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PPG & Cellforce Join Forces for Sustainable Battery Products

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PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG - Free Report) recently partnered with Cellforce Group to develop sustainable battery cell solutions for the electric vehicle (EV) and mobility industry.

Germany-based Cellforce is a joint venture between Porsche and Customcells.  Porsche holds a 72.7% stake in the company, while Customcells owns the remaining shares. The company specializes in producing high-performance lithium-ion pouch cells for special applications in the automotive industry.

Per the deal, PPG will provide Cellforce with specialty cathode binder systems used to produce the conductive-carbon slurry that forms cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. PPG’s cathode binders are free of a solvent called N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), a substance widely used in electrode manufacturing. NMP has been identified by several global regulatory agencies as a reproductive hazard, causing harm to fetal development. In fact, recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recognized NMP as a chemical posing "unreasonable risk" to workers handling the solvent in certain situations. Using PPG’s cathode binders, the production of the slurry will eliminate the use of NMP.

Cellforce considers the partnership with PPG crucial as this new type of cathode binder will provide various benefits in sustainable battery production. Moreover, this alliance is in sync with Cellforce’s goal of combining economic growth with a high level of innovation while at the same time reducing the negative environmental impacts in Germany.

PPG is also highly optimistic about this collaboration. Through this partnership, the companies plan to build the next generation of battery cell technology to set forth a new level of sustainability for the EV landscape. Additionally, the partnership will enable cooperation between the companies to develop key state-of-the-art technology to enhance battery cell performance and safety.

PPG is helping vehicle manufacturers rev up the development of tomorrow’s automotive energy storage solutions. This Pennsylvania-based paints giant’s expertise spans every area of lithium-ion battery design and construction, thereby enhancing vehicle performance by boosting energy density, extending battery life, improving vehicle safety, augmenting manufacturing throughput and reducing cost per kilowatt-hour.

PPG’s exclusive team of mobility professionals provides several unique advantages and solutions to the EV industry, such as sustainable binder solutions for the battery cell and coating solutions for the battery pack that include battery fire protection and anti-corrosion coatings.

Shares of PPG have gained 11.4% in the past year compared with a 9.8% rise of the industry.

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The company, in its last earnings call, stated that it expects the ongoing supply-chain crisis to continue throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, with potential additional impacts from the recent industrial production curtailments in China. Nonetheless, it anticipated these disruptions to ease modestly in overall quantity and magnitude as the quarter progresses.

PPG will prioritize further selling price hikes and expect price realization to offset raw material cost inflation early this year. Moreover, the recovery of the automotive OEM, aerospace and automotive refinish coatings businesses will be a key catalyst for the company in 2022.

This Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company also expects net sales volumes to decline 8-10% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company also sees adjusted earnings for full-year 2021 at $6.67-$6.73 per share.

3 Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Albemarle Corporation (ALB - Free Report) , Commercial Metals Company (CMC - Free Report) and AdvanSix Inc. (ASIX - Free Report) .

Albemarle, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 51.3% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Albemarle’s2022 earnings has been revised 5.4% upward in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Albemarle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 22.1%. ALB has rallied around 29.7% in a year.

Commercial Metals, flaunting a Zacks Rank #1, has a projected earnings growth rate of 10.5% for the current fiscal year. The consensus estimate for Commercial Metals’ current fiscal year has been revised 6.6% upward in the past 60 days.

Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters, missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 13.1%, on average. CMC has rallied around 78.1% in a year.

AdvanSix has a projected earnings growth rate of 3.9% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AdvanSix’s 2022 earnings has been revised 2% upward in the past 60 days.

AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 46.9%. ASIX has rallied 109.1% in a year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).