A flurry of new electric cars are on the way but Tesla’s still ahead
China is dominating electric vehicle supply and demand over the medium term, but US and European carmakers are planning big roll-outs of lithium-ion battery-powered electric models.
In September, established German car-markers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all unveiled their first all-electric SUVs for release over the next two years.
Increasing activity in the Electric Vehicle (EV) space is good news for ASX-listed producers of battery materials such a lithium, cobalt and graphite.
German car makers will be putting more than 150 new electric-powered models on the roads over the next five to eight years, according to the German auto industry association VDA.
Last week Audi launched its e-tron quattro electric SUV which will compete with the new electric Mercedes-Benz EQC and BMW’s upcoming BMW iX3, reports CarAdvice.
The latest e-tron model didn’t “set new benchmarks in the premium EV segment” but it was better than the Mercedes EQC, UBS analyst Patrick Hummel noted.
Still, Audi’s e-tron SUV launch showed just how far ahead of the competition Tesla was, according to UBS.
In the US, a $US1 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia — to commercially launch its first EV in 2020 — has placed carmaker Lucid into the spotlight.
The funding will be used towards Lucid’s EV development and testing, the construction of a $700m factory in Arizona, and production and rollout.
The company has said the base price for the Lucid Air would be about $US52,000.
— Lucid Motors (@Lucid_Motors) September 7, 2018
And Volvo EV start-up Polestar, based in Sweden, will start limited production of its expensive hybrid Polestar 1 in mid-2019 at its new production centre in China. The first full year of production – albeit a very limited run — has already sold out.
The Polestar 2 — to be revealed in 2019 and in production by 2020 — will be the company’s first full battery EV and is designed to compete with the cheaper Tesla Model 3.