The first few months of Biden’s administration have made one thing clear, the EV boom is just getting started.
And it may be those who are already ahead of the curve that could be the biggest winners.
Biden has already said climate change is “the number one issue facing humanity...”
And now, he’s signaled a major shift, stating he plans to replace the entire government vehicle fleet with electric vehicles.
That includes 245,000 in various federal agencies… 225,000 in the United States Postal Service… and another 173,000 in the military.
That adds up to a grand total of 643,000 cars, trucks, and vans set for an upgrade on the U.S. government’s dime. And after the year we’ve seen for EVs in 2020, this should come as no surprise.
After all, it led to some of the most eye-popping gains we’ve seen in recent years.
Gains of over 700% in Tesla, helping them become one of the largest companies on the S&P 500…
And 976% gains from the EV van company, Workhorse, throughout 2020.
But after the year we just had, many are asking what’s next for electric vehicles. Fortunately, we’ve got a glimpse into the future sitting just across the Atlantic.
Norway imposed several changes in the government years ago just like the United States, and it’s led to a sweeping transformation.
In fact, 54% of all vehicles sold in the country last year were electric vehicles.
That’s because Norway has added massive benefits to their citizens who buy electric…
Including not having to pay tolls, paying lower taxes on vehicles, and even free charging at charging stations across the country.
While that may seem like a completely different world, Biden and his administration have already signaled this is where we’re very likely headed.
And it’s the companies already riding the EV wave who could benefit the most.
They’ve signed a number of important partnerships and deals over the last year including government agencies, A-list celebrities, and major multinational corporations.
Perhaps more impressive though, they managed to grow their business throughout both the United States and Canada all during a time when ridesharing as an industry suffered during global lockdowns.
Their ridesharing model is simple.
Whenever customers hitch a ride with Facedrive, they have the choice to ride in an eco-friendly EV, a hybrid or a standard gas-powered car.
After the customer reaches their destination, the algorithm sets aside a portion of the fare to plant trees, offsetting the carbon footprint from the ride.
In other words, you ride, they plant a tree.
Through next-gen technology and partnerships, they’re giving their customers the option to make a more eco-friendly choice if they choose.
And when looking at how quickly other countries around the world are adopting EVs, it’s easy to see how this could be the rideshare of the future.
Investing In The Growing Wave
When looking to the future of EVs in the United States, even the origins of the boom in Norway can give insight into what we’ll see next.
After they experienced a surge in domestic oil, North Sea Oil brought riches to several countries around northern Europe.
But while some like the U.K. decided to invest those profits into tax cuts for the wealthy, Norway had other plans.
They threw their part of the fortune into a sovereign wealth fund, investing in various different projects.
And after investing some of that fund into incentives for the EV market, the industry began to take off.
Now, we’re starting to see the beginning phases of this here in the United States.
But it’s not just with the American government, multi-billion and trillion-dollar companies are even pouring profits into green initiatives to set themselves up for the future taking shape.
Google recently issued an ESG (sustainable investing) corporate bond worth an incredible $5.75 billion.
Facebook is looking to renewable energy to fuel its data centers.
And Microsoft has actually experimented with putting their data centers underwater in the North Sea, powered by wind, solar, and other new energy technologies.
We’re already seeing from the success of EV companies and Big Tech that it pays to go green.
Last year, they 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 grown 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 has now signed agreements with government agencies and a major airline to use this tracing technology.
Plus, they are currently in discussions to continue TraceSCAN’s growth with major multinational corporations.
And Facedrive has managed to work its way into the delivery game in part with EVs as well - taking a piece of the projected $154 billion food delivery industry.
While the ridesharing industry took a hit during a year of lockdowns and quarantines, Facedrive used this opportunity to grow their business faster than anyone thought.
They’re now delivering over 4,100 orders per day on average. And after growing to 19 major cities, they plan to expand to more cities throughout the U.S. and Canada soon.
But in the days ahead, Norway may also give us a glimpse into a revolutionary shift in the transportation industry.
A New Model of Transportation
In addition to a massive shift toward EV car ownership, many in Norway are also finding creative ways to make their way around without owning their own vehicle.
For example, they’ve invested in “mobility hubs” in various parts of the country, which include shared parking spaces and even shared electric vehicles.
Transportation experts in Norway predict that it’ll soon be impossible for infrastructure to support everyone owning their own EV.
Between the demand for electricity and the slowdown that could take place at charging stations with longer charging times, there are still challenges that need to be ironed out.
And this would only lead to more challenges in the United States, where high population areas like Los Angeles and New York could see major bottlenecks with all the cars they have on the road.
