Tuesday, October 20, 2020

General Motors unveils the 2022 GMC Hummer EV sport utility truck

The new Hummer EV sport utility truck, or SUT, is the "world's first supertruck". Available for $112,600 starting in 2021.
  • The GMC Hummer EV pickup will be the first real test of GM to directly compete against Tesla.

The Detroit automaker resurrects the Hummer as an all-electric “supertruck” that’s set to go on sale in roughly a year – likely ahead of Tesla’s Cybertruck. It will be GM’s first real test as a competitor against Tesla. It also will be the first vehicle with the company’s next-generation EV platform and batteries, known as Ultium.

The Hummer EV sport utility truck is expected to be one of the first electric trucks available for sale next year. It is anticipated to be a lifestyle truck more than a work truck and arrive in dealer lots before the Cybertruck as well as pickups from start-ups such as Rivian.

Ford is scheduled to release an electric version of its F-150 pickup by mid-2022. It is expected to be more work-oriented and compete more against an anticipated pickup from start-up Lordstown Motors than the Hummer. GM has confirmed plans for a Chevrolet work truck but the company has not released timing.

GM says the vehicle will offer the performance of an exotic sports car, including zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds, as well as off-road capability “that’s second to none.” Plus, it will have fast charging of up to 100 miles of range in 10 minutes as well as a host of new technologies such as GM’s next-generation driver-assist system that allows hands-free driving on highways.

The technologies and performance will come at a cost though. Initial availability of the Hummer EV pickup next fall will start at $112,595, including destination charges, for a launch version called the “Edition 1.” A $99,995 version will be available a year later, followed by $89,995 and $79,995 models in the springs of 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The vehicle will be produced at a factory in Detroit that the automaker recently renamed “Factory Zero,” a nod to the company’s pivot toward zero-emission vehicles. It’s in the process of overhauling the facility with $2.2 billion in new investments.

GM decided to open up reservations for the electric pickup with a $100 deposit. Within about an hour of launching reservations, GM showed the Hummer EV Edition 1 reservations as “full.”
The $112,595 Hummer EV sport utility truck sells out in 1 hour.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Market update: The S&P 500 corrects 10% from recent high (21 Sept 2020)

At its low today, the S&P 500 was down 10.0% from the record high it set earlier this month -- a decline often described as a "correction." This might have been the green light for many investors and traders to buy the dip in the last hour of trading. 


  • Nasdaq Composite +20.1% 
  • S&P 500 +1.6% 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -4.9% 
  • Russell 2000 -11.0% 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Electric cars : Solid-state lithium battery maker QuantumScape

Solid-state lithium battery maker QuantumScape is becoming a publicly traded entity through a merger with special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Kensington Capital Acquisition (NYSE:KCAC). QuantumScape wants to disrupt the automotive industry—and the EV space—by offering a better mousetrap.

Including $200 million from the Kensington’s trust fund and a $500 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE, the transaction will provide about $700 million in proceeds to QuantumScape. The deal values the company at about $3.3 billion.

None of the current shareholders are using the transaction as a chance to cash out—a good sign for any SPAC transaction. After the deal closes, QuantumScape will have north of $1 billion of cash on its balance sheet.

For QuantumScape, the “SPAC deal represented was a much faster and more streamlined way to become public compared with the traditional IPO process,” explains founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh. “Combined with the value that partnering with Kensington in particular brings—they’re a bunch of auto guys—it just made the most sense to take this route.”

Kensington Capital, the SPAC sponsor, is an automotive industry focused investment bank based outside of New York City. Justin Mirro, the SPAC’s chairman and CEO, began his career at General Motors (GM) before moving to investment banking focused on the automotive sector.
EVs appear to be taking over the car business—as the epic rise in Tesla (TSLA) stock portends. Telsa is now the world’s most valuable car company by a wide margin.

That makes EV batteries very important to the auto industry and to investors. Solid-state batteries promise lower cost and higher power density than existing battery technology. That’s a panacea for EV makers—a battery that is relatively cheap and light weight, making the upfront costs of EVs comparable to gasoline-powered cars. Solid state batteries charge faster too.

It’s taken a while to get solid state right. QuantumScape believes it is there, pointing out that Volkswagen (VOW.Germany) has tested and validated Quantum’s solid-state batteries and plans to commercialize them by 2025. That might feel like a long way off, but “the automotive cycle is long,” explains Singh. “People have recognized solid state potential for decades.”

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Electric cars: Xpeng Motors

Xpeng Motors (NYSE:XPEV)  began trading on the NYSE on Wed 26 Aug 20
  • Xpeng is the third Chinese electric vehicle startup to go public in New York after Nio's (NIO) $1 billion IPO two years ago and Li Auto's (LI) recent $1.1 billion IPO.
  • Electric car stocks have benefited both from Tesla's surge this year and as governments and automakers promote emissionless technology.
  • Major investors: Alibaba Group (BABA), Coatue, and Qatar Investment Authority.


