The green energy boom took the mainstage in 2020, and now many are predicting it could reach new heights in 2021.
Some of the biggest gains in the market came from companies pushing electric vehicles forward last year.
Tesla rose 740%, making Elon Musk the world’s richest man and putting Tesla near the top of the S&P 500.
It also led to gains of over 1,000% - that’s a 10x return - from companies like Blink Charging.
But with all that success comes the inevitable question: where do we go from here?
Well, given the success of green energy companies even under a Trump administration that focused more on reviving legacy automakers and coal mining…
There’s reason to be very optimistic under the leadership of the “green president,” Joe Biden.
Already, just weeks into his presidency, he’s reported that he’s planning to invest billions into electric vehicles…
Even replacing up to 645,000 government fleet vehicles with EVs in the days ahead.
As everyone from legacy automakers to new startups tries to capture a piece of the booming EV market, here are the two companies that could do very well as the green energy boom continues.
The Green Ride-Sharing Ecosystem
It’s helped them land major deals with government agencies and strike partnerships with A-list celebrities and Big Tech titans alike.
With their “people and planet first” philosophy, they’ve created a ridesharing platform that is both eco-friendly and works for the customer.
Their model is simple but effective.
When customers need a ride, they have the choice of hailing a standard gas-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle.
Once they’re finished with their trip, Facedrive’s algorithm takes a portion of the fare and dedicates that to planting new trees, offsetting the carbon footprint.
To put it simply: you ride, they plant a tree.
But they’ve also expanded on that winning model with a huge acquisition towards the end of 2020.
That’s when they acquired EV subscription company, Steer, from the largest clean energy producer in the United States.
Steer’s subscription model for electric vehicles is aiming to put a major twist on the traditional car ownership model.
So as more and more automakers commit to transitioning from gas-powered to EV, subscribers get access to their own virtual showroom to take their pick of EVs to borrow.
All customers have to do is pay a simple monthly fee like with Netflix, and they get access to a fleet of EVs at their disposal.
And in a year where more folks stayed home and carbon emissions plummeted at a record rate, Facedrive managed to grow their business with another round of savvy moves.
With the help of two major acquisitions last year, they’ve become a real competitor in the food delivery game with electric vehicles as well - getting into the projected $154 billion food delivery industry.
They’re now delivering over 4,100 food orders per day on average.
And after growing to 19 major cities in Canada including Toronto, Winnipeg, and Ottawa, they plan to expand to more cities throughout the U.S. and Canada soon.
But perhaps their biggest growth in the last year has come from expanding even beyond green energy, taking on the world’s most pressing problem.
Last year, they started Facedrive Health and created a wearable contact tracing technology called TraceSCAN.
It’s designed to help alert those without cell phones when they’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19.
With wearables gaining widespread adoption since the release of devices like the Fitbit or Apple Watch, the demand for TraceSCAN has erupted in recent months.
And in the coming weeks, they plan to release a new updated version with key health and safety benefits like temperature checking and vital sign monitoring.
Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF) has now signed agreements with major government agencies, First Nation communities, and even Air Canada, the country’s biggest airline, to use this breakthrough technology.
With this “people and planet first” ecosystem stretching from EV ridesharing to food delivery to contact tracing and more, it’s no wonder shares have exploded.
In the last year alone, Facedrive has seen shares surge a massive 834%.
But with TraceSCAN and Facedrive Foods expanding, investors are keeping a close eye on Facedrive in 2021.
The Hydrogen Boom
Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) is another clean energy company that’s taken the world by storm over the last year.
And while it’s easy to focus on the big names like Tesla working to make green energy a part of our daily life…
Plug has proven that major gains are also coming from companies working more behind-the-scenes.
They’ve become well-known in the hydrogen space as they’ve pioneered the transition to hydrogen fuel cell technology… And they’re touching every piece of the process.
Not only are they involved in the technology to produce hydrogen…
They’re also helping build the charging stations where these EVs stop to refill on the road…
And they’re producing the fuel cell engines under the hood, helping convert the hydrogen to electricity.
With this kind of vertical integration, they’ve already seen 90% gains just in the month of January as hydrogen fuel cell tech continues to take off.
Plus, their customer list includes major players across seemingly every market imaginable.
But already this month, they’ve made huge moves to expand worldwide.
Earlier this month, the SK Group, the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea, announced they were investing $1.5 billion in Plug to acquire a 10% stake in the company.
This move will create a joint venture in Asia’s EV market and supply hydrogen fuel cell products across the region.
Plug has a long history in the industry already, deploying over 38,000 fuel cell units and building more hydrogen refueling units than anyone else in the world.
