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BenzingaEditorial

2021 Will Be the Year of EVs

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As a glimpse of a new normal is on the horizon, automakers are planning big EV launches this year.  Even the Chinese internet giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) wants in on the action as it revealed on Friday it has formed a strategic partnership with the automaker Geely (OTC: GELYY) to create a standalone electric vehicle company. While 2020 was summed up as the ‘breakthrough’ year for EVs, 2021 will be the year of EV launches. While the pandemic cut global new car sales by 30%, EV sales in Europe bucked that downward trend, improving 45% on a YoY basis.

Europe

In 2020, close to 1.25 million EVs were sold in Europe, which represents around 10% of the total. In November alone, EVs reached 16% market share, divided between BEVs and PHEVs at 8% each. In Norway, EV registrations rose from 42% in 2019 to 54%, making it the first country with over half of new-car registrations coming from electric vehicles. As EV sales accelerated towards the end of the year, in December, it even reached 66.7%. No other country matches Norway’s generous EV promotion policy, but the trend is moving in the same direction elsewhere too, albeit slower. In the UK, for example, EVs grew from 3% in 2019 to 10% in 2020, and they’re predicted to outsell diesels this year.

Meteoric 2020 rise

Nobody in the business had a better year than Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA). The EV pioneer saw the value of its stock increase by nearly 750% to just under $670 billion, now making it worth five times the stock value of rival Detroit’s big three manufacturers General Motors (NYSE: GM), Ford (NYSE: F) and FCA (NYSE: FCAU) combined.

The question is whether the meteoric rise of Tesla stock marks a genuine breakthrough of e-mobility with Tesla positioned to maximise its benefit or whether it is due to an over-valued and over-optimistic view of the speed of automotive electrification. 2021 will put that question to the test. For now, Tesla sells more EVs per hour than any other electric vehicle company in the world, more specifically, more than BMW (OTC: BMWYY), Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) and Renault (OTC: RNLSY) put together.

For one thing, Germany’s car brands aren’t standing still. Tesla is completing its ‘Gigafactory’ near Berlin which will soon start churning out Model Y cars. Also produced in the US and China, this compact SUV could become the EV of the year.

European automakers are going after their share of the luxury EV market

Volkswagen Group is the first major OEM to have developed a platform for EVs, which it hopes will drive down cost per vehicle, allowing Volkswagen to beat Tesla on price. In December, Audi, which belongs to the VW Group, began production of the e-tron GT which will go on sale in March. By 2022, Audi wants to launch the Q4, a compact eSUV, that will cost around €40,000. This price tag allows it to compete with both ICEs and Teslas.

Mercedes plans to launch the EQA, closely styled on the EQC along with the EQS. It will be costlier, but with a slightly greater range than Tesla Model S.

BMW is going full speed ahead as it upgraded its EV sales target from 2021 to 2023 by a quarter of a million. By 2023, BMW wants 20% of its production to be EVs, compared to just 8% in 2020. BMW plans to launch entirely new BEV models starting from 2025, while rolling out electric versions of existing models until then because the company does not expect BEV sales to take off until 2025.

Takeaway

On the one hand, ever-stricter European regulations and the ambitions of key countries such as the Netherlands to eliminate sales of ICEs within a decade or so are creating the necessity to prepare for a post-ICE future. All major OEMs will be launching new and all-new EV models this year, so no wonder that’s why some experts predict that the electrification of mobility will speed up in 2021. On the other hand, the price of EVs is still far greater than of ICEs, the battery technology still has to overcome range anxiety, followed by the charging infrastructure that needs to be developed. The direction of the market is clear, but the speed is not.

Throughout 2021, battery cost will certainly continue to go down while the EV range will continue to expand. At some point, EVs will start to make financial sense, regardless of subsidies and incentives. However, experts disagree when this will happen, in 2025, 2030 or even later but few are expecting it for 2021. However, after about a decade of slow progress, 2021 will be the year of significant progress for EVs.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

A Major EV Win for the Biden Administration

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On Sunday, the two South Korean battery makers, LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation Co. reached a settlement that will allow two plants in Georgia to move forward with plans to produce lithium-ion batteries for Ford Motor (NYSE: F) and Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY). The settlement was reached before the Biden administration’s deadline on Sunday to intervene and reverse the decision made by the U.S. International Trade Commission. This outcome is a major win for the administration which recently unveiled a sweeping infrastructure plan to boost its EV progress. Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan includes $174 billion in EV spending, which is more than the amount proposed for spending on roads and bridges.

The deal

Back in February, the ITC ruled that SK Innovation had stolen trade secrets related to EV batteries from LG Energy Solutions and ordered the U.S. to block the company from importing supplies to build batteries. The companies agreed to drop litigation in both the U.S. and South Korea and not pursue further lawsuits for a decade. SK Innovation will also pay LG Energy Solution $1.8 billion in cash and royalties.

Not resolving the dispute would cause more harm than thousands of lost jobs in Georgia, it threatened the whole country’s progress in curbing climate change with its EV efforts. For now, electric vehicles make 2% of new auto sales but the Biden administration is determined to shift away from gas-powered engines. If no settlement was reached, the Biden administration may have had to overrule the ITC in order to allow SK Innovation to build the plant as otherwise, Volkswagen and Ford would have had to find new battery suppliers with diminished bargaining power which would have delayed new model releases and hampered their EV progress. But doing so would harm its relationship with LG Chem that has a joint venture with General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), with at least one more planned with, along with its other major clients such as Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA).

