Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Electric Vehicle (EV) company news. February saw the announcement of a 175% YoY surge in January 2019 China electric car sales. The graph below shows what we can expect from China in 2019 (purple line, forecast beyond January). At the projected trajectory, we could see Chinese electric car sales pass 2m in 2019 (2018 was ~1m).
Global electric car sales as of end January 2019
Of note, 72% of all global electric car sales in January were 100% battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the balance being hybrids.
China electric car sales were 96,000 in January 2019, up an amazing 175% on January 2018. Electric car market share in China for January was 4.8%.
Current subsidies in China were reduced by 20% in 2017 and are being reduced by 40% in 2019 and 100% by 2021. China's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) credit system was announced on September 28, 2017, and has now begun in 2019 with 10% of credits (12% in 2020) required from new energy vehicles (NEVs). That translates to ~4-5% of EV sales as market share for 2019. We are also expecting an announcement at some stage as to when China will ban ICE vehicles, noting BYD Chairman Wang thinks by 2030. Others think it will be 2035.
Europe electric car sales were 33,000 in January 2019, 28% higher than in January 2018. Europe electric car market share was 2.8% in January. Norway still leads the world with an incredible 38% market share of fully battery electric cars (BEVs) sold in January 2019. Plug in EVs (BEVs + hybrids) reached 80%.
US electric car sales were 17,000 for January 2019, up 42% on January 2018. Electric car market share in US for January was 2.2%.
Note: The above sales include light commercial vehicles.
Global electric car sales by manufacturer for January 2019
Bloomberg's forecast annual electric vehicle sales - 30m pa by 2030, 60m pa by 2040
Source: Bloomberg research
Bloomberg's forecast annual electric vehicle sales showing market share - 11% by 2025, 28% by 2030, 43% by 2035, 55% by 2040
Source: Bloomberg research
EV market news for February 2019
A recent article I came across during the month gives a great update on electric planes and some great pics - "The future of flight - The next all-electric vehicle is the airplane."
A concept future passenger electric plane
On January 30 The Nikkei Asian Review reported:
Beijing unveils auto subsidies to recharge consumption...The plan will subsidize trade-ins of cars that conform to 2007 emission regulations as well as replacements of cars with engines of 1.6 liters or smaller in rural areas. The value-added tax for used-car purchases by businesses will also be cut to 2% from 3%. Subsidies for purchasing high-performance electric and other eco-friendly vehicles will be expanded, and restrictions on city driving will be eased for popular pickup trucks.
Tesla bought a battery company, and it's more about cash flow than batteries..... Ultracapacitors to absorb energy when braking and then release it when the car accelerates.....(dry electrode "process").....The process could help make the electrode thicker than conventional practices.....Maxwell claims this could boost battery capacity to 300 Wh/kg, a 20% jump over the best available electric-car batteries. (Note: Still using the same lithium-ion batteries).
Note: You can read more here "The Reason Tesla Spent $218 Million On Maxwell Technologies." The Maxwell CEO section is worth listening to carefully as he explains the dry electrode "process" works with current lithium-ion batteries to make them cheaper and more energy dense. He also mentions the company is working towards solid state batteries but is not there yet.
On February 5 Argus Media reported:
Automakers stress importance of battery metals. Major automakers Ford and Honda have stressed the importance of stable and affordable supply of battery raw materials for their ongoing electric vehicle development and rollout plans.
On February 6 Benchmark Minerals Blog reported:
In the next decade the demand for lithium [used in the battery industry] is set to go up 9-times, cobalt is set to go up 6-times, nickel is set to go up 5 times, and graphite anode is set to go up 9 times.
"Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is now tracking 70 lithium ion battery megafactories under construction across four continents, 46 of which are based in China with only five currently planned for the US. When I gave my last testimony in October 2017, the global total was at 17," Moores said.....Moores said that these megafactories are being built almost exclusively to make lithium ion battery cells using two chemistries: nickel-cobalt-manganese [NCM] and nickel-cobalt-aluminium [NCA].
On February 11, Green Car Reports reported:
California to transition to 100 percent electric buses by 2040. California adopted a plan to convert all city buses in the state to electric power by 2040, and hopes to beat that deadline by five years.
