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Reality Check


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What’s going on?

Bank of America reckons there’s about to be a surge of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the electric vehicle space, but overzealous investors might want to tread carefully…

What does this mean?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are only getting more popular as time goes by, and companies in the sector – car, battery, and charging station makers alike – have been trying to raise cash to meet that rising demand. So they’ve increasingly been listing on global stock markets via initial public offerings (IPOs), and investors have been keen to get in on the action. Just look at Rivian: the electric truckmaker raised nearly $12 billion in the biggest IPO of the year earlier this month, and its shares are already 47% above their initial listing price. And since other EV companies are set to follow in its auspicious tire tracks, Bank of America’s made a bold prediction: it reckons the industry could raise a total of $100 billion from IPOs by 2023.

Why should I care?

For markets: This is getting silly.

Investors have pushed EV valuations to all-time highs, with industry leader Tesla alone having seen its stock price climb nearly 1,600% in the last two years. But Research Affiliates has warned that this might be a sign of so-called “market delusion”, where valuations in a hot industry all rise in sync even though the rival companies can’t possibly all be winners. And when that fever breaks, you’d better hope you’re holding the right stock…

The bigger picture: The US revs its engine.

Someone needs to power all those EVs, which is why battery-makers are taking steps to keep up too: the top 10 in the world are expected to nearly triple their combined manufacturing capacity by 2022, according to Bloomberg. All of those are headquartered in Asia, with China alone making 80% of the world’s batteries. But the US is trying to change that: it passed a bill last week that’ll provide $6 billion in grants to battery-makers and their materials producers.

Originally Posted on November 25, 2021 – Reality Check

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