Automotive Electric Vehicle Charging

Published on August 27th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Investor’s Guide To The Electric Vehicle Industry

The Electric Vehicle is coming fast and there is money to be made if you are quick to react.

Personally, we are not the biggest fan of electric vehicles (EV), probably because we are still a little worried about the long term costs of running an EV after seeing the worrying effects of plug-in hybrids (PHEV) in our country and the huge depreciation hitting then after 4 to 5 years on the road.

However, like it or not, fact of the matter is this, EV’s are coming (not as fast to Malaysia as our neighbours) and the combustion engine will be retired in coming years leaving us little choice but to embrace the movement and the technology.

Meanwhile, it must be realised that the age of EV will bring a lot of business opportunities and this is why we are sharing this information below.

The transportation industry is in the middle of a massive transformation that could potentially bring trillions of dollars to the global economy. At the center of this shift are electric vehicles (EVs), where the products are designed to be more energy-efficient and connected than traditional automobiles.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global consumers spent USD120 billion on electric car purchases in 2020, marking a 50 percent increase from 2019. While this figure accounts for only about 5 percent of total car sales, the potential for the EV market to expand is compelling.

To date, nearly all major car manufacturers have announced plans to increase EV availability, with some like Jaguar and Volvo planning to phase out petrol driven vehicles within the next decade completely. Similarly, more than 20 countries have announced plans to eliminate gas-vehicle sales over the next 10 to 30 years as part of their sustainability commitments.

BHP_Euro5 Diesel_2021_Lexus NX

All these initiatives could propel the EV industry to new highs. Why invest in the EV industry?

Over the next decade, the IEA predicts 145 million EV vehicles could be on the road, up from just 10 million today.

To gear up for the increased demand, most of the largest carmakers have vowed to hit electrification targets by 2030, reconfiguring their production lines to build more EVs.

For example, Ford says it plans to invest USD30 billion in electrification efforts by 2025, pledging that by mid-2026, 100 percent of its passenger vehicles in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, moving to all-electric by 2030. By then, the company predicts that 40 percent of its global sales will be fully electric vehicles.

Likewise, General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, announced plans to invest USD27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years, offering 30 all-electric models globally by 2025. In addition, the company plans to be carbon neutral in its products and operations by 2040.

But it’s not just commercial vehicles. Truck manufacturers such as Daimler, Renault, Scania, MAN, and Volvo are also pursuing emission-free driving efforts by expanding the range of EV models available, from long-haul freight to garbage collection trucks.

As availability for EV increases and economies of scale materialize – potentially bringing down production and battery costs – the research firm IHS Markit forecasts that global EV sales could increase at an annual compound growth rate of about 50 percent through the year 2025.

Electric Vehicle ownership

Driving towards a sustainable future

The United Nations (UN) has labeled 2021 a “make or break” year to fight global warming, calling for a 45 percent reduction in global carbon emission by 2030, from 2010 levels, to prevent irreversible damage to the planet. As a result, the UN has issued a “red alert” for humanity.

As part of a collective push to reduce our footprint on the environment, policymakers in the United States, China, the European Union and other regions around the globe are implementing mandatory targets and policies in an effort to lower CO2 emissions in the transportation sector.

In the U.S., for example, President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order, setting a national goal for 50 percent of all new vehicle sales by 2030 to be battery-electric, fuel-cell electric, or plug-in hybrid.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation accounts for about 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. The EPA estimates that removing one gas-fueled vehicle from the road can prevent roughly 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide from infiltrating the environment each year.

Electric Vehicle driving

Potential risks for investors

According to the IEA, the growth and impact of the EV industry depend heavily on how successful policymakers are in developing a comprehensive framework that supports the industry.

Apart from EV adoption rates, the decarbonization of electricity generators and building a global charging network, for example, are fundamental. But, beyond those efforts, shifting to sustainable business practices, such as efficient waste management, will also be crucial for long-term success.

From electric-vehicle makers like Tesla (TSLA) and NIO (NIO) to semiconductor producers like NVIDIA (NVDA) and Intel (INTC), to cloud providers like Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN), many of these names will be essential for ensuring vehicle safety, intelligence, and efficiency in the emerging space.

Also, investors should pay close attention to valuations on EV-related stocks, which may easily become stretched in such a hot sector. That’s especially true for individual stocks but can also apply to ETFs. While a diversified sector ETF can help protect you against blow-ups in individual stocks, it won’t protect you against a sector-wide fall, if valuations on EV stocks come down.

Electric Vehicle cabin

Top electric vehicle ETFs

Like other thematic investing types — such as blockchain technology, cybersecurity and real estate — one easy way individual investors can gain exposure to EVs is through exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Essentially, an electric vehicle ETF holds a basket of publicly traded stocks in the industry. These companies can either directly manufacture electric vehicles, automotive parts or provide services that support the evolution of electric cars.

This niche area of the ETF market remains relatively uncrowded, with only a handful of players in the space. Before investing, consider reviewing the fund’s prospectus to better understand the investment strategy, holdings and fees.

Electric Vehicle charging point
2022 Sorento PHEV

(Data below is as of Aug. 17, 2021.)

iShares Self-Driving EV and Tech ETF (IDRV)

The fund invests in global companies that produce electric vehicles, autonomous driving cars, batteries and other products and services that support the industry.

  • Fund issuer: BlackRock
  • One-year return: 51.6 percent
  • Assets under management: USD435 million
  • Expense ratio: 0.47 percent
Electric Vehicle plugged-in

KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF (KARS)

The fund tracks the performance of an index of global companies producing smart cars, energy storage solutions like hydrogen fuel cells and autonomous navigation technologies.

  • Fund issuer: China International Capital Corporation (CICC)
  • One-year return: 56.4 percent
  • Assets under management: USD254 million
  • Expense ratio: 0.70 percent
Electric Vehicle Charging point

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT)

The fund invests in global companies involved in the mining and exploration of lithium and the production of lithium batteries.

  • Fund issuer: Mirae Asset Global Investments
  • One-year return: 130 percent
  • Assets under management: USD4.6 billion
  • Expense ratio: 0.75 percent

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