According to Bloomberg Intelligence, Volkswagen is sworn to be the leading manufacturer in Europe for battery electric vehicles as early as 2024, surpassing the infamous Tesla.In a race for top battery electric vehicle sales, a global report released by Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) reveals that Tesla is likely to retain its global number one position for battery electric vehicles (BEV) at least for the next 18 months. As it currently stands, legacy automakers are struggling to sell a meaningful share of BEVs in 2022 and 2023. The report entitled Battery Electric Vehicles Report – Automakers Race to the Top shows that traditional automakers lack incentive to make profit in the short term from BEV sales. However, that is not the case for Volkswagen (VW) as it is predicted that VW will overtake Tesla’s BEV volume in 2024 as the global BEV demand is set to more than double-out in 2025.
Challenging Tesla’s billion-dollar market capChallenging Tesla’s $686 billion dollar market cap – which is almost double that of all US and EU legacy automakers combined – the report highlights that legacy automakers are unlikely to succeed in divesting BEV-related assets that are intertwined with their combustion operations and whose cash flows are paying for the transition. According to this report VW is the exception and is on track to launch an IPO of its Porsche brand in Q4. Given the company’s potential 30% BEV sales mix in 2023 and about 45% in 2025, it is significantly ahead of peers and could attract a luxury based €85 billion valuation for the IPO and, possibly, an even higher tech-oriented valuation. “There are a number of challenging external factors to consider and bold BEV ambitions have done little to prevent crisis-level valuation multiples, stoked by recession fears, rising interest rates, supply-chain constraints and inflation,” said Dean.
Soaring prices for electric battery vehicles pose a challengeBattery prices continue to soar, which is critical to the cost competitiveness for BEVs. Volkswagen is investing up to €30bn in the supply chain, including the opening of six new battery-cell plants in Europe by 2030. Swedish battery developer Northvolt starts production on premium cells for it in 2023, notes Bloomberg Intelligence, while Audi’s midsize Q4 BEV SUV already has a similar margin to its internal-combustion-engine counterpart, the Q3. Steve Man, Senior China Automotive Industry Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence said: “China’s carrot-and-stick approach to stoking EV sales could push battery-electrics to account for 25% of all passenger vehicle purchases by 2025. Sales in China have surged since the launch of the country’s new energy vehicle credit programme despite erratic component supply.”
Legacy car brands play catch-upVolkswagen, BMW and other foreign brands’ sales in China may come at the expense of pricing and profitability, having ceded first-mover advantage to Tesla and local makers. BYD, Nio, Xpeng and other local firms are rapidly closing the technology and branding gaps, wooing consumers not only with driving range and power, but also lower prices, luxury trim and even virtual-reality entertainment. According to Kevin Tynan, Senior North American Automotive Industry Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, Ford is set to spin the electric vehicle narrative away from Tesla with the F-150 Lightning getting an early – and year-long – jump on the competition and making Ford the first automaker to ramp up production of a full-size battery-only pickup truck. “General Motors and Tesla won’t compete in this space before 2023 and Rivian’s small scale makes it unthreatening,” said Tynan.
“Japanese automakers are crafting their electrified vehicle strategies with comprehensive offerings to meet the requirements of different markets. The industry is poised to accelerate electrification efforts, leveraging expertise gained from hybrids, which now dominate their domestic market, to compete, including in battery electric vehicles,” said Tatsuo Yoshida, Senior Japanese Automotive Industry Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. Full report: “BI Battery Electric Vehicles Report – Automakers Race to the Top”. The BI report specifically forecasts automaker’s battery electric vehicles sales up to 2025. For a longer-term view on electric vehicles up to 2050, please refer to BloombergNEF’s latest Long-Term Electric Vehicle Outlook 2022.