This winter was all about buying the EV rumor and selling the election news. That netted savvy investors some nice profits, but summer might have something even bigger in store for this sector.
Having sold on the Biden inauguration news, there’s lots of potential upside for EV companies now.
Everything is lined up for EV companies–and lots of related industries–to do well in the coming months.
We’re looking at …
- A massive $2.5-trillioninfrastructure plan that will create record new heights in employment.
- Biden’s proposed $174 billion in funding for EVs
- A likely 10-year tax credit extension for renewables
- Another tax boost for carbon capture tech
- And most immediately, a pile of Q1 results in from EV companies, and it looks to be way better than many anticipate.
Tesla, the bellwether for the industry, delivered impressive Q1 results that made one thing very clear to anyone with hesitations about jumping into the sector: Demand for EVs is undeniable and their ascent into the mainstream is probably unstoppable.
But this long-term “green tidal wave” extends far beyond EVs themselves. For investors, there is an impressive basket of companies in related industries to EVs that aren’t expensive like Tesla, which is just south of $700, and some of them are likely to have tons of upside in this new environment.
One is Facedrive (TSXV:FD; OTC:FDVRF), the Canadian tech-driven company that emerged out of Ontario’s ‘Tech Triangle’, which aims to rival Silicon Valley. Facedrive, with multiple ESG verticals, isn’t just the pioneer of EV ride-sharing and carbon-neutral food delivery …
It’s also been a front-line contributor to Ontatio’s pandemic response and economic recovery plans, with TraceSCAN contact-tracing tech and wearables–including a $2.5-million investment from the government to speed up deployment.
And in the U.S., Facedrive is the new owner of energy giant Exelon’s former company Steer, which we think has high potential to disrupt the auto industry with the first EV subscription service.
From batteries and battery metals, to charging and on-demand EV subscription services, there are endless opportunities for investors to harness the real upside of the new green world.
Looking for a New Idea? Try Car Subscriptions
EVs have already made an impact on the auto industry.
What Tesla started is now forcing the auto giants to kick it into overdrive at the 11th hour to compete.
GM is faring the best among the old-timers, working hard now to sell EVs as an “all-American” idea, worthy of the Super Bowl.
But the industry should brace itself for disruption on an entirely different level: personal car ownership.
The number of registered vehicles from 2012 to 2019 declined by over 25 million, according to Statistica.
The car subscription market is expected to fly past $12 billion by 2027 …
Even Volvo is all-in, offering customers a hassle-free subscription with no long-term commitment and no down-payment.
Loans and leases are being challenged seriously …
And Facedrive’s Steer is where the auto industry meets a mega-trend like streaming. But with a clean, green theme of the kind that is attracting big investment dollars for companies that are green.
This is where car dealerships may lose ground to subscription services that appeal to younger generations who don’t want to be trapped in a 3-year lease or a 5-year car purchase loan. They want flexibility and they want it on demand, with zero hassle.
That’s exactly what Steer offers, with EVs and hybrids–all in a subscriber’s own personal (virtual) showroom.
And it’s as easy as swiping … because Steer takes care of everything but the driving, including insurance, maintenance and charging.
Many investors are now looking ahead for the next big thing in the EV related markets, and Facedrive fits the profile perfectly.
There has been a lot of exciting news about this company YTD … and the tech-driven verticals keep expanding ..
Facedrive started 2021 off with an announcement that its C$20.5 million equity raise was oversubscribed.
Then, in February, TraceSCAN was chosen by the Government of Ontario to help get people back to work safely in order to reboot an economy ravaged by a pandemic. The government invested $2.5 million into Facedrive to accelerate deployment.
Now, all eyes will be on Steer as it paves a clean, new road in the emerging trend of car subscriptions, with an all-electric twist.
The Subscription Business Is Thriving
Video streaming giant, Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), is just coming off a banner year whereby the company’s subscriber tally set new records, managing to once again shrug off intense competition from streaming rivals. Netflix gained 37 million new subscribers in 2020, easily besting its previous record gain of 28.6 million new subscribers in 2018, to finish the year with 203.67 million paid subscribers worldwide. Obviously, Netflix had Covid-19 and the stay-at-home trend to thank for the massive growth as consumers sheltering at home turned to streaming entertainment in droves.