On February 27, Electrek reported:
Three in four U.S. drivers believe 'EVs are the future of driving,' survey says. "Range anxiety" still seems to be an issue, even topping price concerns. Among non-EV drivers, 57 percent would be more likely to buy EVs if they were the same price as ICE vehicles. Results from another survey released earlier this month found that two out of three U.S. drivers might be willing to pay more for an EV.
On March 1, Reuters reported:
India approves $1.4 billion electric vehicle incentive scheme....India will spend 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) over three years on incentives, the government said....Under the scheme, subsidies would be offered based on the battery capacity of the vehicle, ranging from buses and cars to three-wheelers and motorbikes.....The incentives would be applicable only on vehicles costing less than 1.5 million Indian rupees ($21,177). The benefits of the incentives will be extended to only those vehicles fitted with advanced batteries using lithium ion or other new technologies.....A source had earlier told Reuters that subsidies would amount to 10,000 rupees for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of battery capacity in a vehicle, amounting to about 50 percent of the battery cost. The average price of an electric car in India is now about 1 million rupees. Cars typically have a battery up to 20 kWh, so the discount under the new scheme would be 200,000 rupees.
EV company news
On February 27 Reuters reported:
Chinese EV maker BYD says 2018 preliminary profit (for 2018) down 31 percent, blames competition. The result comes as China's market for new energy vehicles is booming, but profit in the sector is being squeezed by competition between established automakers and a multitude of startups, as well as the government's reduction of subsidies. Profit likely fell to 2.79 billion yuan ($416.5 million) from 4.07 billion yuan, as slowing auto sales across China increased competitive activity among car makers and hit the profitability of the fuel vehicle business, BYD said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Tuesday. The automaker, backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, also said orders and profit in its smartphone component and assembly business were affected by weak demand and competition.
The BYD Yuan was the global number 1 selling electric car in January 2019
Beijing Automotive Group Co. (BAIC) (OTC:BCCMY, HK:1958), Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) (CH:600104) (SAIC includes Roewe, MG, Baojun, Maxus)
On January 30 SAIC announced:
SAIC Motor to hit $5.3b in net profit in 2018. SAIC Motor Corporation Limited released a review of its annual performance in 2018 on Jan 31, 2019, with an expected net profit of around 36 billion yuan ($5.3 billion) attributable to shareholders of the company, up to 4.6 percent year on year and outpacing the annual sales growth which stood at 1.75 percent, indicating the continuous improvement of the company's business performance.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA)
On February 1 Automotive News China reported:
Musk: $500 million enough to launch output at Tesla's Shanghai plant. Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk told investors the company won't incur a heavy financial burden to get production up and running at its first overseas factory, seeking to soothe investor concerns about capital requirements for a new Shanghai plant. Capital expenditures of about $500 million (3.35 billion yuan) are needed for Tesla to reach a weekly production rate of 3,000 vehicles at the factory, Musk said on an earnings call Wednesday. A majority of the funding will be by local banks, and with competitive debt financing and "extremely compelling interest rates," Tesla doesn't expect the investment to be a capital drain on the company, he said. "These are the biggest banks in the world," Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja said on the call. "And for them, $500 million is not a large amount of money in the scheme of things."
On February 4 Green Car Reports reported: "Tesla aims to make service quicker, roadside assistance automatic."
On February 5 Green Car Reports reported:
Tesla battery packs coming to Electrify America chargers. Electrify America has been billed as a charging network to compete with Tesla's Superchargers. Now it turns out, they may be partners as well. In an announcement on Monday, Electrify America said it would install Tesla stationary battery packs at 100 of its locations to balance power demand and reduce costs.
On February 6 Green Car Reports reported:
Tesla buys ultracapacitor company to boost energy density. Maxwell Technologies, a San Diego company that specializes in ultracapacitor energy storage, announced Monday that it is being bought by Tesla in a stock swap valued at $218 million. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that he expects ultracapacitors could provide a more likely bet for a breakthrough in energy storage than batteries.
On February 7 Green Car Reports reported: "Tesla Model 3 price cut another $1,100, for base price of $44,100."
On February 22 Reuters reported:
Tesla rolls out Model 3 in China ahead of schedule in sales push. Tesla Inc has started delivering Model 3 cars in China slightly ahead of schedule, as it looks to revive its sales that have been hit hard by Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
Tesla has started delivering Model 3 cars in China slightly ahead of schedule
Nissan is currently ranked number 4 for global electric car sales with 5% market share, and Renault is ranked global number 11 with 3% market share. Nissan is ranked equal 3rd in Europe and Renault is also ranked equal 3rd in Europe, both with 10% market share each.
