Disruptive Tech Theme of the Week: Electric Vehicles

In my new role as head of thematic strategy at VettaFi, I aim to bring you a weekly disruptive tech theme to consider. Even prior to this week’s spike in oil prices associated with renewed tensions in the Middle East, last week was ramping up to be a big week for electric vehicles (EVs) and their supply chain.

EV-Related Current Events

Here are just a few of the key highlights:

  1. Tesla cut prices on it Model 3 and Model Y vehicles as competition continues to heat up in the EV space and Tesla tries to hold on to its dominant position. Adding to their price cuts, most Teslas also qualify for Inflation Reduction Act tax credits. These entitle purchasers to a $7,500 federal tax credit in addition to local incentives.
  2. Tesla’s sales trends in the U.S. and Europe remain robust. However, Tesla is losing share to local competitor BYD in China in price wars there. Tesla’s China-made EV sales dropped 10.9% in September per the China Passenger Car Association. Tesla’s problems in China are a significant issue, as China made up 65% of global new electric vehicle (NEV) sales in August.
  3. EV vehicle registrations were up 45% year over year in August and now equal 18% of the world’s total auto sales. If you add plug-less hybrids into the mix, one-quarter of global car registrations now have some form of electrification! In terms of the tech adoption S-curve, that is a significant disruption milestone. Globally, 100% battery electric vehicles (BEVs) now represent 70% of the YTD market share of plug-in electric vehicles sold.
  4. One interesting note reported by Bloomberg CityLab, is that hybrids are regaining popularity amid cost and charging concerns.
  5. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has said that it will not further expand its strike after winning a major breakthrough, bringing electric vehicle battery plants into the union’s national contract.