It was not too long ago that electric vehicles were disregarded by the bulk of consumers as a serious replacement for their petrol-based cars. Concerns about their range and a lack of stations where one could charge their car (especially when compared to petrol alternatives) once dominated the conversation. However, ownership of such vehicles is on the rise, and electric vehicles are set to transform the automotive industry.
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Mobility is changing. Major issues associated with traditional vehicles and approaches in the automobile industry, such as emissions, congestion and a growing carbon footprint, are reaching a tipping point that demands a revision of the status quo. In response, several companies are busy producing dazzling innovations in electric vehicles that will ensure they represent the future of the mobility industry.
Top electric vehicle stocks to watch right now:
- Lucid Group Inc (NASDAQ:LCID)
- Fisker Inc (NYSE:FSR)
- Nio Inc (NYSE:NIO)
Why The Future Is Electric
Electric vehicles have secured themselves as the future of the automobile industry because their ability to transform the way we move is inherently based on shifts in three primary areas: government regulation, consumer sentiment and technological innovation. This tri-fold foundation makes certain that this revolution in mobility is definitive.
This editorial maintains that electric vehicles represent the future of the automobile industry and will continue to analyse this assertion with the backdrop of these three foundational ideas that are supporting it.
The past, present and future efforts of governments to achieve sustainable mobility with their policies is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and helping a foundation for them. With the growing inauguration of more stringent emission targets by regulators around the globe, the increased growth of electric vehicles in order to reach these targets is being encouraged.
Furthermore, the European Parliament produced its “Fit for 55” initiative in 2021, which hopes to amalgamate energy, climate, transport, land use and taxation efforts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% holistically by 2030. In addition to this, the Green Car Initiative (GCI) was proposed by the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport; it contains a budget up to 50 million Euros to support any projects relating to electric vehicles.
In the US, President Biden has built on the endeavours of Obama’s administration by holding themselves to a 50% electric vehicle target for 2030. Other government incentives are also present in the form of purchasable rebates and tax credits; in the past $2.4 billion dollars has been allocated in grants to support the production of EVs. This budget has primarily been split between support for the manufacture of EV batteries, other components, and the infrastructure required for EVs.
General electric vehicle subsidies are also offered by most governments around the world.
The measures from both of these governments appear to have been vastly successful so far, which bodes well for the future of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles have been gradually perforating into the European market for a while now, with their numbers uninterruptedly growing since 2010 from 700 to 550,000 units. At this point in time, these vehicles now represent as much as 2% of total new car purchases - and 3.5% of newly purchased vehicles for passengers.
This success can be seen in the US as well, with brands such as Tesla experiencing exponential growth in their sales. Over the past five years, the brand has watched as their sales grew by 10x; the quintessence of this growth was seen in 2016, when over 80,000 vehicles were sold in this year alone. Over 1 million vehicles are expected to have been produced by the end of this year.
Consumer sentiment is the second leg supporting the future of electric vehicles. Opinions towards EVs have changed drastically over the course of the past decade. This is due to a plummeting in their cost, spurred on in part by a decrease in the price of lithium-ion battery packs (a type of rechargeable battery used in the production of EVs), as well as the increased favourability of government incentives towards them in recent years.
Furthermore, a large reason for the huge growth in uptake that electric vehicles have witnessed over the last demi-decade has been the gradual breaking down of the greatest obstacle to their success: their huge upfront cost. Outsourcing manufacturing to China has qualified brands to sell EVs for up to 30% less, and drops in price of lithium-ion battery packs have lowered this even further.
In the US, it was documented in 2020 that up to 2 million electric vehicles are registered, a 300% increase when compared to four years prior. Within this, ‘all-electric’ cars appear to be the subcategory that is growing the most rapidly. This small portion of the market alone grew by nearly 800,000 vehicles in the same period of time.
2021 produced a record number of electric vehicle sales in Australia. As a matter of fact, a smaller amount of vehicles was sold throughout the entirety of 2020 than was in the first half of 2021 alone. The market share of such vehicles doubled during this 1 year period from 0.7% to 1.5%. Despite this, the scale of the electric vehicle industry appears smallest in Australia out of all the economies observed: there are currently only 23 electric vehicle models available for sale here, compared to over 130 options in the UK.
Out of the three, Europe has demonstrated the most significant increase in sales. The annual growth in sales since 2016 has been compoundly increasing at a rate equivalent to 60% per year. Several individual markets within this region have witnessed a huge proportion of their automobile sales being electric vehicles - for example in Norway this percentage was 75%, and in Iceland it was 50%.
The efforts of players within the industry to conceptualise and implement new ideas and visions for the future of electric mobility, such as passenger-centric, autonomous or connected development, further accelerate the rate at which automotive technology is innovated. This aids in bolstering the future of electric cars as innovation is key to survival in business, stagnation often means being surpassed and becoming redundant.
The competitive innovations of this industry will be analysed in the context of two specific companies with their own unique vision for the future of electric cars: Tesla and Laureti Group. These two prodigious companies are acting to disrupt the automotive ecosystem in different ways based on their different approaches.
Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)'s historic rise in the car industry marked the start of a novel direction for the global auto industry: one characterised by electricity. The company’s owner, Elon Musk, has been taking a unique approach to the construction of his vehicles that challenged the status quo of the industry since 2009, causing many to seriously doubt its
Through its Silicon Valley approach to software as a means of innovating the industry with electric cars, Tesla has since led developments in manufacturing, software and the architecture of its electronics that have facilitated its ability to consistently produce innovations faster than their competitors.
Specifically, Tesla innovated the energy production and consumption systems of its cars. On top of this, the way in which it approached its business model completely contradicted the established format of the time: instead of trying to develop an affordable car to mass produce, it did the exact opposite and constructed a desirable car that created demand for electric vehicles.
These innovations have been appropriately profitable for Tesla. In 2017, the company surpassed previous industry giant General Motors to assert itself as the largest market capitalization of all car manufacturers in the United States. Toyota was the next giant to be transcended by Tesla, when it became the most valuable car maker on the planet in 2020.
Today, VW, through VW I.D.4 and newly announced I.D.5 as well as Mercedes, through the EQA, EQB and EQC ranges, are giving Tesla a square on challenge - and although this may cause a downside risk to the Tesla stock unless it keeps innovating, overall, more players switching to electric is encouraging for the environment and our future.
Another innovator of the electric vehicle industry is Laureti Group. This growing startup approached the development of electric cars from a slightly alternative angle to Tesla. Whereas Tesla focused on tackling emissions, Laureti is prioritising the reduction of carbon footprints holistically.
Furthermore, Tesla is on track to make transportation emission-free by producing a product that seeks to replace each individual consumer’s standard, polluting petrol car with an electric one. Contrastingly, Laureti is producing vehicles that provide a ‘business lounge on the move’ as part of a corporate business fleet, reducing personal ownership of cars, and thus carbon footprint overall.
Put simply, Tesla is producing luxury electric cars that private individuals can own, whereas Laureti is producing premium electric vehicles that are designed to be accessed through companies as their price is far too steep and generally unjustifiable for the majority.
Laureti’s primary innovation is the integration of its seamless Mira.OS service - the world’s mobility operating system. It is using Mira.OS to provide what it calls a ‘passenger-centric’ experience. Whilst all cars of the present are focussed on the driver, it is more important to focus on the passenger now as the reality of autonomous cars is as close as 2030.
When this breakthrough in technology arrives, the ‘smart cabin’ experience Laureti is hoping to provide will be infinitely more useful to people than a higher top speed or quicker 0-60mph. Users will want to be able to work on the go and utilise the once ‘dead time’ of commuting in order to maximise productivity.
Embracing the trend of EV’s and rise in AI, Waymo has set out to provide a safer alternative to human-driven transport. Whereas this is counter-intuitive for humans who feel that an element of control is desirable for their own safety, it is fast gathering data based on a self-drive shipping fleet that is well underway to prove that the aim of a safer alternative is being achieved.
Instead of calling itself a self-driving car firm, Waymo refers to itself as a self-driving technology company. Thousands of self-driving cars are equipped with lidar sensors, which enable driverless operations and 360-degree perception technology to detect obstructions. Waymo's objective is to make getting around safe and simple for people and objects. They're taking autonomous driving to new places, from moving people to moving products. Their goal is ambitious, and their work has the ability to change people's lives.
Waymo claims to have developed the most advanced sensors and perception systems, as well as having access to high-quality data. More than 20 million autonomously driven miles and five generations of development are included in the system dataset. Its fifth-generation Driver uses a combination of sensors, including radar, lidar, and cameras, to see 360 degrees around the vehicle. Waymo is currently the only company in the United States operating a fully autonomous public ride-hailing service.
This company can be seen as a technology partner for other motor companies, as it powers anything from small cars all the way up the spectrum including big trucks and manufacturing robotics. It’s aim to deliver superior capacity power is aimed at alleviating some of the biggest consumer objectives to adaptation: vehicle ranges are considered too short for intercity travel and Romero can be one of the key innovators to address this.
Romeo Power Inc (NYSE:RMO) is a lithium-ion battery module and pack manufacturer for commercial electric cars. Romeo Power supports large-scale sustainable mobility by supplying safer, longer-lasting batteries with longer range and shorter charge times with its energy dense battery modules and packs. The organization can create lightweight and efficient solutions that deliver superior performance and provide improved acceleration, range, safety, and durability thanks to higher energy density. Its modules and packs are modular and adaptable, and its patented battery management system optimizes them.
They are supplying innovative electrification solutions to some of the most complex commercial vehicle applications as a pioneer in battery-powered energy. Their advanced hardware, paired with their cutting-edge battery management systems, ensures that their customers get the safety, performance, dependability, and configurability they need to succeed. They are committed to bringing about meaningful change in energy sourcing and electrification, ensuring that everyone has access to sustainable energy.
On balance, it is indisputable that the future of the automobile is electric. The roots that have developed for it are established and deep. There is no reason for the success of the trifold support provided by government regulations, favourable consumer sentiment and competitive innovations not to continue into the future.