The electric vehicle boom has been one of the few bright spots for investors in 2020.
Tesla has seen its stock price climb by more than 445% this year.
NIO stocks have soared by more than 1070%.
And even charging companies like PLUG have seen their stock prices rise by more than 630%.
In what has been a perfect storm for this nascent sector, traditional companies have seen their value destroyed, the world’s biggest hedge funds have started to redirect their investments towards ESG stocks and multiple governments are preparing for a clean energy transition as the COVID recovery begins.
But amidst all this good news - and what seems to be an irreversible shift in sentiment in global markets - one of the most impressive EV developments of the decade seems to have gone under the radar.
The EV industry has finally solved its most pressing problem: accessibility.
Electric vehicles are finally making the move from being a luxury for the rich to the transportation of the many.
And it isn’t just the sales price that’s dropping, new innovations from companies like Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF) mean that even Tesla’s most expensive car will soon be available for the average American.
The electric vehicle revolution is well and truly underway, and for investors, 2020 is only the beginning.
Solving A Major EV Problem
Despite all the hype around electric vehicles and the incredible rate of technological breakthroughs, the truth is that sales of electric vehicles are increasing at a painfully slow rate.
There are two main reasons for this.
Electric vehicles are yet to reach price competitiveness with gasoline-powered cars.
The rate of improvement in the technology means any EV you buy today will likely be outdated within a year or two.
But all of that is about to change.
Canada’s favorite tech darling, Facedrive (TSXV:FD,OTC:FDVRF), believes it has solved these problems with its recent purchase of Steer – an EV subscription service that means you can not only afford to drive an EV, but you can make sure you are driving the latest model.
And it isn’t just Facedrive that loves this idea, Steer is backed by the energy giant Exelon (NASDAQ:EXC) as it tries to disrupt the $5 trillion global transportation market.
Because when electric cars become the norm, the entire model of the auto industry will have to change.
Just like we all race to get the latest iPhone model or the most modern computer – our desire for the newest electric vehicle will be undeniable.
An electric vehicle subscription service like Steer will not only solve the single biggest problem that the EV industry faces, ultimately it could help make electric vehicles the only acceptable choice for most consumers.
An ESG Revolution
By now, the entire investment world is aware of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) trend that is taking over markets.
The CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock, believes that we are “on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance”.
And when a company with more than $7 trillion under management says markets are about to change, it’s generally a good idea to listen.
For Facedrive this transformation could not have come at a better time. The company is determined to become the first-ever entirely ESG ecosystem, working on everything from emissions-free transportation and food delivery, to community-centered social and sports apps, and a COVID-tracing system designed to counter the global pandemic.
It’s a business model that has sent Facedrive’s market cap above $1 billion and has forced industry giants to go on the defensive.
Ultimately, the era of public companies chasing profit at the expense of all else is essentially over. For a modern company to be viable, it must account for and counter any negative impact on local communities or the environment.
As the ESG revolution picks up pace, this people-and-planet first approach to business has already grabbed the attention of some incredibly powerful and influential figures.
Big Names Making Big Moves
It is no secret that some of the biggest names in investment, tech, and finance are determined to use their money for good.
Over 3,100 investors with more than $110 trillion under management have signed the Principles for Responsible Investment, which involves including ESG factors in their investment decisions.
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and nearly every other tech billionaire have committed huge sums of money to their pursuit of ‘making the world a better place’.
And the biggest asset manager in the world is increasing its exposure to ESG at an incredible rate, which was reflected in the recent report that it has increased its stake in Beyond Meat by more than 40%.
Facebook’s purchase of Steer has seen energy giant Exelon come on board.
And the COVID tracing technology developed by Facedrive got support from Air Canada, the Canadian government, and Microsoft.
Facedrive has found itself at a crossroads where big names, big money, and big ideas are all colliding.
And now its electric vehicle subscription service is promising to help accelerate the hottest investment sector of 2020.
As far as Facedrive is concerned, the future has already arrived.
Other Companies Riding The ESG Wave
Tech giants are among the leaders in the sustainability push. Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Google have all made massive commitments to the cause, paving a path for others in the industry to do the same.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), for its part, has taken the climate goals particularly seriously. Not only have they made dramatic progress towards their goal to run on 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020, they’re working to build more water-efficient data centers. In fact, their data centers use 80 percent less water than typical data centers.
In 2019, Facebook became the number one corporate buyer of renewable energy in the United States, and second in the world. It has also made major investments in developing renewable projects in Texas, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.
Facebook has even gone a step further with its focus on building more sustainable workplaces. It’s building designs incorporate a number of renewable energy sources and water recycling methods, in addition to promoting the recycling and sustainability of all products consumed on site.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is also pushing the sustainability trend along in a big way. Not only has it always been on the cutting edge of innovation, it’s taking a serious stance on the climate crisis. In fact, it’s pushing so hard that it is aiming to be carbon NEGATIVE by 2030. That’s a huge pledge. And if anyone can do it, it’s Microsoft.
The tech giant has made numerous investments in clean energy across the globe. From Ohio to the Netherlands, Microsoft is pouring millions into solar and wind projects to not only help reduce its own carbon footprint, but also help neighboring communities do the same.
