Dec 16, 2020 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- Mercedes Benz just unveiled 6 EV prototypes to enter production over the next six years. The German automaker might have been a bit slow start in electrification but is now accelerating big time in an effort to catch up to Tesla’s /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -4.84% . Come to think of it, even Tesla's fortunes have made quite a journey since April 2018 when it came within about a month of bankruptcy while bringing the Model 3 to mass production.
But Tesla persevered through the hard times and started reporting a string of profitable quarters in 2019, and even ended the year with a slight profit. But 2020 has been a roller coaster as its stock began to surge at the beginning of the year, then it plummeted its year low in March, and then ending up surging more than 600% this year.
On the same day that Tesla’s stock bottomed on March 18, Nio /zigman2/quotes/204905836/composite NIO -4.07% , its Chinese EV peer, warned for the second time in three months that it was running out of cash with its future in jeopardy as it had just lost $1.6 billion in 2019. But both Tesla and Nio managed to leave those dark times behind as their stocks have sky-rocketed this year. Moreover, Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker this summer and is now worth more than Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.25% , VW /zigman2/quotes/204431732/delayed VWAGY +5.31% , Daimler /zigman2/quotes/203566154/delayed DDAIF +0.61% , Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -3.03% , General Motor /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -2.66% and Honda Motor Co /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +1.69% combined, despite selling a mere 1% of the vehicles those automakers sold in 2019.
Nio’s stock also rallied roughly 1200% this year, and it is now worth nearly as much as General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -2.66% . Overall, electric vehicle companies have raised more than $10 billion this year in fundraising rounds, initial public offerings, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). These companies are standing on the shoulders of Tesla who evoke all that EV excitement in the first place. For example, Lordstown Motors /zigman2/quotes/211334938/composite RIDE -7.58% which will make its trucks in an old GM factory in Ohio went public in November through a SPAC and raised $675 million. It has received approximately $3 billion in pre-orders this year.
Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -3.03% and Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/204431732/delayed VWAGY +5.31% announced in June they’d work together on electric vehicles. Then last month VW said it planned to invest $86 billion in electric vehicles and other new technologies. Although it pulled out of its plans to invest $2 billion in Nikola /zigman2/quotes/208704275/composite NKLA -7.55% , GM did increase its five-year EV investment plans to $27 billion while, unveiling a dedicated factory and resurrecting the Hummer brand as an electric-only line.
Betting on ethics for a better tomorrow
Mark Frohnmayer, founder of the Oregon-based electric vehicle company Arcimoto /zigman2/quotes/206555289/composite FUV -10.17% believes the pandemic was a wake-up call for many that society needs to change. Embracing better transportation is one of the pillars of that change. Arcimoto’s stock has grown ten times this year to record highs, something even Frohnmayer didn’t expect when the pandemic hit. The company just presented on Benzinga's small cap conference last week and presented its Deliverator for essential food and goods, a Rapid Responder and announced it is beginning development of Roadster. This is more than just an EV company that is disrupting the market by delivering what it needs at a much lower cost structure, as it is contributing to sustainable transportation and clear skies. Its fun electric vehicles are on a public mission for mankind.
There’s plenty of room for growth as electric vehicles made up less than 3% of global vehicle sales in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency. Tesla needs to be credited for demonstrating that electric vehicles are for real. But new entrants are also taking center stage and making solid ground for an interesting race in 2021.
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