In Norway though, these mobility hubs have cut down on congestion in large cities.
And it’s been so successful, these have started popping up in other countries like Germany as well, which is encouraging many to put aside the need to own their own vehicles.
Competitors like Uber are trying to make the shift to EV, announcing an Uber Green program that’s expanded to various cities throughout the U.S.
But the business model has a serious flaw that plays right in line with the big struggle Americans are seeing in making the transition.
While most Americans are interested in eco-friendly vehicles, they don’t want to pay a premium for it.
And Uber plans to incentivize drivers with extra pay for driving EVs… by charging customers an extra fee to ride green.
Facedrive, on the other hand, pays drivers at higher rates without taking it out on their customers.
Even with talks of an extra pay bump, there’s no shortage of stories of upset drivers accusing Uber of price-gouging.
Some even claim Uber takes over 50% of the cut for themselves at times.
Compare that to Facedrive, which lets their drivers keep 85-90% of the fare and 100% of their tips.
For riders, they get the choice to hitch a ride in an EV or hybrid vehicle, but they don’t get hit in the pocketbook for it.
They recently acquired EV subscription company, Steer, from the largest clean energy producer in the United States.
Steer’s subscription model for EV cars is putting a major twist on the traditional car ownership model.
So just like the mobility hubs in Norway, drivers no longer have to pay the upfront cost to get the benefit of driving an electric vehicle.
With Facedrive’s acquisition of Steer, customers pay a simple monthly fee like with Netflix, and they get access to a fleet of EVs at their disposal.
Given the clear path toward an EV future under the Biden administration…
Norway gives us a look into the crystal ball, and it’s showing us that it’s likely the companies already prepared for the EV and EV-related boom that will benefit most.
Here are a few companies involved directly in the EV space:
XPeng Motors (NYSE:XPEV) is a newcomer in the Chinese electric vehicle boom. Though it only recently went public in the U.S., it’s taken the market by storm. Riding on the coattails of the success of Tesla and NIO, it has carved out its own demand, especially among the younger generation of traders looking for the next big company to blow.
Since its NYSE debut in August, the ambitious electric vehicle company has risen by more than 107% thanks to its promising financials and growing demand for its stylish vehicles.
In addition to retail interest, Xpeng has also received a ton of interest from Big Money. Earlier this year the company raised over $500 million from the likes of Aspex, Coatue, Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia Capital China, and even more recently, secured another $400 million from heavy hitters such as Alibaba, Qatar Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala.
As the demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, newcomers like Xpeng provide an excellent opportunity for investors to jump on this undeniable trend even if they missed out on Tesla’s meteoric rise to glory.
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 Li just hit the NASDAQ in July, 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 a high-gear, the sky is the limit for Li and its competitors.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is one of 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.
GreenPower Motor Company (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.
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.
Blackberry Limited (TSX:BB) recently launched a new research and development arm called BlackBerry Advvanced Technology Labs. Charles Eagan, BlackBerry CTO. “Labs will operate as its own business unit solely focused on innovating and developing the technologies of tomorrow that will be necessary for our sustained competitive success, from A to Z; Artificial Intelligence to Zero-Trust environments.”
One of those innovations? Autonomous vehicles. In fact, BlackBerry is teaming up with Amazon to make smart cars even smarter, and more secure, with luxury EV maker Karma as one of the first to test out the goods.
What’s an EV without batteries? Teck Resources Limited (TSX:TECK.B) spotted this early, and is betting big on battery tech. On its website, Teck explains why this investment is so important: “Flow batteries – such as the zinc-air battery developed by ZincNyx, with its flexible and low-cost scaling, long-term storage properties and the ability to separate the energy storage function from the power generation source – could provide a more efficient alternative for large-scale energy storage.”
Teck Resources fell to just $7 per share in March of last year due to the market chaos sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this downturn, however, the company was able to rebound significantly, rising by nearly 180% to its current prices.
And what are batteries without lithium? Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC) is one of North America’s most important and successful pure-play lithium companies. With two world-class lithium projects in Argentina and Nevada, Lithium Americas is well-positioned to ride the wave of growing lithium demand in the years to come. It’s already raised nearly a billion dollars in equity and debt, showing that investors have a ton of interest in the company’s ambitious plans, and it will likely continue its promising growth and expansion for years to come.
Lithium Americas’ efforts have paid off in the market, as well. While many companies across multiple industries struggled last year, Lithium Americas’ stock soared. In February last year, the company’s stock price was sitting at just $5.26, while today it is at $21.12, representing a 300% return for investors who bought in just a year ago.
By. Declan O'Connor
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
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 TRACEscan will be adopted by more companies and governments; 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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