The demand for EVs (electronic vehicles) is growing at a rapid rate. In just a few years, it has gone from a niche product to a dominant force in the automobile industry. It is estimated that EV sales will outstrip traditional cars by 2040. And to capitalise on this projected growth, I have identified the top UK shares that could power the EV revolution as possible additions to my portfolio. These two companies address a very specific problem in the industry right now, making it the perfect time for me to invest.
Why am I bullish on the EV industry?
It is clear to me that EVs are the future of the automobile industry. The top automobile manufacturers in the world have adopted the tech and are busy developing all-electric cars. And further mainstream adoption is already underway.
Sweden is consistently ranked as the most sustainable country in the world. And the nation just witnessed record-breaking EV sales last month. EVs made up 50.1% of all automobile sales in July 2022. This was a big jump from 2021’s 37.6%. In fact, globally, June saw the highest EV sales in history with 913,479 new registrations in June, which is 54% more than a year ago. This could take global sales past 10m units next year.
And as manufacturing steps up pace to meet the demand, battery metals like lithium and copper have become highly valuable. There are some emerging mining UK shares with a focus on soft battery metals. And I think investing in these companies could boost my growth portfolio returns over the next decade.
UK shares to buy in the EV sector
Elon Musk stated earlier this year that the lack of battery-grade lithium is a major roadblock in EV production today. And Atlantic Lithium (LSE:ALL) is a company looking to address this issue.
The company owns and operated the Ewooya lithium project in Ghana. While still under exploration, the mine is estimated to hold 30.1Mt of Lithium ore. And recent drillings have found deposits much closer to the surface, which reduces the time required to reach extraction.
Copper is another metal that batteries require. And thanks to the demand, copper prices have gone up by 125% since 2020. Taseko Mines (LSE:TKO) is a copper producer in Canada that owns and operates the Gibraltar Mines. The company produces an average of 130m pounds of copper and 2.5m pounds of molybdenum per year.
While most UK shares in this space are still under exploration, Taseko is an established business. It had its best quarter ever this year, amassing US$38m in revenue, up 61% from Q1 2021.
However, there are some big risks to consider. Mining is a cash-intensive operation and profits are highly dependent on commodity prices. Prices of these metals are currently high but could fall rapidly when demand stabilises, cutting profits.
Atlantic Lithium is yet to reach production, making it highly speculative. But I think its tie-up with Piedmont Lithium, a Nasdaq-listed mining giant, is a huge plus. Piedmont has a deal with Tesla that could make Atlantic Lithium a direct supplier to the most-recognised EV brand in the world.
Both UK shares are well-backed and fit right into the EV supply chain. And this is why I am willing to invest a £1,000 lump sum in these two companies if market performance is positive across 2022.
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Suraj Radhakrishnan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.