While lockdowns have been in place around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people only ventured out on four wheels when they needed to get groceries. The International Energy Agency reported that at the end of March, road transport was down by half. Naturally, new vehicle sales have suffered. What is intriguing is that this has mainly affected cars with internal combustion engines produced by traditional automakers such as General Motors GM, Ford Motor F and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCAU.
But despite the drop in its biggest market, China, the demand for electric vehicles held up rather well. Germany topped the bill with a 148 percent increase according to Bloomberg, but then again, EVs are central to its recovery plan. Although the majority of us immediately think of Tesla Inc TSLA that is showing no signs of stopping as it delivered its fourth consecutive quarter of profit despite the pandemic-induced havoc, there are other EV stocks to keep an eye on.
EV Charging Network
Miami, Florida-based Blink Charging BLNK owns and operates an EV charging network across the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Greece, and Israel. It operates, maintains and tracks those EV charging stations through cloud software.
Over its first quarter, the company enjoyed a solid growth as its revenue of $1.3 million increased 125% on a year-over-year basis. Its gross margin also improved from 9.3% to 23.8%.
Blink's international expansion continued with its second quarter as $2.9 million in revenues during the first six months of 2020 surpassed full-year 2019 revenues of $2.8 million. Product sales of EV charging equipment increased more than 350% with overall 2020 revenues increasing 120%. But it still has a long way to go to profitability as net loss amounted to $3.0 million.
Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF DRIV is an exchange-traded fund that seeks to invest in companies involved in the development of autonomous vehicle technology, electric vehicles, its components and materials, such as batteries, software and hardware.
It has 75 holdings with net assets close to $30 million. Since we are still on the first pages of the EV book, many of these funds resemble broader tech ETFs. The fund's top three holdings are none other than Apple AAPL, Nvidia NVDA, and Microsoft Corporation MSFT. Tesla is also in there, of course, but in seventh place. The top ten companies account for almost one-third of the fund. Year-to-date, the fund is up about 9% and it hit an all-time high of $16.25 less than a month ago.
Battery Technology Developments
Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF LIT has 43 holdings with net assets close to $690 million. It focuses on the whole lithium cycle: from mining and refining the metal, all the way through battery production.
The main disadvantage of EVs is their hefty price tag. This figure is greatly influenced by the cost of the car battery. This is an area where lithium-ion batteries are heavily used. Therefore, anyone who believes in electrification should keep track of the developments on this front.
The fund's top three components are Albemarle ALB, Tesla, and LG Chem LGCLF. They comprise approximately 22% of the fund. More impressively, the fund is up over 37% year to date and has hit a 52-week high at $38.71 just a month ago.
Technology Advancements Ahead
Automakers need to find out a way to achieve economies of scale to make EVs more affordable and build a massive charging infrastructure all over the globe, which is perhaps an even more daunting task. But these stocks have what it takes to lead the way into electrification with new technological developments.
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