On February 25 Green Car Reports reported:
First drive review: The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus delivers more power, 226-mile range at last. At the moment, there are more Nissan Leafs on the world's roads than any other electric car in history-closing in on 400,000. As of Jan 1, Nissan had delivered 380,000 Leafs globally, 130,000 of them in the United States. Last week, in San Diego, the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus was rolled out to the media. It's the version that finally gives the Leaf up to 226 miles of EPA-rated range, something it's needed since January 2015.
2019 Nissan Leaf Plus - The 62kWh battery gives 226 miles of range
Geely is currently ranked the number 5 in the global electric car manufacturers' sales ranking with 4% global market share.
On February 21 Green Car Reports reported:
Volvo reuses bus batteries for solar storage. As solar installations ramp up and electric vehicles have been on the market for a few years, automakers are starting to look for ways to get more life out of old electric-car batteries, re-purposing them for stationary storage.
On February 25 Green Car Reports reported:
Chinese Kandi electric cars a step closer to U.S. arrival [Updated]. The federal government has given initial approval for the Chinese electric car manufacturer Kandi to import two electric cars to the U.S. in coming years, the company announced to investors last week.
On February 27 The UK Daily Mail reported:
Volvo's new offshoot Polestar launches a £35k electric family car with a 310-mile range. Polestar is the electrified stand-alone performance arm of Volvo. Cars will be built by parent firm Geely in China and can only be ordered online...Entry models will cost from around £34,700, though the launch version that arrives first in 2020 will be closer to £52,000.
Volvo's Polestar new £35k electric family car - 78kWh battery and 310 mile range
On February 7 Green Car Reports reported: "BMW reveals prototype iNext electric SUV in winter testing."
iNext electric SUV
Volkswagen is currently ranked the number 7 top-selling global electric car manufacturer with 3% market share.
On February 8 Green Car Reports reported:
Report: Audi e-tron faces battery-related delay in Europe. Audi's e-tron SUV was scheduled to go on sale in Europe by now, but its rollout in Europe has been delayed to next month, according to a report today from Automotive News Europe.
On February 18 Green Car Reports reported:
Production-bound Porsche Taycan electric car spotted cold-weather testing. Porsche's first electric car, the 2020 Taycan sedan, is sold out for a year-with a significant chunk of reservations held by Tesla owners.
On February 19 Automotive News China reported:
VW hikes EV target by 50% with China, budget models. Volkswagen AG plans to expand its electric-vehicle offerings in coming years with additional models for China and a budget car costing around 20,000 euros ($22,500), as it puts pressure on Tesla Inc. to keep pace. Rolling out the additional vehicles, the manufacturer now expects to produce 15 million vehicles in the first wave of its EV rollout, raising the goal by 50 percent, Christian Senger, VW's electric-car chief said at an event Friday in Dresden, Germany. The VW brand alone will invest about 9 billion euros to roll out 20 electric models by 2025.
On February 26 Green Car Reports reported: "Fully electric Porsche Macan due by 2022 will replace gasoline model entirely."
On February 26, The Verge reported:
Porsche's Macan SUV is going all-electric. The first of Porsche's existing road cars to go all-electric will be the Macan SUV, the German sports car manufacturer announced Tuesday....The Macan EV will be the third all-electric car in Porsche's lineup. Porsche is set to start making the Taycan sedan (which is the final production version of the company's Mission E concept) at the end of 2019. A crossover version of the Taycan, called the Cross Turismo, will go into production in 2020.
Porsche's Macan SUV is going all-electric
On February 4 Green Car Reports reported: "2019 Kia Niro EV: first drive of 239-mile electric crossover."
2019 Kia Niro EV - 239-mile range
On February 15 Green Car Reports reported:
2020 Kia Soul EV rated for 243 miles, improved efficiency. In just one model year, Kia has more than doubled the rated driving range for the Soul EV. The 2020 Kia Soul EV, which is expected to reach dealerships this spring, will go 243 miles on a charge-four more miles than the Kia Niro EV-according to the EPA, in ratings that were released earlier this week.
2020 Kia Soul EV
General Motors/Chevrolet (NYSE:GM)
GM/Chevrolet is currently ranked outside the top 20 global electric car manufacturers. They are the number 2 ranked electric car seller in the US with 9% market share.
On February 7 Green Car Reports reported:
GM electric vehicles could be profitable early next decade, says CEO. Incentives, credits, and compliance schemes can only get the electric vehicle market so far.
On February 19 Green Car Reports reported:
GM launches Arīv electric bikes, but not for U.S.. A foldable electric bicycle. Now the company has announced the name, and says the bike will go on sale in Europe later this spring. Known as the Arīv Meld and the Arīv Merge, the bikes have a range of up to almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) on a 3.5-hour charge-assuming the rider contributes at least some pedal power. Using European standards, the bikes charge at 230 volts, which may explain some of the delay in bringing them to the U.S.
Arīv electric bike
On February 25 Green Car Reports reported:
GM rolls last Chevy Volt off Detroit assembly line. With the end of Chevrolet Volt production last week, it looks more like pure electric cars are winning the race to transform driving over more complicated, if versatile plug-in hybrids.
On February 12 Green Car Reports reported:
Toyota Corolla Hybrid rated 52 mpg: Why Toyota says it won't cannibalize Prius sales.
On February 15 Green Car Reports reported: "Commentary: Toyota Corolla Hybrid ad brags about not plugging in."
On February 6 Electrek reported:
Honda secures battery supply contract for about 1 million electric vehicles with CATL.... As part of the new agreement, CATL is guaranteeing Honda a supply of "about 56 GWh of lithium-ion EV batteries before 2027." Based on an average battery pack size of 55 kWh, it would be enough batteries to produce about 1 million electric vehicles.
On February 11 Green Car Reports reported:
Honda battery deal could give it a new charge in China's EV market. Thus far, Honda lags in the race to develop electric cars. Its most recent model still has only 89 miles of electric range, in an era when most new electric cars come with at least 235 miles of range, and many are approaching or exceed 300 miles. The company is aiming to change that with new tie-ups with General Motors to develop electric cars, and now a Chinese battery supplier.
Daimler-Mercedes (OTCPK:DDAIF) (Smart)
On February 26 MercedesBlog reported:
Deliveries of the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV could be delayed by 3 months. Mercedes-Benz will postpone deliveries of its EQC electric SUV for up to three months, according to German media. The German Handelsblatt financial newspaper announces that this program cannot be respected, as Mercedes simply doesn't have enough batteries. The quoted source argues that the Stuttgart manufacturer has difficulties in supplying components for battery production. If confirmed, the information is not surprising, given that many European producers are having difficulty supplying the batteries or the components needed to manufacture them.
On February 22 MercedesBlog reported:
Mercedes-Benz EQC goes dancing on ice. The Mercedes-Benz EQC has started final tests in snowy Sweden. The winter trials are taking place in Arjeplog, where the engineers focus on the thermal management of the battery and of the cabin in challenging cold conditions.
On February 17 Green Car Reports reported:
2021 Ford Mach E: What we know about 300-mile electric SUV. On a much-simplified level, that's the recipe behind Ford's electric vehicle project, which will result in a performance crossover EV-perhaps called Mach E, perhaps Mach 1, perhaps something else entirely-reaching the market in summer or very early fall 2020.
On February 20 Green Car Reports reported: Ford recalls 2019 Fusion Energi over high-voltage shock risk."
On February 19 Green Car Reports reported:
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid will carry a price tag over $50k. Although Ford plans to woo electric-vehicle fans-and attract a new crowd to plug-in vehicles-with its upcoming, Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover, arriving next year, it's the fully redesigned Explorer that will probably continue to do the heavy lifting for Ford on the family-vehicle front. There's one hitch to that plan, however.
Peugeot [PA:PEUP] (OTCPK:PEUGF)
On February 25 CNBC reported:
Auto giant Peugeot to launch a 100 percent electric, zero-emission car. The e-208 is powered by a 100-kilowatt electric motor and 50-kilowatt hour battery, and has a range of up to 211 miles. Peugeot is the latest major autos company to make a move in the electric vehicle sector. In a statement Monday, Peugeot said that the new vehicle would be released in late summer 2019 and was the first in a series of all electric models, with the firm readying itself to electrify its whole range by the year 2023.
Rivian Automotive (private)
On February 15 Electrek reported:
Electric pickup truck startup Rivian confirms $700 million round of funding led by Amazon. Rivian is Amazon's second big investment in the auto industry this month alone. We reported last week that Amazon invested in self-driving startup Aurora.
