Ford invests big in electric vehicles to take on upstarts
America’s biggest automakers were left for dead as Tesla dominated the electric vehicle (EV) market.
But one in particular is rising from the dead. Ford is doubling down on its EV commitment by investing $7b towards three new battery factories and an electric truck plant – the largest investment in its 118-year history.
A long drive ahead
Traditional automakers like Ford, GM and Toyota – once skeptical about going electric – prioritized EVs after seeing Tesla’s success.
That’s not the only reason. Last month, President Biden signed an executive order targeting EVs to make up 50% of all vehicle sales by 2030, but Ford is a long way off…
- In August, just 7.1% of Ford’s sales were from electric and hybrid vehicles.
- That number is set to grow in 2022 when Ford releases its highly-anticipated F-150 Lightning truck – with over 130k reservations.
With the EV market expected to grow 21% annually, Ford plans to grow its 5% market share – pledging to bring 30 new EV models to market by 2030.
Don’t count the dead out yet
Ford isn’t the only automaker electrifying itself. GM and Chrysler also pledged to make 40-50% of their sales from EVs by 2030, and Toyota announced $9b in EV battery plant investments.
As traditional car makers catch up, there are a lot more ways to invest in the EV market:
- Emerging EV car companies like Tesla, Lucid or NIO – which are trading at higher valuations.
- Legacy car makers like Ford, GM and Volkswagen – which are transitioning to EV.
- EV infrastructure (ie. charging stations) stocks or commercial EV companies (i.e. electric busses).
Ford, which trades at a 9x forward price-to-earnings ratio, is a cheaper EV stock buy than Tesla, which trades at 123x. But that depends on if you see high-flying stocks like Tesla as expensive or old-school stocks like Ford as cheap.
Investors: Entire industry looking dead
After a scorching finish to 2020, EV stocks started 2021 flat. In the last six months, the Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles fund (NASDAQ:DRIV) is down 2% – after rising 60% in 2020 – leaving investors questioning EV’s future. But what’s behind their slump? Here’s one reason…
- Automakers are struggling to meet car demand due to the global semiconductor shortage, lowering sales.
- EVs use 10x more semiconductor chips than gas-powered cars – making them especially vulnerable to the shortage.
Given the political push behind EV adoption, investors have reasons to believe in an eventual recovery. The hard part is deciding whether to bet on the old horses, the new horses or the infrastructure behind them.