General Industry Update

A new analysis by Stanford University researchers found that electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling, such as that done by leading U.S. battery recycler Redwood Materials, is shrinking EVs’ environmental footprint and producing up to 80% fewer emissions than the traditional EV battery supply chain.

The use of hard-to-access minerals like lithium, nickel, and cobalt in the production of EV batteries means that EVs have a higher initial carbon footprint compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. While the superior efficiency and fuelless nature of electric motors result in a 70% reduction in total emissions over an EV’s lifespan, there is room to improve. In the U.S., EVs take around 41,000 kilometres to break even with traditional vehicles, for example, assuming all materials end up in landfills.

However, EV batteries are too valuable to landfill, so an industry of EV battery recyclers has emerged, becoming instantly profitable and able to recover over 95% of critical minerals, significantly reducing emissions. The Stanford University study showed that Redwood Materials’ recycling process emits 80% fewer CO2 emissions than traditional methods, shortening an EV’s environmental break-even point to around 24,000 kilometres.

Clean electricity sources further enhance EV environmental benefits, with the rise of renewables promising even shorter break-even periods. According to data from the International Energy Agency, the U.S. grid is set to generate two-thirds of its power from carbon-free sources by 2030. At that point, EVs with recycled batteries that are charged from renewable energy sources could break even on emissions within a matter of months.¹

Company Specific Updates

BYD Company

BYD achieved its highest-ever monthly export volume of EV passenger vehicles in April 2024, selling a total of 313,245 units, marking a 48.96% year-on-year increase and 3.57% growth from the prior month.

The top-selling brand was the BYD Dynasty/Ocean series, totalling 297,864 vehicles, followed by Denza (11,122 units), Fangchengbao (2,110 units), and Yangwang (952 units).

April was a significant month for BYD, characterized by a shift from intense price competition to substantial product introductions, including the updated Denza N7 and the Auto China 2024 debut of the BYD Shark pickup truck and the new Yangwang U7. Set for release later this year, the U7 model expands BYD’s luxury lineup.

BYD’s expansion into overseas markets also saw remarkable growth in April, with export volume reaching 41,011 units, a 176.6% year-on-year increase. Since July 2022, cumulative overseas sales of BYD’s new energy passenger vehicles have exceeded 430,000 units, with almost 140,000 units sold just between January and April 2024.²

Tesla Inc

Tesla has secured provisional approval from Chinese authorities to roll out its driver-assistance system in China, the largest automobile market globally. The approval, subject to conditions, was granted after Tesla finalized a mapping and navigation partnership with Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally pursued this clearance during a recent surprise visit to China, aiming to boost revenue.

Although Tesla’s system requires ongoing supervision and doesn’t render its electric cars fully autonomous, these features are available in the U.S. for $8,000 or as a $99 monthly subscription. Such driver-assistance systems are becoming increasingly popular in China, with local competitors like Xpeng Inc and Xiaomi Corp. leveraging them to attract buyers.

Teaming up with Baidu, recognized as one of China’s top mapping suppliers, will enable Tesla to utilize the company’s advanced mapping services. Tesla has already been utilizing Baidu’s mapping and navigation for some services since 2020. This move positions Tesla to potentially regain lost market share and profitability in China’s competitive automotive landscape.³

CARS ETF: Investing in Future Cars, Driving Our World Forward

The auto industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in generations and there is a growing demand for ways to invest in this industry.

The Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund (CARS ETF), is Canada’s first automobile innovation ETF. CARS takes a diversified approach to invest in the development of electric cars, self-driving cars, and automobile innovation, including in some of the world’s leading manufacturers and automobile companies. CARS is a great way to gain access to the future of the automobile and shift your investments into gear.

For more information on the Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund or any of Evolve ETF’s lineup of exchange-traded funds, please visit our website or contact

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, BYD Company made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by AMS Osram AG and Xpeng Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were VinFast Auto Ltd, followed by Plug Power Inc and ChargePoint Holdings Inc.



  1. Randall, T., “Battery Recycling Shatters the Myth of Electric Vehicle Waste,” Bloomberg, April 24, 2024;
  2. “BYD achieves best-ever monthly new energy passenger vehicle export volume in April 2024,” Gasgoo, May 03 , 2024;
  3. “Tesla Soars on Tentative China Approval for Driving System,” Bloomberg News, April 29, 2024;

Header Image Source: Getty Images Credit: Yuichiro Chino

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