In addition to its investments and green operations, Microsoft is also building the next generation of hardware and software to help the world reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Its Azure IoT, for example, connects and manages internet-connected solar panels to improve efficiency and open a line for an entirely new way of sharing energy within communities.
Conor Kelly, the software engineer who is leading the distributed solar energy project for Microsoft Azure IoT explained, “We need to decarbonize the global economy to avoid catastrophic climate change,” adding, “The first thing we can do, and the easiest thing we can do, is focus on electricity.”
Not to be outdone, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is rethinking how we approach energy use entirely. Despite being one of the largest companies on the planet, in many ways it has lived up to its original “Don’t Be Evil” slogan. Not only is Google powering its data centers with renewable energy, it is also on the cutting edge of innovation in the industry, investing in new technology and green solutions to build a more sustainable tomorrow. It’s bid to reduce its carbon footprint has been well received by both younger and older investors. And as the need to slow down climate change becomes increasingly dire, it’s easy to see why.
Its focus is on raising the bar for smarter and more efficient use of the world’s limited resources. It is building sustainable, energy-efficient data centers and workplaces. It is also harnessing artificial intelligence to utilize energy more efficiently.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained, “We are committed to doing our part. Sustainability has been a core value for us since Larry and Sergey founded Google two decades ago. We were the first major company to become carbon neutral in 2007. We were the first major company to match our energy use with 100 percent renewable energy in 2017. We operate the cleanest global cloud in the industry, and we’re the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.”
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always been a pioneer in the tech world. Ex-CEO Steve Jobs paved the way to a greener future for the company and the industry as a whole. From the products themselves, to the packages they came in, and even the data centers powering them, Steve Jobs went above and beyond to cut the environmental impact of his company.
Apple has made significant moves towards renewables. All of Apple’s operations run on 100% renewable energy, and it is even extending this philosophy to its distributors and manufacturers. Not only have they decreased their average product’s energy use by 70 percent. They’ve reduced their total carbon footprint by more than 35 percent in just a few short years. All while securing the title as the World’s First Trillion Dollar Company
"We proved that 100 percent renewable is 100 percent doable. All our facilities worldwide—including Apple offices, retail stores, and data centers—are now powered entirely by clean energy. But this is just the beginning of how we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. We’re continuing to go further than most companies in measuring our carbon footprint, including manufacturing and product use. And we’re making great progress in those areas too," CEO Tim Cook explained.
Not even the supermajors in the oil industry can ignore the ESG demand from investors. They’ve been diversifying their portfolios to hedge their bets in the rapidly changing new reality of energy. And no other oil major takes this more seriously than Total (NYSE:TOT). Total has led the charge to go green. It is not only aware of the needs that are not being met by a significant portion of the world’s growing population, it is also hyper-aware of the looming climate crisis if changes are not made.
As such, Total is not only betting big on renewable energy, it is also doing its part in reducing emissions in its day-to-day activities. Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Total noted, “It’s our job to meet growing energy needs while reducing carbon emissions.”
It's also one of the most conscious companies in the business. Total checks every box in the ESG checklist. It is promoting diversity and safety, making massive changes in its operations to ensure that its business is environmentally sound, and has even committed to going carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner. It’s no surprise that shareholders are loving its forward-thinking approach.
Canadian companies are doing their part as well:
Telecom giant Shaw Communications Inc (TSE:SJR.B) is a great example. Shaw is taking a leadership role among Canadian telecom providers through its use of renewable energy, In fact, it is one of the biggest customers of Bullfrog Power which sources its electricity from a blend of wind energy and hydropower. It is also building its own portfolio of clean energy investments.
In addition to its green energy investments, it’s also embarked on an initiative to power its data centers with renewables and even implemented software to create more efficient routes for its drivers which will reduce
BCE Inc (TSX:BCE)) is another Canadian telecom giant going to great lengths to reduce its carbon footprint. In fact, the company was named one of Canada’s greenest employers in 2019. For the past 25 years, BCE has been at the forefront of the environmental movement. Their environmental management system (EMS) has been certified to be ISO 14001-compliant since 2009.
In addition to its sustainability push, BCE is also a great place to work. It’s one of the country’s top family-friendly employers and has magnificent hiring practices, making it a great pick for ESG investors.
Boralex Inc. (TSX:BLX) is a homegrown Canadian renewable firm. It has had a great influence in the adoption of renewable electricity domestically, and it’s even branching out into the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. The company’s primary energies are produced through wind, hydroelectric, thermal, and solar sources and help power the homes of many people across the world.
Canada’s Silicon Valley is joining the ESG race, too. Shopify Inc (TSX:SH) Canada’s own e-commerce giant helps users build their own online stores. It has huge clients – everyone from Tesla to Budweiser are on board. And the company is beloved by millennial investors. In addition to its revolutionary approach to e-commerce, Shopify is playing an increasingly active role in creating a greener tomorrow. It has committed to spending at least $5 million annually to help combat climate change. It’s even making cuts throughout its own operations, decommissioning its data centers, and sourcing renewable power for its buildings.
By. Michael Kern
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Forward looking statements in this publication include that Facedrive will be able to expand to the US and globally; that transport in an EV will become much more popular and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that riders are not as attracted to EV rides as expected; that competitors may offer better or cheaper alternatives to the Facedrive businesses; the company’s ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; and whether markets justify additional expansion. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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