My interest in the growing EV market was never about investing directly in emerging EV makers. I never found the Tesla (TSLA) story to be overly compelling, while for all other EV makers, it is still a niche market in which most of them are participating while taking a loss on each and every EV they sell. I am more interested in the progress this niche market is making in cutting into the ICE-powered vehicle market share, as a way to gauge to what extent it may play a role in oil demand going forward. I am also interested in gauging future lithium demand, which is used in EV batteries. I currently own some Albemarle (ALB) stock, as well as a number of oil producers, therefore I find it important to continue keeping a close eye on EV market developments. The market that I find most fascinating at the moment is the European market, because I believe European auto makers will be at the forefront of the early years of EV market competition. It's a competition which I believe is only now getting started, with some of the first true mass-market cars hitting the market, aside from Tesla's model 3, which is still in a price range that is not competitive with mass-market sedans. I believe that what happens in Europe in regards to EVs is by far the best gauge of the global future of EVs and therefore how other aspects of the global economy will be impacted.
Not long ago Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) produced quite a buzz with the announcement of a 20,000 Euro ($23,000) EV. The announcement was made late last year and it seems that it may simply be an upgraded version of the e-UP, with an extended range, among other things. If that is the case, we are looking at something that will drive for about 150-180 miles on a charge. It is a practical range for European driving needs, given that most driving destinations tend to be much shorter compared with conditions in North America. Even most longer range destinations will be within reach with only one charge stop along the way, or two at the most. As long as the charging infrastructure is available, it seems like a reasonable EV option. It is said that it will be available next year. I personally think that it will have some limited success, but it is by no means something that will make a huge impact on the overall European auto market.