FN Media Group Presents Oilprice.com Market Commentary
London – April 15, 2021 – EV sales jumped 43% in 2020 while overall car sales decreased by 20%, and there’s still plenty of room to run on the electric playing field, according to some of the biggest wealth managers, but there’s a potential big industry disruptor here …
One of the next big shake-ups in the auto industry – and one that will help, not hinder the adoption of EVs – is the burgeoning car subscription business. Mentioned in today’s commentary includes: Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM), Blink Charging Co. (NASDAQ: BLNK).
The car subscription market is set to top $12 billion by 2027, and many of the big car makers are making moves on it, from Porsche to Volvo … and even to Hertz itself, since there is a big opportunity here. But D.C.-based Steer combines two big trends: subscriptions and EVs, making it one to watch in this sector.
Acquired by Canadian Facedrive in Q3 2020, Steer – like Facedrive itself – is all about getting out in front of the newest trends, first…And turning carbon-offset offerings into profitable tech-driven verticals. Facedrive’s Steer (FD; FDVRF) knows a lot about millennials. They are millennials. And many millennials just don’t like to buy and own. They are far too dynamic for that. They like to rent and move on to the next best thing. They aren’t auto loyalists looking to get tied down with a major loan or lease commitment.
Leases were already becoming a favorite for many millennials as far back as 2016 when 34% of them chose leases over financing. What millennials will like even more is the flexibility of a subscription, and the hassle-free way to own their favorite vehicles – electric.That’s where Steer comes in to fill one of the gaps in this emerging trend…
Your Own EV Garage At the Touch of a Button
Steer is a new all-inclusive, monthly, low-risk car subscription service that features 100% electric, plug-in, and hybrid vehicles. And the company was created with an overriding ambition: To take the EV industry one step further by helping to change the way people view car ownership, forever…
Let’s not mince words, here: The car ownership experience is woefully lacking. From the annoyance of haggling with that special breed of car dealers… to the hassle of shopping for, paying for, and attempting to understand the nuances of insurance… to myriad financing options, all of which tie to you a car you don’t want to be committed to for so long…
There was minimal flexibility in this market until the advent of subscriptions. And there were very few carbon-offset subscription options for that rapidly growing lineup of new EVs… until Steer.
Steer is one of the answers to the last remaining hurdle of full-on adoption of EVs: cost and charging technology. A subscription to Steer comes with your own concierge who delivers your car wherever you need it and assists with charging, either at home or on the road.
Unlike leasing a car, there’s no mileage limit. With Steer, members get their own virtual gallery to fit various budgets, including everything from the Audi e-Tron and the Hyundai Kona to your favorite Tesla, and beyond. And the growth runways are excellent when you consider that 70% of Steer members have never even driven an EV before. That means that these are new converts.
Facedrive, Steer and Giant Exelon: The Next Phase of Change
Together, they could pose a positive challenge to an auto industry that’s already trying to adapt to the changing EV industry. And the leaders are emerging as those who can do two things: tie their business into the “ESG megatrend”, where big money is starting to flow; and understand what today’s market wants: on-demand service and dynamic options. Steer’s seamless, hassle-free technology and its lineup of hot EVs do both. It’s what some are calling a Netflix style of new car use.
In the meantime, Facedrive is all about clean, tech-driven verticals, and Steer is just one. Facedrive recognized the need for a big energy-related lifestyle change long before it became a “trend”.
It was developing an answer to the pollution of companies like Uber and Lyft way back in 2016 and launched the first carbon-offset ride-sharing platform in 2019 in Canada, giving riders a choice of EV or hybrid and planting trees in cooperation with local authorities along the way.
Today, in the name of corporate responsibility in a time of pandemic, Facedrive is focusing more aggressively on Steer, carbon-offset food and pharma deliveries, and TraceSCAN, the Ontario government-backed COVID contact-tracing wearable technology that is aiming for rapid manufacture and deployment to help enable essential workers to get back on the job – safely – and in turn to help enable the economy to reopen, and stay open.
Throughout, from Steer to TraceSCAN and Facedrive Foods, this Canadian ‘Silicon Valley’ style company has focused on people and the planet, without sacrificing the pursuit of profits – a holy grail for emerging tech companies in the middle of an ESG transition.
