Electric Car News Roundup – 43

electric car news

Pre-Orders For Volkswagen’s First 1,500 ID.3 electric cars sold out in TWO DAYS in Britain 


If you have an order placed on Volkswagen’s all-new electric car – or intend to put a deposit down soon – you might be waiting a while for it to arrive.  According to one of the German brand’s biggest UK dealer networks, the first allocation of 1,500 ID.3 battery-electric models were sold out in just 48 hours when deposits could be placed back in May 2019, some four months before images of the production-ready car was revealed.  

volkswagen all electric ID 3 leaves factory
The All-Electric VW ID.3 Leaves Factory (credit: VW)

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For those of us that follow the EV industry, the ‘sell-out’ should not come as a surprise.  In our view, automotive manufacturers have been conservative with initial production volumes as they ascertain consumer interest and demand for electric vehicles.  We believe the stronger consumer interest in pure electric cars would have surprised many automotive companies, to include VW.  

The true demand for battery-electric vehicles is much stronger than current EV production and supply.  We do not expect this imbalance to rectify immediately. We expect the imbalance to worsen before it improves. It will take automotive manufactures time to ramp electric car production volumes to include supply chain logistics. Despite all the announcements, unveilings and launches, the total number of available EV models to include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) is still relatively limited and certainly small compared to available internal combustion engine (ICE) petrol and diesel engine vehicles.  We also believe the recent news regarding the potential date change for the ban on ICE vehicles i.e. 2035 or even 2032, will further fuel consumer interest in electric vehicles.  

According to market sources, apart from the 48 hours sell-out, there is an intent to buy from another 20,000 consumers.  This trend will not be unique to VW electric family range ID. or ID.3.  The trend will be echoed across most electric vehicle models.     


Elon Musk Has Changed Investors’ Views On The Electric Car


As longtime auto makers try to sell investors on their visons for the future, they keep hearing the same thing: What about Tesla. Investors increasingly see the future of the car as electric – even if most car buyers haven’t yet. And lately, those investors are placing bets on Tesla Inc. to bring about that future versus auto makers with deeper pockets and generations of experience. 

Tesla Model 3
The All-Electric Tesla Model 3

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It is true that Tesla Inc. and in particular it’s co-founder Elon Musk, has paved the way for an electrified future.  There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever in his leadership and investors are right to reward Tesla Inc. for its achievements.  However, we would caution investors from placing all bets on the future of an entire sector on just one company.  This is not the first time investors have made such a mistake.  Investors must broaden their approach to the EV market and diversify ‘expectations’ and ‘returns’ from a wider pool of participants across the electric vehicle value chain.  To place the future of the EV sector on just one company, however, ‘incredible’ the company maybe, is simply not prudent.  

We at e-zoomed certainly applaud and salute Elon and team, however, in the rapidly changing EV landscape it is impossible to predict the future.  A number of factors within and outside a company, can impact the future of the company.  You will recall that Fisker Automotive was forced to shut down because a third party EV battery supplier went into administration.  Another important issue is in a company’s ability to deliver volumes at scale and consistently.  The larger automotive manufactures have significant experience in delivering large-scale volumes across multiple platforms, geographies and technologies.   These traditional behemoths have developed an experience curve over decades of learning and delivering.  The big question is whether a much younger organisation, like Tesla Inc. will be able to deliver significantly higher volumes as the EV market migrates to mass-scale adoption. A smart investor/s will look far beyond quarterly announcements to assess such a risk. So bottom-line, wonderful that Elon Musk has improved investor perceptions, but investors should not expect magic overnight. Significant challenges remain ahead.


Bill Gates Bought Himself A Porsche Over A Tesla – And Elon Musk Just Called Him ‘Underwhelming’


Elon Musk isn’t impressed with fellow billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates. After Gates said he bought himself an all-electric Porsche Taycan, Tesla’s CEO took to Twitter to throw shade at the Microsoft co-founder. “My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh [to be honest], Musk tweeted.   

bill gates microsoft
Bill Gates (credit: Bloomberg)

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If there is one positive from this story, is that, it is good for the overall EV sector to have more competitive BEV options available to consumers in their search for EVs to buy. Despite our deep respect for Elon Musk and his noteworthy achievements, it is imperative that the narrative for the EV sector moves beyond Tesla. There is simply too much emphasis on Tesla Inc. in regards to the EV sector. The future of this sector cannot be held ransom to the performance of just one company! Tesla has certainly played a key role in giving life to the EV sector, but many other stakeholders will transform the EV sector from childhood to adulthood. Of course, most pleased that Bill Gates has joined the EV revolution at a personal capacity. 


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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