TOP EV NEWS #1 – A SUCCESSFUL IPO FOR CHJ AUTO
In my Week 29 Top 5 EV newsletter, I reported that CHJ Automotive (“Leading Ideal”) filed a prospectus to raise a $100 million on the NASDAQ. The company floated its shares on the 30th of July under the stock code “Li” at $11.5, which saw it raise over $1 billion. The price closed up 43.13% on the day at $16.46, giving it a market cap of $13.917 billion, slightly lower than its compatriot, NIO’s US$14.42 billion market value.
The company proved that it could efficiently apply its funding, bringing its first model to market with as little as 1 billion US dollars. To date, the company has raised over two billion dollars and will use the current injection to develop its L4 autonomous driving platform, strategic expansion, and the development of new models.
Leading Ideal is one of the success stories in the current EV start-up environment. The company has already sold over 10,000 units of its large range-extended SUV, the Ideal One, which was launched in December 2019. In contrast to NIO, Leading Ideal has already achieved a positive gross profit margin while holding a large cash reserve.
Previously company founder and CEO Li Xiang disclosed that 50% of the capital of Ideal Auto is invested in research and development, 30% in the plant, and less than 20% in personnel and marketing.
In Q1 2020 Leading Ideal already achieved a gross profit of 68.288 million yuan, which it expects to double in Q2 2020. The Q1 gross profit margin is 8.01%. Li Xiangzeng set a goal for the company of being cash flow positive within five years, and not be depended on external funding for its growth. He further targets a 20% share of China’s new energy vehicle market by 2025 and be a leader in autonomous driving. In 2019 Leading Ideal developed its own operating system, called Li-OS.
The company plans to bring a second large SUV to market in 2022 and further plans to develop mid and high-end SUVs priced between 150,000 and 500,000 yuan. Like Tesla, Leading Ideal has also adopted a direct sales model and had 700 sales and service personnel 21 retail stores, 18 distribution centers, and 17 service centers throughout China, enough to support a sales target of 100,000 vehicles.
“Li” is certainly a stock to keep a close eye on.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – KANDI TO LAUNCH TWO EVs IN AMERICA
In 2018 Kandi partnered with SC Autosports to launch the K22 and EX3 in the USA. The Chinese KANDI, which is also listed on the Nasdaq (NASD: KNDI) acquired in SC Autosports in 2018 as Kandi America, but to date have not delivered on initially planned K22 and EX3 launch. This week Kandi America announced that it would hold a virtual event on the 18th of August to launch two models in the USA, initially focusing on the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
The two models that will be launched on the 18th of August are the K23 MPV and K27 city car, which will be the cheapest EV in the USA, priced at $12,999 after incentives. The K23 MPV is priced at $22,499 after federal tax credits and have an estimated range of 180 miles (288km), while the K27 with its 17.69kWh battery can achieve a 100 miles (160km). The vehicles are available pre-launch for a refundable deposit of only $100. Interestingly enough Kandi sold a K27 model in China in 2018, which looks vastly different than the one now introduced to the US market.
Kandi‘s fortunes lagged after being an initial top seller in the Chinese small EV segment in 2017. As a reflection of its performance, the company’s share price has been struggling until now but jumped over 300% on the announcement.
The jump in Kandi’s share price is another testament to investors’ craziness rushing head-on into anything EV related. It is yet to be seen how US consumers’ biasses towards range anxiety, Chinese cars, and their safety aspects will play out for Kandi. It is a proper Pig market out there as greed rather than sensibility prevails, similar to the rush and subsequent flight from Nikola, a company that has yet to produce a production vehicle.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – NEW MITSUBISHI EV STRATEGY
One by one, the chickens are coming home to roost for failing to see the shift to the electrification of the transport sector. After announcing horrific results for a second year running, the rumor mill has been churning that Mitsubishi will exit the European market.
This week Mitsubishi presented a new strategy, which sees the Japanese company culling one of its popular ICE models, the Pajero, and indeed partly exciting the European market in an effort to slash costs. The new strategy also shifts towards electrification as the company will introduce a new electric Kei car offensive.
Mitsubishi is retreating to its base as the company announced that it would freeze the launch of new models in Europe, essentially killing the anticipated launch of the new Mitsubishi Outlander on the continent in 2021. Mitsubishi still plans to bring a new Outlander to the ASEAN market in 2022, as well as a plug-in version of the Eclipse Crossover and a new EV for the Chinese market.
In 2019 Mitsubishi announced that it would partner with Nissan in reviving its Kei car range popularised by the i-Miev early in the previous decade. This week, the company announced that it gave the green light for the investment of 8 billion yen (ca $76 million) in its Mizushima plant to produce a new range of Kei-cars. Kei-cars are light automobiles, or city cars, and are the smallest highway-capable vehicles.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – NEW MERCEDES T-CLASS
Mercedes announced that it is bringing a new small van to market which will also be available in a pure electric platform. The new small van is named the T-Class and will be developed in cooperation with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. The T-Class designation stands for efficient room concepts.
According to Mercedes the T-Class is created for the families and active leisure enthusiasts and will be available from the first half of 2022. The T-Class offers a spacious interior suited for a range of uses, including ride-hailing and tourism applications. The new T-Class has wide-opening sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle. No further specifications or designs related to the electric vehicle platform or the design have been released to date.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – NEW EV BRAND FROM POLAND
In 2016 the Polish Government, through four state-owned energy companies, created ElectricMobility Poland to develop the countries first indigenous car brand and establish itself in the EV sector. The company was founded with 70 million zloty.
Auto manufacturing is the second-largest contributor to the Polish economy, but none of the brands are Polish owned. The Polish Government aims to aggressively electrify its transport sector and targeted 1 million EVs on its roads by 2025. This plan received a boost in the past week with the unveiling of the new car brand by ElectricMobility Poland. The new brand is called Izera, inspired by the Izera Mountains on Poland’s border with the Czech Republic. The company plans to open an assembly line in Silesia in southern Poland, by the middle of 2021.
During the launch, the company presented two prototypes, a hatchback, and crossover. Both cars are fully electric, which is said to be developed on a third-party platform. Although now indication has been given on who will supply the EV platform for Izera’s ambitions, talk is that it could either be the new PSA eVMP platform or even licensed from Tesla.
The prototypes were designed by the Italian firm Torino Design with the help of the Polish designer Tadeusz Jelec. Headline specifications released at the launch indicated the Izera targets a range of 400 km (250 miles) and acceleration to 100km/h in 8 seconds. Izera also plans to make its cars available throughout Europe.
Top 5 EV News Week 32 2020 | Cadillac Lyriq unveiled. Yet another Chinese EV startup IPO. Three new EV models launched this week.
Top 5 EV News Week 30 2020 | Chengdu Auto Show, Hozon Neta IPO, VW invest in China, eVito Tourer for sale
Top 5 EV News Week 29 2020: Two worlds – Chinese EV investor hardship vs USA EV Investor frenzy. Nissan Ariya, Workhorse C1000 and Buick Velite 7.