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EVs Kingdom – Do Traditional Automakers Have A Shot?

EV battery life is uncertain. Their range isn't enough to get people where they need to go. They are too expensive for the average person.

Benzinga · 03/04/2020 15:04

EV battery life is uncertain. Their range isn't enough to get people where they need to go. They are too expensive for the average person. This might have been the truth once but it's been a while since these prejudices stopped being valid excuses as electrification is upon the automotive industry. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced that a third of its vehicles will be electric by 2030.

Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) plans to sell a million EVs annually by 2022. Half of Volvo's (OTC: VOLVF) portfolio will be electric by 2025. Even General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) has stated back in 2019 that it will produce over 20 EVs by 2023. The flamboyant pioneer Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) has indeed paved the way for a zero emissions future as it has entirely disrupted the automotive industry. So, can these traditional automakers catch up to it?

Nissan

A decade ago, when Nissan (OTC: NSANY) with the Nissan Leaf appeared as the first widely available mainstream electric car, the only drivers genuinely interested in buying one were early adopters with short commutes. After all, it only had about 100 miles of range. But "a decade" later, this model is still one of the best-selling electric vehicles on the market because it is inexpensive and most people find that the range is fine for their daily driving needs.

Increasing The Range

Advances in battery design and packaging are bringing miles and broadening the mass acceptance of electric vehicles. From city chores all the way to making trips, EVs are about to do it all. Giants like GM are also attempting to upend their SUV and pickup truck business.

There is even an electric version of Ford's F-150, the most popular pickup there is. And thanks to innovative companies such as Worksport from Franchise Holdings International (OTC: FNHI) which is bringing solar powered tonneau covers that can even store energy, there will be plenty pickup models to benefit from Worksport's admirable collection of intellectual patents.

Franchise Holdings International announced earlier today the company has been awarded its first Canadian Patent by the CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Organization). The patent relates to the framework for a technological break through they've named TerraVis which is the solar tonneau cover that is in development to increase the driving range and bring onboard power.

GM Pushing Hard – But Is Set To Win In A Different Framework

Last month, GM rolled out its third EV in China, following the Buick Velite 6 EV and Baojun E-series with a sporty-looking hatchback. They are all produced by joint-venture partnerships in China. But you can't really see GM's effort unless you are in China, which does remain the largest market for EVs. But despite the fact that GM's progress on EVs looks rather gloomy compared to its ambitious promise in 2019, it hasn't given up on innovating its business long term.

The company is rather focused on making a combination of autonomous driving, ridesharing, and EVs as the future of its growth. That's why it invested in Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT) and why it also bought Cruise. It's about making a self-driving and rideshare EV being called "Origin" as opposed to making a passenger vehicle autonomous. And Cruise and Origin could enable GM to launch a nationwide ride-hailing platform that disrupts the current definition of transportation. In fact, if successful, GM could even skip the story of EV retailing and battle for consumers, and jump in to its new future of transportation! It could go as far as making direct vehicle ownership a thing of the past.

Disrupting Transportation Is Not Only On GM's Mind

Even Toyota Motor Company (NYSE: TM) is determined to redefine its mission and become a 'mobility company‘.

We've seen from Big Tech companies that by skipping one disruptive wave to focus on the next can work, and that's why GM may and Toyota could even be in a better position than many investors think. The world's auto giant Toyota is completely open to new collaborations to redefine its company  and it has already successfully done so several times and during the hardest times.

Automotive Hookups Are Key

When in Germany, BMW (OTC: BMWYY) has agreed to work with Jaguar Land Rover on new electric engines as well as formed a new venture with Daimler (OTC: DDAIF) to develop ride-sharing and charging services. Meanwhile, Volkswagen left Germany to go to Ford to develop new vehicles together.

Although Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) and Renault (OTC: RNLSY) didn't manage to make a deal, Renault is already part of an alliance with Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors which at least allows the company to share technology and development costs.

Tesla Is Undoubtedly The EV Leader, For Now

The numbers in the United States look especially grim with Tesla as the single exception as U.S. sales of the Model 3 grew by 14% in 2019. But considering that internationally, governments provide at least $775 billion to $1 trillion annually in subsidies, not including other costs of fossil fuels related to climate change, environmental impacts, military conflicts and spending, and health impacts, things might be looking up for traditional automakers. As the climate pressure increases, so will these incentives which will only further boost their efforts but it seems no one is that strong to go at it alone- so many more hookups are bound to take place.

It cannot be argued that Tesla created an EV lifestyle brand. Everyone else is still trying to figure out whether buyers want electric versions of standard designs or something entirely new and futuristic. Traditional automakers are making efforts in the right direction and they know what is coming, but because they were not prepared to give up a huge business in order to chase after the next technology era, they left a huge opening for Tesla- one which Tesla used to the maximum. But no one knows what the future holds and history has only taught us that anything is possible.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay