The Single Biggest Threat To The Electric Vehicle Boom

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By Taika Cohen

2020 ushered in the start of the EV boom, but it could have a frightening aftershock.

We’re already seeing some of the incredible triple-digit gains in EV companies like Tesla and Workhorse.

And this EV wave is only expected to grow bigger in the days ahead under the Biden administration.

Just a week after inauguration, President Biden reported he plans to replace the entire government fleet with electric vehicles.

That’s up to 643,000 vehicles turning electric on the government’s dime.

But Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, had an ominous prediction for what could lie ahead.

He stated that if EVs are adopted too quickly, we may not have the energy to support them at this point.

In fact, he predicted Japan would run out of electricity by summer if they banned all gas-powered vehicles now.

He even went as far as to say that if we rush the process of transitioning to EVs all at once, “the current business model of the auto industry is going to collapse.”

While the buzz for electric vehicles has only grown over the last year, many often miss this key piece in making such a drastic shift in such a short period.

And although it’s expected to create plenty of demand for solar, wind, nuclear, and geothermal energy sources…

At this point in the game, they are still too expensive and lack the storage capacity we’d need for those to be the final solution.

That’s why companies bridging the gap to the EV world are thriving.

Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF), a company known for its “people and planet first” approach, has seen incredible success over the last year, for example.

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 instead of everyone going out and buying their own EV, they can borrow one as-needed instead.

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.

Over the last year, big moves like this have helped Facedrive sign a number of important partnerships and deals including government agencies, A-list celebrities, and major multinational corporations.

And they’ve even managed to grow their business throughout the United States and Canada during a time when ridesharing as an industry suffered during global lockdowns.

When looking at the energy shortage that could lie ahead, it’s likely that creative solutions will be key in bridging the gap to the inevitable EV future.

Smartest in the World Making Bold Predictions

While Toyota’s president made a dark prediction about where we could be headed, he’s not alone in being concerned.

Elon Musk expressed his own concerns about the issue recently as well.

In an interview in December, he said that the world’s electricity consumption would likely double once EVs become the norm.

And that’s only accounting for this mass adoption in electric vehicles.

The situation could become even more pressing as the rest of our lives grow increasingly digital too, sucking up more electricity in the process.

With the “internet of things” creating smart cities and smart homes, the demand for electricity will only go up as everything from Peloton bikes to Nest thermostats are now connected by the internet.

Plus, peak times could cause a real problem if we don’t come up with new energy solutions.

With thousands of cars on the roads during morning and evening commutes, it’s not hard to imagine times where we simply wouldn’t have enough power to charge all EVs that need it at once.

Given the speed of innovation and the amount of resources going into renewable energy right now though, this is sure to be a short-term issue until the next great solution is discovered.

But in the meantime, Facedrive’s moves are putting them squarely in position to smooth out the transition.

And in addition to the monthly membership model used with Steer, they’re helping keep the number of cars on the road down through their signature ridesharing service.

Their model is simple.

When customers hail a ride, they have the choice to ride in an electric vehicle or a standard gas-powered car.

After they get to their destination, the Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF) 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.

Plus, Facedrive has added a booming food delivery service, which has expanded at a record pace while folks were stuck at home during global lockdowns.

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.

It’s this kind of innovative thinking that has many so optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Who Will Win In The EV Boom?

Elon Musk warned that, like with the boom in smartphones, we’re not likely to see the EV revolution all happen at once. Because just like with smartphones, you can’t replace them all at once.

But it’s undeniable that the movement is growing at a remarkable pace.

Even under an administration that was not supportive of climate change and green initiatives, the EV markets have soared throughout 2020.

Tesla was one of the biggest market stories of the year, locking in over 700% gains on its way to becoming one of the largest companies on the S&P 500.

And experts are expecting to see massive spending on the infrastructure needed for EVs under the Biden administration too.

In addition to his vow to spend more on clean energy research, President Biden also reported plans to build out 550,000 EV charging stations across the country.

With the growth we’ve seen in this area already, it’s also caused shares for companies like Plug Power to soar over 1,000% in 2020.

And Facedrive has been sharing in this success too, with incredible gains of 834% over the last year.

But while they’re helping smooth out the transition to the EV future, they’ve also been busy helping to solve the problems of today.

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 erupted in recent months.

And in the coming weeks, Facedrive plans to release an updated version with key health and safety benefits like temperature checking and vital sign monitoring.

Facedrive has now signed agreements with government agencies and major airlines to use this technology.

Plus, they are currently in discussions to continue TraceSCAN’s growth with major multinational corporations.

After the surge in electric vehicle tech we saw last year, now is the time to plan for the domino effect we could see play out in the days ahead.

And in the end, it could be the ones helping in the transition that become the biggest winners of the EV boom.

Here are a few other companies to watch in the EV and EV related space:

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was among the biggest market stories of 2020 with incredible gains of over 700%. This helped them become one of the highest-valued stocks in the United States with other Big Tech giants. It is now the most valuable car maker “of all time”. It is now worth almost $800 billion.