And this move can help bring that expertise to a completely new swath of the market.
But in addition to this move into Asia, Plug found a major partner helping them break into the European market.
That’s because they also signed an agreement with French auto manufacturer Renault that would create another joint venture starting this summer.
This would give them the chance to put their fuel cell technology under the hoods of countless vehicles across Europe, quickly turning them into a global leader in the EV space.
Given these major developments, analysts from JP Morgan and other financial firms are hiking their price targets.
While shares currently trade just over $60, analysts are now valuing the stock at anywhere from $70 to $88 dollars per share.
After seeing unprecedented gains of over 1,000% in 2020, it’s hard to imagine Plug soaring even higher.
But they’ve made it clear that they’re just getting started bringing their technology across the globe.
The green energy wave has been building under the surface for years, but 2020 helped bring this issue to the mainstage.
And it could be these two companies, building an entire green energy ecosystem and expanding quickly, that will dominate in 2021.
Here are some other companies getting in on this clean energy boom:
Nio Limited (NYSE:NIO) is Tesla’s biggest competitor, and it is taking on the Chinese EV market in a big way. After a rough start following its IPO in 2018, it’s been on a tear, producing vehicles with record-breaking range.
Just a year ago, no one could have imagined how successful the Nio was going to be. In fact, many shareholders were ready to write off their losses and give up on the company. Rumors were even circulating that the automaker was on the verge of bankruptcy! But China’s answer to Tesla’s dominance powered on, eclipsed estimates, and most importantly, kept its balance sheet in line. And it’s paid off. In a big way. The company has seen its share price soar from $3.24 at the start of 2020 to a high of $61 just last month, representing a massive 1600% returns for investors who held strong.
In November, NIO unveiled a pair of vehicles that would make even the biggest Tesla devotees truly contemplate their brand loyalty. The vehicles, meant to compete with Tesla’s Model 3, could be exactly what the company needs to take control of its domestic market.
By NIO’s fourth quarter report in October, the company announced that its sales had more-than doubled, projecting even greater sales in 2021. The EV up-and-comer has shocked investors and pulled itself back after its rumored potential bankruptcy in 2019, and if this year shows investors anything, it’s that its CEO William Li is as skilled and ambitious as anyone in the business.
Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) is another ambitious company looking to make a dent in the Chinese electric vehicle space. And while it may not be a veteran in the market like Tesla or even NIO, it’s quickly making waves on Wall Street. Backed by Chinese giants Meituan and Bytedance, Li has taken a different approach to the electric vehicle market. Instead of opting for pure-electric cars, it is giving consumers a choice with its stylish crossover hybrid SUV. This popular vehicle can be powered with gasoline or electricity, taking the edge off drivers who may not have a charging station or a gas station nearby.
Though it just hit the NASDAQ in July of last year, the company has already seen its stock price more than double. Especially in the past month during the massive EV runup that netted investors triple digit returns. It’s already worth more than $30 billion but it’s just getting started. And as the EV boom accelerates into high-gear, the sky is the limit for Li and its competitors.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is one Detroit’s old school automakers, and it’s looking to catch a ride on the EV bandwagon, benefiting from a shift from gas-powered to alternative technology such as hydrogen and electricity. It’s now well over 100 years old and has survived where many others have failed. Even with the downfall of Detroit, GM has persisted, and that’s due in large part to its ability to adapt. In fact, GM’s dive into alternative fuels began way back in 1966 when it produced the world’s first ever hydrogen powered van. And it has not stopped innovating, either.
Recently, GM dropped a bomb on the market with the announcement of its new business unit, BrightDrop. The company is looking to capture a key share of the burgeoning delivery market, with plans to sell electric vans and services to commercial delivery companies.
GM isn’t just betting big on EVs, either. It’s also looking to capitalize on the autonomous vehicle boom. Recently, it announced that it’s majority-owned subsidiary, Cruise, has just received approval from the California DMV to test its autonomous vehicles without a driver. And while they’re not the first to receive such an approval, it’s still huge news for GM.
Cruise CEO Dan Ammann wrote in a Medium post, “Before the end of the year, we’ll be sending cars out onto the streets of SF — without gasoline and without anyone at the wheel. Because safely removing the driver is the true benchmark of a self-driving car, and because burning fossil fuels is no way to build the future of transportation.”
Ford (NYSE:F) is another Detroit legend that is looking to jump on the electric vehicle boom. And while it suffered a major downturn last year, Ford is already bouncing back, with its stock price more than doubling since March 2020. They recently announced they’ll be boosting their spending on EVs to $27 billion through mid-decade.
This major investment includes plans of their own to create an electric cargo van and a plug-in version of their bestseller F-150 pickup truck. And this is just the beginning for the heavyweight automaker.
The most head-turning car in its arsenal, however, may just be its new take on its muscle car classic, the Mach-E Mustang. The affordable electric twist on the company’s iconic sportscar lives up to its name. The eye-popping nu-classic can go from 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds, with a range of approximately 300 miles per charge. It even has new tech including Active Drive Assist allowing drivers to operate the Mustang Mach-E hands-free.
In addition to its all-electric array of vehicles, Ford, like GM, is also looking to get in on the autonomous car boom. For its part, Ford has recently revealed plans to launch its self-driving business in 2022. The new vehicles, in partnership with Argo AI, a Philadelphia-based autonomous vehicle startup, will include major upgrades from advanced Lidar technology and high resolution cameras. Ford plans to test these vehicles in Austin, Texas; Detroit; Miami; Palo Alto, California; Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. as early as this month.
Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK) was one of the darlings of the EV boom throughout 2020 because of its expansion in EV charging technology. Blink is building an EV charging network that may be small right now, but it’s got explosive growth potential that is as big as the EV market itself.
This stock is on a major tear and all that cash flowing into it right now gives Blink the superpower to acquire and expand. A wave of new deals, including a collaboration with EnerSys and another with Envoy Technologies to deploy electric vehicles and charging stations adds further support to the bullish case for Blink.
Michael D. Farkas, Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Blink noted, “This is an exciting collaboration with EnerSys because it combines the industry-leading technologies of our two companies to provide user-friendly, high powered, next-generation charging alternatives. We are continuously innovating our product offerings to provide more efficient and convenient charging options to the growing community of EV drivers.”
Canada is not likely to be left out of this boom, either. GreenPower Motor (TSX:GPV) is an exciting company that produces larger-scale electric transportation. Right now, it is primarily focused on the North American market, but the sky is the limit as the pressure to go green grows. GreenPower has been on the frontlines of the electric movement, manufacturing affordable battery-electric busses and trucks for over ten years. From school busses to long-distance public transit, GreenPower’s impact on the sector can’t be ignored.
Year-to-date, GreenPower Motor has seen its share price soar from $2.03 to a yearly high of $28.45. That means investors have seen 1300% gains since the beginning of the year. And with this red-hot sector only gaining traction, GreenPower has a lot of room to run. .
NFI Group (TSX:NFI) is another one of Canada’s most exciting electric mass-transit makers. Though it has not yet rebounded from January highs, NFI still offers investors a promising opportunity to capitalize on the electric vehicle boom at a discount. In addition to its increasingly positive financial reports, it is also one of the few in the business that actually pay dividends out to its investors. This is huge because it gives investors an opportunity to gain exposure to this booming industry while the stock is cheap and hold steady until the market finally discovers this gem.
Westport Fuel Systems (TSX:WPRT) is a unique way to get in on the green boom in the auto-industry.. It helps build the tools needed for carmakers to incorporate less damaging fuels like natural gas. Though natural gas doesn’t get quite the attention as electric vehicles do,, there are over 22.5 million natural gas vehicles on the road across the globe. And that market is expected to grow as the energy transition really takes off.
Magna International (TSX:MG) is a great way to gain exposure to the EV market without betting big on one of the new hot automaker stocks tearing up Robinhood right now. The 63 year old Canadian manufacturing giant provides mobility technology for automakers of all types. From GM and Ford to luxury brands like BMW and Tesla, Magna is a master at striking deals. And it’s clear to see why. The company has the experience and reputation that automakers are looking for.
Another way to gain exposure to the electric vehicle industry is through AutoCanada (TSX:ACQ), a company that operates auto-dealerships through Canada. The company carries a wide variety of new and used vehicles and has all types of financial options available to fit the needs of any consumer. While sales have slumped this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AutoCanada will likely see a rebound as both buying power and the demand for electric vehicles increases. As more new exciting EVs hit the market, AutoCanada will surely be able to ride the wave.
By. Lucas Black
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This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the demand for ride sharing services will grow; that Steer can help change car ownership in favor of subscription services; that new tech deals will be signed by Facedrive and deals signed already will increase company revenues; that Facedrive will be able to expand to the US and globally; that Facedrive will be able to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term; and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that riders are not as attracted to EV rides as expected; that competitors may offer better or cheaper alternatives to the Facedrive businesses; changing governmental laws and policies; the company’s ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; the success of the company’s expansion activities and whether markets justify additional expansion; the ability of the company to attract drivers who have electric vehicles and hybrid cars; and that the products co-branded by Facedrive may not be as merchantable as expected. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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