, although lithium is more in vogue, the world depends on oil and EVs remain largely a luxury.

See Also: Elon Musk Countersues Twitter Over $44B Deal: Here's What You Need To Know

Photo: tunasalmon via Shutterstock

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