After a much-touted Battery Day event and expectations of Musk developing a “Million Mile Battery” in the near future, Tesla recently joined the S&P 500.

Tesla is the de-facto king of the electric vehicle market. And it’s easy to see why. Armed with slick cars, game-changing technology and an out of this world CEO, Tesla has a lot going for it.

Billionaire Elon Musk had his eye on this trend far before the hype started building. He released the first Tesla Roadster back in 2008, making electric vehicles cool when people were still snubbing their noses at the first-generation EVs. Since then, Tesla’s stock has skyrocketed by over 14,000%. But while Tesla’s EV threat to the industry is clear, the competition is heating up in China.

Nio (NYSE:NIO) is Tesla’s biggest competitor, dominating the Chinese EV markets. After going public in 2018, it’s been on a tear, producing vehicles with record-breaking range. They recently unveiled their first electric sedan with a longer range battery, which sent shares surging in early January.

Nio’s current performance is a far cry from just one year ago In fact, many shareholders were ready to write off their losses and give up on the company. 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 this month, representing a massive 1600% return for investors who held strong.

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.

Toyota Motors (NYSE:TM) is a massive international car producer that hasn’t ignored the transition to greener transportation. In fact, the Toyota Prius was one of the first hybrids to hit the road in a big way. While the legacy hybrid vehicle has been the butt of many jokes throughout the years, the car has been a major success, and more importantly, it helped spur the adoption of greener vehicles for years to come.

And just because its Prius hasn’t exactly aged as well as some green competitors, Toyota hasn’t left the green power race yet. Just a few days ago, actually, the giant automaker announced that three new electric vehicles will be coming to United States markets soon.

“We continue to be leaders in electrification that began with our pioneering introduction of the Prius nearly 25 years ago,” said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales. “Toyota’s new electrified product offerings will give customers multiple choices of powertrain that best suits their needs.”

Toyota has a major hold over U.S. markets at the moment. In fact, it maintains a 75% share of total fuel cell vehicles and a 64% share in hybrid and plug-in vehicles. And now it’s looking to capture a greater share of electric vehicles, as well.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is one of the legacy automakers benefiting from a shift from gas-powered to EV technology. 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.

With the news of GM’s new business unit, BrightDrop, they plan to sell electric vans and services to commercial delivery companies, disrupting the market for delivery logistics. This is a huge move as delivery sales have absolutely exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are projected to grow even further over the coming years.

And in January 2021, the giant automaker announced that it will discontinue production of all gas-powered vehicles, including hybrids, by 2035. This is a key factor in its commitment to become carbon-net zero by 2040.  The move will likely sit well with shareholders which are increasingly pushing for companies to clean up their act.

Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK) 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.”

Blink Charging was one of the darlings of the EV boom throughout 2020 because of its expansion in EV charging technology. With their chargers deployed at airports, car dealers, hospitals, restaurants, retailers, and schools across the nation, Blink recently saw shares jump 76% in just one month.

NFI Group (TSX:NFI) is one of Canada’s leaders in the electric vehicle space. It produces transit busses and motorcycles. NFI had a difficult start to the year, but it since cut its debt and begun to address its cash flow struggles in a meaningful way. Though it remains down from January highs, NFI still offers investors a promising opportunity to capitalize on the electric vehicle boom.

Recently, NFI has seen an uptick in insider stock purchases which is often a sign that the board and management strongly believe in the future of the company. 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.

Not to be outdone, GreenPower Motor (TSX.V:GPV) a thriving electric bus manufacturer based out of Vancouver, is making moves on the market, as well. Although for the moment, its focus is primarily on the North American market, but its ambitions are much larger. Founded over a decade ago, GreenPower has been on the frontlines of the electric transportation movement, with a focus on building affordable battery-electric busses and trucks.

Year-to-date, GreenPower has seen its share price soar from $2.03 to $36.88. That means investors have seen 1700% gains this year alone. And with this red-hot sector only going up, GreenPower will likely continue to impress.

Boralex Inc. (TSX:BLX) is an upcoming renewable firm based in Kingsey Falls, Canada. The company’s primary energies are produced through wind, hydroelectric, thermal, and solar sources and help power the homes of many people globally. Not only has it has had a great influence in the adoption of renewable electricity domestically, it’s even branching out into the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. In fact, just recently, Boralex took control of a massive 209MW solar farm in California.

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.

The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX:DSG) is a Canadian multinational technology company specializing in logistics software, supply chain management software, and cloud-based services for logistics businesses. Recently, Descartes announced that it has successfully deployed its advanced capacity matching solution, Descartes MacroPoint Capacity Matching. The solution provides greater visibility and transparency within their network of carriers and brokers. This move could solidify the company as a key player in transportation logistics which is essential-and-often-overlooked in the mitigation of rising carbon emissions.

By. Taika Cohen

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Forward-Looking Statements

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 other companies; 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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