P7 sedan

The P7 sedan will compete against Tesla Model 3 in China by offering a longer range and lower price.  It went on sale in China at the end of June. Base Price: $33,391

An IPO filing describes the company as producing two premium electric vehicles, the G3 SUV and the four-door P7 sports sedan. P7, which launched at the end of June, is a rival to the Tesla Model 3 in China. A third model is expected in 2021.

Xpeng also offers an optional autonomous driving system. It targets the mid- to high-end China electric car market, as do Chinese rivals Li Auto and Nio.

Founded in 2015, Xpeng is unprofitable and revenue dived 19% in the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit sales.

He Xiaopeng, the 42-year-old founder of Xpeng Motors.
Previously, he developed the Chinese web browser UC Browser and sold it to Alibaba in 2014.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Electric cars: Lucid Motors

Another luxury electric vehicle is coming to market with hopes of dethroning Tesla.  It is the Lucid Air and it is slated to be revealed on Sept. 9, 2020.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Owner: Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (67%)
  • Headquarters: Newark, California
  • Founders: Sheaupyng Lin, Bernard Tse, Sam Weng
  • https://lucidmotors.com

Origins: Founded as Atieva in 2007 by Bernard Tse, a former Tesla director, Sam Weng and Sheaupyng Lin. The company initially focused on battery packs for vehicles in China but pivoted in 2014 to building its own car.

Market: Initially aimed at the U.S. with some exports to Europe. Lucid sees a huge market in China but will likely need a plant there to make the vehicles cost-effective.

Lucid recently made headlines with a claimed driving range of 517 miles for its upcoming Air model. That’s currently more than any other mass-produced EV on the market by a long shot. It achieved this with a 113-kilowatt-hour battery.
That is much better than Tesla’s longest-range Model S—which in June was the first EV to earn a 400-mile plus rating from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Charging time for the Air hasn’t been released, but we expect it to charge faster than any current mass-produced EV, thanks to its 900-volt electrical architecture. That’s more than the Porsche Taycan’s 800-volt system and more than double that of Tesla’s 400 volts. When Lucid unveiled the Air in 2016, it said it would have 1,000 horsepower with its dual-motor setup. That hasn’t changed, and it’s possible the number could increase a little when the production version debuts. That’s a lot of power, more than most supercars. And there’s more: A tri-motor model with a mind-numbing 1,800 hp is in the works. Lucid says the upcoming Air can hit 60mph in 2.5 seconds.

We expect the Air to come with a long list of driver-assist tech, thanks to its semi-autonomous system called Lucid Dream Drive. Unlike the Model S, the Air will have a driver monitoring system and lidar sensor (short for Light Detection and Ranging). In addition to the lidar sensor, the Air will also come equipped with 32 sensors. These consist of camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors. Driver-assist features include a surround-view camera, blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic protection, traffic sign recognition, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane centering, headlight assist, traffic drive-off alert, and a self-parking system. At its debut, we should learn if these sensors and features will be standard or optional.

Monday, August 3, 2020

ETF composition - Invesco QQQ

Invesco QQQ correspond to the price and yield performance of the NASDAQ–100 Index®

The Index includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. The Fund and the Index are rebalanced quarterly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK)

Blink Charging is an owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle charging services. The company offers both residential and commercial EV charging equipment, enabling EV drivers to easily recharge at various location types.

Its principal line of products and services are Blink EV charging network (the Blink Network) and EV charging equipment (also known as electric vehicle supply equipment) and EV related services

The company was formerly known as Car Charging Group, Inc. and changed its name to Blink Charging Co. in August 2017.

The company announced it will collaborate with EnerSys to develop "high power inductive/wireless and enhanced DC fast charging systems with energy storage options for the automotive market."

Approximate Number of Sites:1,680

Coverage: Blink chargers are located in approximately 25 states, with the largest concentration in California, Arizona, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee and Washington.

Access: Start by registering a credit card with a Blink account. There are no required annual or monthly membership fees, or minimum credit card balance. Members who register will receive an “InCard” and can initiate a charge using the card. Guests can initiate a charge with Blink’s mobile application.

Cost Per Charge: In the states that permit kilowatt-hour pricing, fees for Level 2 EV charging stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network range from $0.39 to $0.79 per kWh, depending on the state and individual’s membership status. Blink is a proponent of kWh pricing because it is usage-based and EV drivers pay fees based on the actual amount of power consumed during the charging session rather than the amount of time that the car is plugged into the station. Fees for DCFC chargers owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in kWh eligible state range from $0.49 to $0.69 per kWh, depending on the state and individual’s membership status.

These states currently permit fees by the kilowatt-hour: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Massachusetts, as well as the District of Columbia.

In states where pricing by kWh is not permitted, time-based charging fees for Level 2 charging stations owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network range from $0.04 to $0.06 per minute, depending on membership status. Time-based charging fees are rounded up to the nearest 30-second interval. Fees for DCFC chargers owned by Blink and operated on the Blink Network in non-kWh eligible states will range from $6.99 - $9.99 per session, depending on membership status.