Other companies to watch as the electric vehicle boom accelerates:
Tesla (TSLA) is without a doubt one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street. And that’s a big deal for the electric vehicle market. As one of the world’s most exciting -and important- car makers, it has made going green a must in this incredibly competitive industry. Its modern design has become an industry standard. Tesla has single-handedly made electric vehicles cool, and has fueled the dramatic rise in this burgeoning market since its inception.
Elon Musk had his eye on prize long before the green energy hype started building. In fact, he released the first Tesla Roadster back in 2008, making electric vehicles desirable when people were laughing at first-gen electric vehicles. Since its IPO, Tesla’s stock has skyrocketed by over 18,000%. Largely thanks to its energy innovation.
Tesla’s influence hasn’t been ignored overseas, either. NIO Limited (NIO) used to be an outlier in the EV market. In fact, much of Wall Street was to write off their losses and give up on the company. It was even on the brink of bankruptcy But China’s answer to Tesla’s dominance powered on, eclipsed estimates, and most importantly, kept its balance sheet in line. And it’s paid off. In a big way. The company has seen its share price soar from $3.24 at the start of 2020 to a high of $50 earlier this year before falling back to its current price of $38.
And November of last year, NIO unveiled a pair of vehicles that would make even the biggest Tesla devotees truly contemplate their brand loyalty. The vehicles, meant to compete with Tesla’s Model 3, could be exactly what the company needs to take control of its domestic market.
Apple (AAPL), as the largest company in the world, has lead the tech world for years…And now, it’s even getting into the transportation business. “We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on.” Apple CEO Tim Cook on Apple’s plans in the car space. Electric vehicles aren’t likely to be left out, either…
Apple’s rumored car design means that more active material can be packed inside the battery, giving the car a potentially longer range. Apple is also examining a chemistry for the battery called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate which is inherently less likely to overheat and is thus safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries.
Legacy automakers are on the green-grind, too. Toyota Motors (TM) is a massive international car producer who hasn’t ignored the transition to greener transportation. In fact, the Toyota Prius was one of the first hybrids to hit the road in a big way. While the legacy hybrid vehicle has been the butt of many jokes throughout the years, the car has been a major success, and more importantly, it helped spur the adoption of greener vehicles for years to come.
And just because its Prius hasn’t exactly aged as well as some green competitors, Toyota hasn’t left the green power race yet. Just a few days ago, actually, the giant automaker announced that three new electric vehicles will be coming to United States markets soon.
Investors shouldn’t ignore the infrastructure needed to fuel the electric vehicle boom, either. Blink Charging (BLNK) an electric vehicle charging company, will play a vital role in the lithium market for years to come. Why? Because its charging infrastructure will fuel even greater demand for the increasingly popular metal. And it’s been a great stock for investors, as well. It’s seen its share price soar significantly over the past year and it’s showing no signs of slowing. A flurry of new deals, including a collaboration with EnerSys have created some support for the relative newcomer.
Michael D. Farkas, Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Blink noted, “This is an exciting collaboration with EnerSys because it combines the industry-leading technologies of our two companies to provide user-friendly, high powered, next-generation charging alternatives. We are continuously innovating our product offerings to provide more efficient and convenient charging options to the growing community of EV drivers.”
By Ed Johnson
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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 subscription based car services for ride sharing services will help with the adoption of EVs; that millennials will like the flexibility of a subscription based car service for ride sharing; that subscription based ride sharing services will create flexibility and a carbon reduced option in the auto industry; that Facedrive and Steer will pose a positive challenge to the auto industry; that Facedrive and Steer will emerge as leaders in the business of car subscription services for ride sharing; that there will be an important shift in consumer behavior and Facedrive will be in front of it; and that Tracescan will be mass manufactured and will help get workers back on the job. 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 subscription based car services for ride sharing may not help the adoption of EVs; that subscription based ride sharing services may not be popular with millennials or others as anticipated or at all; that ride sharing subscription services may not become widely accepted or used by consumers; that Facedrive and Steer may not emerge as leaders in the business of car subscription ride sharing as anticipated or at all; that there may not be a shift in consumer behavior leading to increased popularity in ride sharing subscription services and that such services may not gain the anticipated or even any popularity among consumers; even if they do, Facedrive may not be able to profit or become a profitable company. 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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