During August, the electric vehicle (EV) industry found itself navigating a turbulent landscape, characterized by a crescendo of activities both inspiring and challenging. The month marked a time of strained progression for giants in the Chinese automotive sector including BYD and NIO.1 Despite their commendable strides in technological advancements and market penetration earlier in the year, these companies faced a hiccup in their growth trajectory, largely attributed to a significant economic downturn in China, a crucible for the EV market.

As the companies grapple with an unpredictable home market, questions arise regarding their capacity to maintain the momentum in challenging established players such as Tesla, particularly at a time when the industry is faced with calls to uphold fair competition and abandon “abnormal pricing”.2 A reflection of this challenge is vividly seen in the woes of charging infrastructure providers like Blink Charging and Fuel Cell Energy, which recorded a decline of around 30% in August, reacting to Tesla’s agreements with other EV manufacturers to standardize their charging systems. Even as they draw from their impressive financial performances, with BYD having noted a remarkable 204.68% surge in net profit in their most recent earnings.3

Across the ocean, American automakers have not been left behind in this aggressive race to dominate the EV market. Ford, reaping from its endeavors to amplify production and minimize the costs associated with battery minerals, has slashed the prices of its F-150 Lightning pickup significantly. This move not only delineates the efficacy of cost-saving initiatives but also potentially marks a turning point in making EVs more affordable to the average consumer.4

As companies vie for the top spot in a hotly contested market, the competition has spilled to the tracks with Rimac Nevera dethroning Tesla Model S in the Nurburgring race by establishing a new lap record. This instance not only underscores the fierce competition but also showcases the epitome of EV technology and the boundaries it is pushing in terms of performance. As companies strive to outdo each other on the track, consumers stand to benefit from the trickle-down effect of this technology into mainstream production vehicles.5

Specific Updates on Companies


Over the past month, Nvidia has continued to solidify its standing as a central player not only in the tech industry but increasingly in the automotive sector as well, notably amidst the expansive growth witnessed in the electric car market. In the second quarter ending on July 30, the company reported impressive earnings of $2.70 per share, significantly surpassing the expected $2.09 per share according to Refinitiv. This bullish performance, which saw revenue hitting $13.51 billion against an expected $11.22 billion, can be attributed to Nvidia’s deep foray into the generative AI boom, underscored by their cutting-edge graphics processing units (GPUs) that find pivotal applications in AI chips like the A100 and H100 series.6

These chips are essential in powering AI applications, including those pivotal in autonomous vehicle technologies and advanced driver assistance systems, which are becoming staples in electric cars. The surge in demand for more technologically adept electric vehicles, which house between 1,400 and 3,000 semiconductor chips for various functionalities, underscores Nvidia’s crucial role in the burgeoning sector. With the board of directors authorizing a substantial $25 billion in share buybacks after purchasing $3.28 billion in shares during the quarter, Nvidia is showcasing a robust financial health and confidence in its trajectory. As the firm projects a fiscal third-quarter revenue of about $16 billion, translating to a 170% growth year-on-year, investors can watch this space with a keen eye, bearing in mind the pivotal role Nvidia is playing in the tech-augmented future of the automotive industry.7

Nio Inc

Chinese electric vehicle giant Nio faced a challenging second quarter, as reflected in its recent earnings report. Posting a loss of $835.1 million, more than double its loss from the same period last year, the firm struggled amidst a transition to a new vehicle platform and an economic slowdown in China, exacerbated by a disappointing gross margin of 6.2%, a significant drop from 16.7% a year ago. Despite revenues of 8.77 billion yuan ($1.21 billion), the firm fell short of the 9.25 billion yuan anticipated by Wall Street, resulting in a share dip of 5% in midday trading following the release of its Q2 report. However, not all is grim for Nio; the recent launch of revamped models on its “NT2.0” platform shows signs of rejuvenating the company’s prospects, with July witnessing a robust 20,462 vehicle deliveries, a figure nearly on par with the entire second quarter’s delivery of 23,520 units. This recent uptick suggests that while Nio navigates a period of transition, characterized by substantial discounting on outgoing models, its refreshed lineup might be starting to gain traction.8

Investing in Automobile Innovation with CARS ETF

The Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund returned -13.92% during the month of August. For the month, EOS Energy made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Nvidia and SiTime. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Plug Power, followed by Nio and Quantumscape.


  1. Mackey Frayer, J., & Gao, L. (2023, July 18). Chinese electric vehicle makers lead the world, rivaling U.S. pioneers. NBCNews.com. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/chinese-electric-vehicle-makers-lead-world-rivaling-us-pioneers-rcna88990
  2. Chiang, S. (2023, August 29). Shares of BYD jump after Chinese EV maker posts 200% surge in first half profit. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/29/shares-of-chinas-byd-jump-after-ev-maker-posts-200percent-rise-in-h1-profit.html
  3. (2023, July 7). Tesla and Chinese Rivals Signal Truce in Brutal EV Price War. Bloomberg.com. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-07-06/tesla-chinese-carmakers-sign-fair-competition-pledge-after-cuts
  4. Rosevear, J. (2023a, July 17). Ford cuts prices on its electric F-150 lightning pickups by as much as $10,000. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/17/ford-f-150-lightning-ev-price-cuts.html
  5. Kothari, S. (2023, August 18). Rimac Nevera shatters Tesla’s Ev lap record at Nurburgring by 20 Seconds. InsideEVs. https://insideevs.com/news/682524/rimac-nevera-sets-nurburgring-lap-record/
  6. (2023, August 23). Nvidia tops estimates and says sales will jump 170% This quarter, driven by demand for AI chips. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/23/nvidia-nvda-earnings-report-q2-2024.html
  7. Straughan, D. (2023, September 6). The semiconductor shortage explained: The auto industry’s Big Challenge (2023). Automoblog. https://www.automoblog.net/research/news/semiconductor-shortage-explained/
  8. Rosevear, J. (2023b, August 29). NIO reports wider second-quarter loss amid China slowdown and product line revamp. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/29/nio-earnings-q2-2023.html
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