Sep 11, 2020 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- Europe started out as the birthplace of the automobile, but then Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +2.49% made a new chapter. Only within a decade, the EV pioneer changed the automotive market for good. Prestigious European brands such as Germany's Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/204431732/delayed VWAGY -1.71% and Daimler /zigman2/quotes/203566154/delayed DDAIF -0.83% as well as France's Renault /zigman2/quotes/202090946/delayed RNLSY +0.43% and Peugeot /zigman2/quotes/207803404/delayed PUGOY +0.83% have struggled with emissions scandals and were rather sluggish when it comes to shifting to EVs. Although Europe itself does not have contender that can rise up to competing directly with Tesla, for now, it does have a few companies which do parts of what Tesla does. Some of them might even be doing a better job.
Croatia's Rimac is due to make a debut with its C_Two electric hypercar can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds. This is faster than the Roadster as its top speed is 258 mph. But this car isn't even in production and we will need to wait 2021 to see if it will live up to this promise. Although Porsche Automobile Holding /zigman2/quotes/208338327/delayed POAHY -1.74% owns a stake of about 15%, Hyundai Motor Group /zigman2/quotes/204364212/delayed HYMTF +0.26% also recently invested EUR80m. The two companies will collaborate on a range of EVs. Aston Martin and Pininfarina already use Rimac's battery packs for their own electric supercars. You might not have heard of this brand but rest assured, it is gearing up. If you are still not convinced, what if we tell you that they hired ex-Tesla engineer Chris Porritt as CTO.
Switzerland- based Piech has deep roots in Germany as it was founded by the son of former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech. It is set to become a leading luxury electric mobility brand by combining luxury legacy with the electric future. Think of it this brand as Ferdinand Porsche's 1931 uniqueness with the secret ingredient of technology innovation. The company's Mark Zero all-electric model is scheduled to go on sale in 2022. It claims to get to 100km/h in 3.2s, charges 80% of its battery in only 4 minutes 40 seconds, while boasting a range of 500km on a single charge. Interestingly, the company has no plans for plants as it will depend on carmakers with exiting factories, assembly and supply chains.
At the moment, Tesla's biggest challenger is Nikola /zigman2/quotes/208704275/composite NKLA -11.08% who announced this week it is joining forces with no other than Detroit's giant, General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -2.67% . GM's platform is not only all that Nikola needs to launch its Badger among the EV stars but to genuinely become a large player. Despite being a US-based brand, it has strong ties to Europe. Germany's Robert Bosch and Italy's Iveco, the truck-maker backed by the Agnelli family, each own a 6% stake in the company. Moreover, the trucks itself are being built in Germany. More importantly, just like Tesla Inc took the last name from Nikola Tesla, the father of electric energy, Nikola took his first name.
Unlike the US, European automakers are counting on great support from local governments that placed EVs at the front and center of their economic recovery. Volkswagen's /zigman2/quotes/204431732/delayed VWAGY -1.71% sales will surely benefit from the golden moment in Germany with subsidies being as high as 9,000 euros per electric vehicle. The same goes for Renault /zigman2/quotes/202090946/delayed RNLSY +0.43% as the French government raised subsidies to 7,000 euros per car. Although Europe lagged the EV trend, this framework shows that its position can change dramatically in the near future. If this everything-but ordinary year has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. Meanwhile, European giants mean business when it comes to EVs with many expected debuts over the next two years. For now, Europe is still behind. But, there are many more battles to be fought and EV wars are just getting started.
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