What do the best performing ASX shares this year have in common?

The renewables industry has been big news this year. We take a look at 3 of the best performing ASX shares in the sector

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Explorers and producers of critical metals for the battery and renewables industry have topped the ASX shares leaderboard in terms of year-to-date returns.

The red hot sector has been supported by factors including higher commodity spot prices, major economies making firm commitments towards net zero emissions and a steady increase in electric vehicle sales.

A major headline for the industry came about last Thursday when US President Joe Biden signed an executive order targeting 50% of new vehicles sold in 2023 to be electric, according to Reuters.

Top performing ASX shares in 2021

Lake Resource NL (ASX: LKE)

The Lake Resources share price has rallied an extraordinary 728% year-to-date. This is thanks to the ASX share's position as an emerging clean lithium producer.

The company operates its flagship Kachi project as well as three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. The projects cover 200 square kilometres in a location known as the "Lithium Triangle". This is where 40% of the world's lithium is produced at the lowest cost.

Furthermore, a drilling campaign is currently underway at Kachi to support the expansion of future production and reserves.

A definitive feasibility study is in progress for Kachi, with completion anticipated in Q1 2022.

Ecograf Ltd (ASX: EGR)

This ASX share is focused on becoming a supplier of eco-friendly anode material to customers in sectors such as lithium-ion batteries.

The company has made a number of positive recent announcements. These include its fourth-quarter results, a land reservation agreement in Sweden and an update on funding facilities.

The Ecograf share price has lifted 444% year-to-date.

Podium Minerals Ltd (ASX: POD)

This ASX share plans to become Australia's first Platinum Group Metals (PGM) producer.

PGMs are a family of six chemically similar elements — ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and platinum — used in a wide range of industrial, medical and electronic applications.

Podium Minerals is undergoing aggressive drilling activities to accelerate its resource estimates.

The Podium Minerals share price is up an impressive 420% this year.

Motley Fool contributor Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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