Kevin Westcott, Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. tech, media, and telecom leader, has just told Fortune that streaming services are recording significant churn, meaning the subscriber dropout rate is alarming. Before the pandemic, churn was about 20% but jumped to 37% from October 2020 to February 2021 with majority of new subscribers cancelling their new services once the free trial period ends (30 days for Netflix). Netflix bulls are still optimistic, however. The King of Streaming hasn’t lost its spot just yet.
Disney (NYSE:DIS) is another contender in the subscription race. Launched just last year, the streaming service already has over 100 million subscribers. Even Goldman Sachs banking on a continued streaming boom as people continue to stay at home amid the pandemic, and the bank thinks that everyone has underestimated Disney+ so far–especially in light of its launch of DTC (direct-to-consumer) streaming.
“We believe Disney’s best-in-class brand, global distribution (breadth), production assets (build), sizable content library (backlist) and strong financial profile (balance sheet) position the company to build scaled DTC video platforms in the highly competitive streaming environment,” Goldman analyst Brett Feldman said in a note to clients.
And the numbers do look good: Goldman originally estimated that Disney+ will have over 150 million customers by the end of 2025, and its analysts think they are being “conservative” with this figure. And they’re right. With its current numbers, Disney+ is already on track to be a heavy competitor in this exciting industry.
AT&T (NYSE:T) is a veteran in the subscription business. From telephones to television, AT&T has been a dominant force in this world for ages. And thanks to its noteworthy acquisitions of Time Warner, HBO and Turner Broadcasting, AT&T has one of the biggest footprints in the streaming industry…with the potential to grow even larger.
With its almost incomparable array of assets, AT&T’s streaming services stand to draw a lot of interest. And while it does not approach the industry in the same way that Disney or Netflix has, the telecom giant is still likely to emerge as a winner. HBO alone already has over 44 million U.S. subscribers, and that number is expected to skyrocket in the years to come.
CEO John Starkey noted in a press release, “Our number one priority in 2021 is growing our customer relationships. It’s about more than just adding to our customer base. It’s about expanding the growth opportunity in our three market focus areas and also increasing our share within each market.”
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is another player in the booming subscription business. Its Amazon Prime is one of the leaders in the industry. Not only does it allow users to access a variety of content, it includes a members-only delivery bonus that will add next day, and in some cases, same day deliveries for free.
And Amazon is ESG-friendly, as well. Not only is Amazon looking to power its own operations with renewable energy, it’s also aiming to transform its own supply chain. From sustainable packaging and ethical and responsible sourcing, Amazon is going above and beyond to make sure it is setting a positive example for the entire market.
In a statement on its website Amazon noted, “We believe supply chain transparency is crucial to our approach to human rights due diligence and ensuring worker protections. We publish our supplier list to provide customers and external stakeholders visibility into where we source and to contribute to transparency efforts across industries. When we receive information about potential issues in our supply chain, we investigate and take appropriate action to remediate.”
While streaming video has dominated the subscription scene, ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft have created their own subscription products, as well.
Uber (NASDAQ:UBER) has recently launched Uber Pass, a membership program which rewards frequent riders with significant discounts across all of its platforms. This includes no delivery fees on grocery orders and Uber Eats orders and a 10% discount on all Uber rides.
Uber is even jumping on board the green energy train. Uber has even rolled out a new program to help drivers transition to electric vehicles. The $800 million ‘Green Future’ initiative, with the help of Chevrolet, allows drivers to get a near-$3000 discount on Bolt EV Premiers. Additionally, drivers of low-emission vehicles will also get a small bonus for every ride they complete. They will also get a discount on specific charging platforms to help cut costs during the transition.
“As the largest mobility platform in the world, we know that our impact goes beyond our technology. We want to do our part to build back better and support a green recovery in our cities and communities,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted on the company’s website.
Like Uber, Lyft Inc (NYSE:LYFT) is also rolling out a new subscription platform. For just $19.99 per month, frequent Lyft users will be able to enjoy a variety of benefits, including a 15% discount on all rides, priority airport pickup, relaxed cancelations, and even surprise offers.
Also like Uber, Lyft has taking a strong stance on its green initiatives. In fact, it has even rolled out a massive push to fully-electrify its fleet within the decade. The company is already working closely with its partners and policymakers to make electric vehicles more accessible to its drivers, but the best is yet to come.
