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.


Pricing
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. 

YTD

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


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Electric cars : News

  • 19 Nov 2020: General Motors (GM) announced more aggressive plans to pivot toward electric cars as it accelerates efforts to challenge Tesla (TSLA). GM stock rose. The No. 1 U.S. automaker now plans to spend $27 billion on electric cars and autonomous vehicles through 2025, up from a prior target of $20 billion. Also by 2025, GM plans to launch 30 electric cars around the world, with two-thirds of them available in the U.S. Previously, it planned at least 20 new models by 2023.
  • The Lyriq, Cadillac's first all-electric vehicle, which will arrive in Q1 2022, nine months ahead of its prior schedule.
  • 19 Nov 2020: GM will develop two electric cars for Honda (HMC) using the Ultium platform and anticipates others will want to license the new proprietary battery technology. The Ultium will allow electric cars to go 400 miles on a single charge, GM has said. That would top Tesla's projected range of 322 miles for its Model 3 sedan.
  • 16 Nov 2020Lordstown Motors (RIDE) released updates on commercial, operational, and strategic developments; as a highlight among those updates, co indicated that it remains on track to begin production of its full-size, all-electric pickup truck, the Lordstown Endurance, in September 2021, with full production ramping through 2022. Co has received approx. 50,000 non-binding production reservations from commercial fleets for the Lordstown Endurance.
  • 2 Nov 2020: NIO reports October deliveries increased 100% yr/yr. NIO delivered 5,055 vehicles in October 2020, a new monthly record representing a strong 100.1% year-over-year growth. The deliveries consisted of 2,695 ES6s, the Company's 5-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV, 1,477 ES8s, the Company's 6-seater and 7-seater flagship premium smart electric SUV, and 883 EC6s, the Company's 5-seater premium electric coupe SUV. NIO delivered 31,430 vehicles in 2020 in total, representing an increase of 111.4% year-over-year. As of October 31, 2020, cumulative deliveries of the ES8, ES6 and EC6 reached 63,343 vehicles.
  • 2 Nov 2020: Li Auto (LI) reports deliveries of 3,692 Li ONEs in October, representing a steady increase compared to September.
  • 2 Nov 2020: Xpeng Inc (XPEV) reports October deliveries increased 229% yr/yr to 3040 vehicles. XPeng delivered a total of 3,040 Smart EVs in October 2020, consisting of 2,104 P7s, the Company's smart sports sedan, and 936 G3s, its smart compact SUV. The Company's October deliveries represented a 229% increase year-over-year. As of October 31, 2020, year-to-date deliveries of the Company's Smart EVs reached 17,117 units, representing a 64% increase year-over-year.
  • 10/26/20: DiamondPeak Holdings Corp (DPHC) completes business combination with Lordstown Motors; starts trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "RIDE".
  • 10/10/20: Renault (OTC:RNSDF) is expected to unveil a new electric SUV concept alongside the production version of the Dacia Spring next week. The French automaker is charging in late with a strong electrification push.
  • August 2020: The Lucid Air is slated to be revealed on Sept. 9, 2020. Lucid expects to achieve a driving range of about 500 miles per charge.
  • August 2020: The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Panasonic (6752.Japan) will invest another $100 million in its joint-venture Tesla (TSLA) Gigafactory in Nevada. The report says plant capacity will rise about 10%, to 39 gigawatt-hours year.  A 39 gigawatt-hour a year plant can make 39,000,000 kilowatt-hours of batteries, or enough to power 400,000 to 500,000 EVs.
  • August 2020: Nikola (NKLA) is designing a pickup truck called Badger to get 600 miles of range through a combination of a battery pack and a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motors. It’s a little like having a portable generator on board.
  • When trying to compare the efficiency of battery power versus gasoline engines, the discussion around miles per gallon gets a little strange. The EPA is the entity converting values for U.S. drivers, and the agency decided that about 34 kilowatt-hours of energy is the same as a gallon of gas. So an EV that goes 100 miles using 34 kWh gets about 100 miles per gallon.
  • June 2020: Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) is scheduled to start taking binding orders for its "first edition" ID.3 electric car at a list price of €40K ($45.5K). The German automaker expects to start making some European deliveries in September and sending out full-featured ID.3s by the end of the year as the company's broad goal to be a mass EV producer accelerates. EV buzz is picking up in general after Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) crossed the $1,000 per share threshold and Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) soared in its public debut. Investors also have been putting a charge into EV-related stocks like Electrameccanica Vehicles (NASDAQ:SOLO), Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV), Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS), Kandi Technologies (NASDAQ:KNDI) and Nio (NYSE:NIO), Aptiv (NYSE:APTV), Delphi Technologies (NYSE:DLPH) and to name a few. Of course, chipmakers like Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ:MXIM), NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) and TE Connectivity (NYSE:TEL) also benefit from the increased focus on EVs.
  • September 2019: Michigan-based Rivian Automotive landed an order from Amazon to purchase as many as 100,000 electric delivery vans over the next decade, with the first ones showing up on the road in 2021.
  • Jan 7, 2019 Shanghai:  Tesla (TSLA) broke ground on its Chinese Gigafactory where it plans to mass-produce Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles. "We think with the resources here we can build the Shanghai Gigafactory in record time and we’re looking forward to hopefully having some initial production of the Model 3 towards the end of this year and achieving volume production next year," Elon Musk stated at the event. The local Gigafactory is the first wholly-owned car plant in China operated by a foreign company. 
  • Jan 2018: Tesla (TSLA) has started to roll out its all-electric Model 3 vehicles, while Volvo last year announced plans to phase out gas-only cars and launch new electric and hybrid vehicles in 2019.
  • Dec 2017:  Panasonic is considering jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles with Toyota (NYSE:TM), a move that would cement its position as the world's leading producer of automotive batteries. Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFF) already supplies lithium-ion assemblies for Toyota's hybrid vehicles, but has also carved out a name for itself as the major battery supplier to Tesla (TSLA).
  • July 2017:  Toyota (NYSE:TM) is working on an electric car with improved driving range and a fast-charging battery. The Japanese automaker is expected to build the new EV on a new platform and use solid-state batteries that can be recharged in minutes. The new model could arrive as early as 2022.  Other automakers such as BMW are also working on developing all-solid-state batteries, eyeing mass production in the next 10 years.
  • March 2015:  Mercedes is launching its first plug-in hybrid-electric midsize sedan, the C350e, in U.S. dealerships in September 2015, according to reports. Chatter on the street suggests that the German auto-making powerhouse plans to deeply undercut Tesla stickers, with a price around $42,000 before $5,250 worth of federal and state incentives. The 85 kWh Tesla starts at twice that level. And the brash young automaker will not have a competitive product until at least 2017. Mercedes can undercut the pricing because it has a lot more experience at mass production and sourcing; will make the car in low-cost Alabama instead of high-cost California; and it can subsidize the vehicle with its other vehicles, just to gain market share. The market for electrics is growing dramatically; this is just the start.

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.


G3 SUV

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.