Joining forces with to build a strong EV supply chain 

Jong Hyun Kim, CEO of LG Energy Solution, and Jun Kim, CEO of SK Innovation, said in a joint statement that the firms would “compete in an amicable way”. The two South Korean battery makers are dedicated to work together to support the Biden administration’s climate agenda and to develop a robust U.S. supply chain. The United States need a strong, diversified and resilient EV battery supply chain to create good-paying jobs and lay the groundwork for an EV future. The president’s EV proposal also involves installing at least 500,000 charging stations across the country within less than a decade, incentives for Americans to purchase EVs along with funding to equip factories with the new technology and take care of the domestic supply of materials.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

A Jam-Packed Week Ahead

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JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Delta earnings (NYSE: DAL) along with Coinbase IPO are just some of this week’s main spotlights. Other companies set to report earnings include Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), PepsiCo Inc (NASDAQ: PEP), and UnitedHealth Group International (NYSE: UNH).

Monday

Monday will be the calm before the economic data storm. The federal budget balance is poised to be the day’s main event.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, we will get a look into some economic data such as the consumer price index for March. The CPI Index rose 0.4% in February, marking an annual increase of 1.7%.

Wednesday

Wednesday is the day of earnings, including reports by JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo as well as Bed Bath & Beyond, all before the opening bell.

But, it is also the day of the initial public offering of the cryptocurrency exchange operator, Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN). Coinbase was founded in 2012 as a platform to trade bitcoin. Today, it has 43 million users and serves 7,000 institutional customers. Its IPO was delayed due to an investigation from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, after which the company agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle regulatory claims that it reported misleading information about its trading volumes. It did not admit to or deny the allegations.

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) will hold a virtual Vaccine Day for analysts and investors, where the company’s leadership will discuss its mRNA vaccines and key considerations for future developments.

Thursday

Besides economic reports, Thursday will also be a big earnings day as Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Delta Air Lines, JB Hunt Transportation Services Inc (NASDAQ: JBHT), PepsiCo, Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD), Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC), United Health Group, and US Bancorp are all set to report before the market open, while Alcoa Corporation (NYSE: AA) and PPG Industries Inc (NYSE: PPG) will report after the bell.

Friday

Before the opening bell, Ally Financial Inc (NYSE: ALLY), The Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), Citizens Financial Group Inc (NYSE: CFG), Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC), and State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) will report their earnings. But many eyes will be upon President Biden who will have his first meeting with a foreign leader since taking office. With Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Biden is expected to discuss a new trade alliance to bolster semiconductor production as the world faces crippling chip shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. trade war with China.

Overall, a versatile and exciting week is ahead.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

EV Updates

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President Biden is pushing hard to get more Americans to buy EVs in order to combat global warming and encourage domestic manufacturing with a $2 trillion infrastructure plan he is trying to sell to Congress that includes about $174 billion to boost EV sales and production, which is more than the president proposes spending on roads and bridges. The EV market is developing full speed ahead across the globe, with Europe and China being already ahead of the US in the race towards an all-electric future.

Peugeot Is Coming After Volkswagen and Tesla

As Stellantis N.V. (NYSE: STLA) came to life as Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) and Groupe PSA joined forces, one of their subsidiary brands recently revealed a fully electric Peugeot 308 will arrive in 2023 to challenge Volkswagen’s (OTC: VWAGY) multi-billion euro gamble to challenge Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) electric car dominance, the ID.3. Despite initial software problems, VW’s first all-electric vehicle has been well received with the investment bank UBS declaring it to be a viable threat to Tesla, with a huge family of electric vehicles across the VW brand empire coming along in the near future.

The recent petit e-208, an all-electric version of the popular 208 hatchback made a great first impression with its blend of style, driving dynamics, gadgets and range. The e-208 is currently the quickest and most powerful 208 variant on sale and the upcoming e-308 could become Europe’s best-looking hatchback. Specifics regarding e-308 are rather scarce, besides the fact that it is in the works and that it’s going to debut in 2023.

The future of the U.S. EV market hangs in the balance

President Biden has until Sunday to intervene in a dispute between two major South Korean battery producers over the fate of lithium-ion battery factories in Georgia. His decision carries major implications for plans of US automakers to produce new EVs over the coming years. The outcome threatens Biden’s EV goals for the United States and the Democratic Party’s fragile success in the key state.

The battle of two South Korean Corporations

SK Innovation has built a large battery factory northeast of Atlanta, in the city of Commerce, with another factory alongside it being under construction, and a third in the works. But, earlier this year, SK said its operations in Georgia may be shut down due to a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission of its dispute with LG Chem. Despite a deep political division in the state, Democrats and Republicans have found common ground in trying to save the factories. The stakes are high as letting the ruling stand could damage the Democratic Party’s credibility in Georgia and hobble a key supplier in a domestic EV market already hungry for batteries. On the other hand, vetoing the decision would call into question the administration’s global efforts to advance intellectual property protections, which is a major priority from an economic perspective.

The Detroit battle lines are clearly drawn

For the needs of its electric pickup F-150 which is due next year, Ford has contracted with SK Innovation which has been accused of destroying evidence in a case alleging stolen trade secrets. SK threatened to withdraw its battery business from the U.S. altogether if Biden doesn’t overturn the decision, which would leave Ford Motor (NYSE: F) and Volkswagen with diminished bargaining power with remaining suppliers.

On the other end, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has a joint venture with at least one more planned with LG Chem. In addition to GM, some of LG’s major clients include Tesla Inc. and Hyundai Motor Company (OTC: HYMTF).

A tough decision to make

Now it’s up to the Biden administration to decide whether to get involved. This situation illustrates the fragility of U.S. automakers’ battery supply chains as traditional automakers are investing heavily in their EV infrastructure but remain reliant on Asian suppliers to provide the energy to power their EVs. President Biden needs to find a way not to condone unfair trade practices but support policies that will support the United States in becoming a leader in the EV market while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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