Other EV companies
Other EV companies I am following include Atlis Motors, Byton (private), Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. (private), Didi Chuxing, Dyson (private), ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. (SOLO), Great Wall Motors, Faraday Future (private), Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU), Fisker (private), GAC Motor Co., GreenPower Motor Company Inc. [TSXV:GPV] (OTCQX:GPVRF), Lamborghini, Nio Inc. (formerly NextEV) (NIO), Lucid Motors (formerly Atieva) (private), Mahindra & Mahindra (OTC:MAHDY), Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY), Qiantu Motor, Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY), Suzuki Motor Corp. [TYO: 7269] (OTCPK:SZKMY) (OTCPK:SZKMF), Tata Motors (TTM) group (Jaguar, Land Rover), WM Motor, Xiaopeng Motors, and Zhi Dou (private).
The list of countries and cities banning (or planning to ban) petrol and diesel vehicles includes at least - Norway (2025), Netherlands (2030), China (?2030/35), Germany (?2030), Ireland (2030), Israel (2030), Scotland (2032), UK (2040), France (2040), Taiwan (2040), Japan (2050); Rome (2024), Athens (2025), Paris (2025), London, Stuttgart, Mexico City (2025), Madrid (2025), and Brussels (2030). Added to this are countries pushing hard to become 100% EV - Norway and India (30% by 2030).
Autonomous Driving/Connectivity/Onboard entertainment/Ride sharing
On February 16 Seeking Alpha reported:
SoftBank puts $940M in self-driving bots. SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) Vision Fund invested $940M in autonomous vehicle startup Nuro at a $2.7B valuation. Nuro was founded by two vets of Google's self-driving project (now called Waymo) and last year launched an autonomous vehicle for grocery deliveries and other errands. Last year, Nuro and Kroger launched a pilot grocery delivery program in Arizona that uses a delivery bot without a safety driver. Nuro also licensed its tech to autonomous truck startup Ike. The massive infusion will likely go towards expanding its delivery service, scaling up its fleet of self-driving bots, signing up new partners, and hiring.
- Electric Car Market Share Blasted Higher In H2 2018
- The EV Boom Just Keeps Getting Bigger - Update For The End Of 2018.
January 2019 global electric car sales were up 82% YoY, with China again leading the way with an amazing January sales result. BYD Co. and SAIC are now the new global number 1 and 2 top sellers, at least for now. Electric car market share for January reached 4.8% in China, 2.8% in Europe, and 2.2% in the USA. Based on a strong start to 2019, it is looking like 2019 electric car sales may reach ~3.2-3.6m and 3.5-4.0% market share.
The key trend for new electric car models rolling out in 2019 and 2020 is increased range and more BEVs (no ICE motor). The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus with a 62kWh battery and 226 miles of range is typical of the new breed. Other examples would be the 2019 Kia Niro EV (239 mile range) and the 2020 Kia Soul EV (243 miles range).
Highlights for the month were:
- China starts 2019 with a 175% YoY surge in sales for January 2019.
- Beijing unveils auto subsidies to recharge consumption. China subsidies for purchasing high-performance electric and other eco-friendly vehicles will be expanded.
- Automakers stress importance of battery metals.
- Benchmark Minerals - "In the next decade the demand for lithium [used in the battery industry] is set to go up 9-times, cobalt is set to go up 6-times, nickel is set to go up 5 times, and graphite anode is set to go up 9 times."
- Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is now tracking 70 lithium ion battery megafactories under construction.
- Electrek - "Three in four U.S. drivers believe 'EVs are the future of driving,' survey says."
- India will spend 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) over three years on electric vehicle incentives.
- Tesla rolls out Model 3 in China.
- Volvo's new offshoot Polestar launches a £35k electric family car with a 310-mile range.
- Audi e-tron faces battery-related delay in Europe.
- Peugeot to launch a 100 percent electric, zero-emission car. The firm readying itself to electrify its whole range by the year 2023.
- Honda secures battery supply contract for about 1 million electric vehicles with CATL.
- Daimler-Mercedes - Many European producers are having difficulty supplying the batteries or the components needed to manufacture them.
As usual, all comments are welcome.
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Disclosure: I am/we are long BYD CO (HK:1211). I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.