August 21, 2020
Here’s a fun fact: In the early days of the automobile, steam, gasoline, and electric vehicles all competed to become the dominant automotive technology. Way back in the 1890s, the then-fledgling automotive industry was sorting out which technology would have the greatest appeal to consumers. But within a couple of decades, the public had spoken, and gas combustion became the industry standard for the next hundred years and counting. However, that is beginning to change. The Edison Electric Institute, the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, estimates there are more than 1.2 million electric vehicles (or EVs) on the road in the U.S. as of March 31, 2019. With new automotive technological innovations and an increasing number of eco-conscious consumers supporting products that do not rely on fossil fuels, that total is likely to increase. Several publicly traded zero-emission pure plays are positioned to benefit as these vehicles become legitimate alternatives to petrol-burners.
Electrameccanica Vehicles Corp. (Tii:SOLO)
Not to be outdone by American and Chinese players mentioned later, Vancouver-based Electrameccanica offers the single-person three-wheeled electric Solo. Described as not quite a motorcycle and not quite a car, the Solo has a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 80 MPH and is sure to fit in the smallest of parking spots, making it best suited for urban driving. The company is looking to expand its offerings with the two-seat eRoadster and classic sports car-inspired Tofino models in development.
Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. (Tii:KNDI)
Another player in the Chinese electric vehicle market, carmaker Kandi kicked off its entry into the U.S. with a virtual launch event from Dallas on August 18, 2020 with a promise to provide the most affordable electric vehicles in the U.S. market. With MSRPs of $19,999 and $9,999 (after federal tax credit) for its Model K23 and Model K27, respectively, Kandi could well capture a substantial portion of the economy EV market.
Nikola Corp. (Tii:NKLA)
A newcomer to the public equity markets, Nikola Corp. began trading in June 2020. A designer and manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen station infrastructure, Phoenix-based Nikola has a full line of pure electric and/or hydrogen-electric vehicles in development. Among them are big rigs, off-highway vehicles (OHVs), jet skis, and the Badger, a pickup truck that boasts a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds.
NIO Inc. (Tii:NIO)
Though there is no fixed date for its entry into the U.S. or European markets, Shanghai-based NIO has indicated that it plans to become a truly global player in the EV market. In the meantime, NIO continues to show that it is a pioneer and major player in China’s premium smart electric vehicle market. The company delivered 3,533 vehicles in July 2020, increasing by an impressive 322.1% year-over-year.
Tesla Inc. (Tii:TSLA)
Based in Palo Alto, Ca., Tesla is the world's best-selling plug-in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer. Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla produced its millionth vehicle, a red Tesla Model Y. This made Tesla the first of any automaker to hit the million-EV milestone. Strong demand for Tesla vehicles has resulted in the company reporting its first full year of profitability on a GAAP basis last month, qualifying its stock to be considered for inclusion in the S&P 500 index. USA Today earlier this year reported that sales of the Tesla Model 3 electric compact car soared in 2019, establishing itself as the best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. and one of the best-selling passenger cars of any kind in America.
Workhorse Group Inc. (Tii:WKHS)
Imagine an electric-powered delivery truck pulling silently into your neighborhood and launching a high-tech drone to bring a package right to your doorstep. Workhorse Group, a Cincinnati-based manufacturer of electrically powered delivery and utility vehicles, is planning to do just that. The company specializes in high-performance, battery-electric vehicles for the last mile delivery sector that work in tandem with a line of fully autonomous delivery drones.
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