John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft explained, “Now more than ever, we need to work together to create cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities,” adding, “Success breeds success, and if we do this right, it creates a path for others. If other rideshare and delivery companies, automakers and rental car companies make this shift, it can be the catalyst for transforming transportation as a whole.”
Even electric car companies are forming their own subscription business models. Take Nio Limited (NYSE:NIO) for example. Nio Tesla’s largest competitor in China, has also started to offer a batteries-as-a-service concept, in which car buyers can ‘lease’ the battery of their vehicle and save as much as $10,000 on the price of a new vehicle, while also offering buyers the option to swap batteries after a few years of use. And that’s huge news in the lithium world, because it will mean give miners even greater incentive to sign deals with the battery innovator.
This could be huge for Nio, which is already making major moves. Just last fall, Nio revealed a pair of sedans that even the biggest Tesla die-hard would struggle to pass up. The vehicles, meant to compete with Tesla’s Model 3, could be just what the company needs to pull back control of its local market from Elon Musk’s electric vehicle giant.
Canada’s making major moves in the tech and electric vehicle world, as well. Shopify Inc (NASDAQ:SHOP; TSX:SH) is an absolute beast in the e-commerce world. In fact, because of its simple-to-use platform, it would be hard to have not stumbled onto a shop built with its technology. More than 1,000,000 businesses rely on Shopify’s real-time e-commerce solutions, including Tesla, Budweiser and Red Bull, among many others. Shopify makes purchasing goods and services easy for anyone – and in a time where convenience is king, Shopify surely has staying power.
In addition to its revolutionary approach on e-commerce, Shopify is also delving into blockchain technology, making it a promising pick for investors, especially given that the sector is red hot right now. Its clients are even able to accept bitcoin and a variety of other cryptocurrencies as payments with a few clicks.
Global lockdowns accelerated Shopify’s already-tremendous growth. Since March 2020 alone, Shopify has seen its price rise from just $495 per share to a high of $1800 per share before settling down to its current price. The company has already shown its potential, but as it continues to grow, so will its innovative solutions for businesses, and by extension, it’s share price. Shopify is one of the few e-commerce companies that may very well be able to compete with the likes of Amazon.
Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (TSX:GO) is a new spin on unsecured credit, which is a burgeoning sub-segment of FinTech. Providing loan management, the ability to track spending, stress-free mortgages, and even credit score tracking, Mogo is at the forefront of an online movement to assist users with their financial needs.
Mogo’s software analyzes borrowers instantly and greatly reduces the traditionally cumbersome underwriting process for loans. It’s online-only, so there’s very low overhead and a ton of cash to spend on marketing. Labeled as “the Uber of finance” by CNBC, Mogo is definitely turning heads.
With increasing membership growth and revenue lines continuing to improve, and a platform which many banks have failed to offer, Mogo could well become an acquisition target in the near future.
Contagious Gaming Inc. (TSX:CNS.V) is a software developer that has developed many systems for the e-gaming markets. The company has created a remote sports betting system that allows for live in-play betting during sporting and esporting events. The company’s content and technology can be delivered as a fully integrated service across a single, modern customer platform or can be offered as standalone verticals.
ePlay Digital Inc. (CSE:EPY) creates technology that helps TV networks, esports teams and leagues and even venues cut through the noise to reach their target audience. The company brings together multiple platforms to create engagement across social media, traditional media, streaming, and more. With a team built from sports, esports, and gaming experts, ePlay knows the video game industry inside and out. That’s why they’ve secured partnerships with companies including Time Warner Cable, ESPN, Sony Pictures, AXS TV, Intel, AXN, Fiat, CBS, Cineplex, and others.
Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR) is major player in the Canadian telecoms sector. It owns a ton of infrastructure throughout Canada and its cloud services and open-source projects look to address some of the biggest issues that its customers might face before the customers even face them. As online gaming depends on solid internet connections, Shaw will likely become a backdoor benefactor in increased online activity. Not only that, it’s growing higher on ESG investors’ lists, as well, thanks to its forward-thinking approach to the environment and it’s governance.
By. Shawn Rednapp
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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 new tech deals will be signed by Facedrive and deals signed already will increase company revenues; that Facedrive will achieve its plans for manufacturing and selling Tracescan devices; 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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