In September 2023, the electric vehicle (EV) industry faced a significant challenge despite substantial investments from major automakers like Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen. These automakers had committed substantial sums, with Ford alone planning to spend over $50 billion by 2026 on EV production worldwide. However, consumer hesitation in the U.S. was primarily attributed to concerns about the availability of charging infrastructure. A study by Cox Automotive found that 32% of potential EV buyers cited a “lack of charging stations in their area” as a major barrier to their purchase decision. This issue highlights the critical need for a robust charging network to accelerate EV adoption in the country.1
In Europe, the European Union initiated an investigation into subsidies provided to electric vehicle manufacturers in China. This investigation was prompted by evidence of significant market distortions in Europe, where domestically produced vehicles were facing fierce competition from lower-priced Chinese EVs. While this investigation initially targeted Chinese brands, such as NIO and XPeng, Valdis Dombrovskis, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, suggested that non-Chinese brands like Tesla and BMW might also be examined as part of the ongoing subsidy probe. This move reflects the EU’s commitment to maintaining a level playing field in the rapidly growing EV market.2
Meanwhile, Ford’s decision to pause work on a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan raised questions about the future of the project. The uncertainty surrounding the plant’s completion is notable, considering the crucial role of battery manufacturing in the EV supply chain. This decision comes amid a United Auto Workers strike against major automakers, including Ford, GM, and Stellantis, with the transition to electric vehicles being a key point of contention. The outcome of this pause could have far-reaching implications for Ford’s EV ambitions and the broader EV industry’s development in the United States.3
Company Specific Updates
Fisker’s expansion of deliveries for its Ocean SUV into three additional European markets—Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland— since late August is a positive step for the electric vehicle (EV) startup. This move reflects the company’s commitment to establishing a strong presence in the rapidly growing European EV market. By adding these countries to its list of destinations, Fisker is strategically positioning itself to tap into a broader customer base. The CEO, Henrik Fisker, emphasized the importance of this expansion, highlighting their ambition to sell vehicles worldwide.
Fisker’s decision to enter these new markets aligns with its overall growth strategy, which has seen the company launch in several European countries, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K., as well as North American markets like Canada and the U.S. While the company is still in the early stages of its journey, the expansion into additional European countries signifies its determination to compete on a global scale. Investors appear to be taking this news positively, recognizing that Fisker is making the right moves to establish itself as a formidable player in the EV industry.4
EOS Energy Enterprises Inc
In September, EOS Energy Enterprises Inc. made notable progress with Project AMAZE, an initiative aimed at expanding American-made zinc energy storage capacity to meet the rising demand for Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES). The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) committed up to $398.6 million in loan guarantees, covering 80% of the expansion costs in Pennsylvania. This financial support underscores the government’s commitment to domestic energy storage production. Project AMAZE also promises to create green-collar jobs, and the company aims to strengthen the U.S. supply chain, potentially qualifying for tax incentives. Despite an initial positive market response, EOS Energy’s share prices gradually declined throughout September. 5
The Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund returned -10.67% during the month of September. For the month, Fisker made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Rivian and XPeng. The largest detractors to performance for the month were EOS Energy, followed by ams Osram and ChargePoint holdings.
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- Rosevear, J. (2023, September 19). Ev charging needs big improvements soon if the auto industry’s transition is going to work. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/19/ev-charging-industry-improvements.html
- Amaro, S. (2023, September 28). Ev makers such as Tesla could fall under Europe’s subsidy probe into China, EU’s trade chief says. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/28/ev-makers-like-tesla-could-fall-under-europes-subsidy-probe-into-china.html
- Valdes-Dapena, P. (2023, September 25). Ford pausing work on $3.5 billion Michigan Electric Vehicle Battery Plant | CNN business. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/25/business/ford-battery-plant-pause/index.html
- Root, A. (2023, August 28). Ev start-up Fisker expands deliveries. the stock is rising. barrons. https://www.barrons.com/articles/fisker-stock-price-ev-deliveries-9b17c482
- Yahoo! (n.d.). Eos Energy Enterprises announces “Project Amaze,” a $500M program to address long-duration energy storage demand. Yahoo! Finance. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/eos-energy-enterprises-announces-project-200000001.html