Electric Vehicle Industry to Boom in 2021

Here’s a look at companies expected to be big players in the field.

January 18, 2021

NEW YORK—The year 2020 saw plenty of challenges, but it was a great time for electric cars. Tesla’s stock shot up, making it the sixth largest publicly traded company in the U.S., and 2021 looks even more promising for the EV industry, according to FN Media Group, a cross media platform that shared its insight on the industry.

A number of nations worldwide have announced their intent to ban the sale of new combustible engine cars starting in 2030. And in the U.S., California plans to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2035.

With renewed attention to EVs, automakers are racing to introduce new models and boost demand. BMW on Friday announced a goal of doubling sales of EVs in 2021, Reuters reports. In December, Ford rolled out the Mustang Mach-E, an electric SUV, and Volkswagen’s ID.4 is due on dealer lots in March, the New York Times reports. And Kia, a unit of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., plans to unveil by March the first of seven EVs it will introduce by 2027, Bloomberg reports.

In addition to well-known brands, several start-up firms are chasing the EV space.

At one time, Nio, the Chinese EV manufacturer, was rumored to be on the brink of bankruptcy, but the company kept its balance sheet in line, which has paid off, FN Media Group said. After reporting a record number of deliveries and launching its revolutionary "battery-as-a-service" platform, the company's stock price skyrocketed. Nio has added a fast EP9 supercar to its new line of family-friendly, high-performance sedans and wants to retake control of its local market from Elon Musk, FN Media Group said.

Facedrive, an EV maker and the ridesharing platform focused on emissions reduction, is creating its own, entirely new, ecosystem within the industry. The company made headlines as the world's first-ever carbon-offset ridesharing and food delivery platform and is still setting itself apart from competitors. The company recently acquired Washington, D.C.-based Steer, an EV subscription service that lets customers “subscribe” to one of its many versions of EVs, a concept that challenges the idea of car ownership as we know it. Shoppers simply click a button, and the car of their choice will be personally delivered. And customers aren’t limited to one vehicle. They could drive a different car every day if they chose.

Workhorse Group, a commercial transportation and technology company, wants to be the go-to supplier of delivery vehicles. Last year, e-commerce sales soared above the $4 trillion-dollar mark, a number that is expected to grow to $6.5 trillion by 2022. That means millions of deliveries are being made, and the demand for those vehicles is growing. The company is not only focused on producing EVs but also is creating the HorseFly, an unmanned aerial delivery vehicle.

Plug Power, a developer of hydrogen fuel cell systems that replace conventional batteries in EV cars, is riding high, thanks to the hydrogen hype, and its share price is up over 1,200% since last January. Hydrogen is being touted as the fuel of the future and a vital component in the world's race to reduce carbon emissions. 

Bloom Energy, which designs, manufactures and sells solid-oxide fuel cell systems, is on track to be the first fuel-cell maker to be cash-flow positive. Bloom is targeting utility-scale applications of fuel cells and industrial-scale applications.

FuelCell Energy designs, manufactures and operates clean, efficient and reliable fuel-cell power plants. President-elect Joe Biden campaigned for a carbon-free America, and it’s estimated that the U.S. could spend as much as $1.7 trillion on clean energy initiatives during the next 10 years. FuelCell has spent years building a patent moat and developing solutions that will tie into the energy transition.

Convenience and fuel retailers looking for practical advice for providing charging infrastructure should read “Gas Stations Eye an EV Future,” NACS Daily’s reporting of the 2020 NACS Crack the Code Experience session: How to Succeed in the EV Market. 

For more on EVs and their adoption timeline, download the Fuels Institute’s “State of Transportation Energy and Vehicle Electrification” report available at www.fuelsinstitute.org/research.