Did We Miss Out? - I took a little road trip this weekend, about 5 hours each way; the reason why it was only a little road trip was that I don't want to pay for gas right now. It's literally too damn high.
Unfortunately for most Americans, there's no end in sight to the hikes in gas prices. But that might be okay.
High gas prices are great for EV sales. Analysts estimate that 8.7Mn EVs will end up in driveways or garages of consumers in 2022. While this is a revised estimate that was slashed from 9Mn, the pullback is due to economic headwinds, not an appetite for Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.
Indeed, analysts estimate that VW EV sales might overtake Tesla by 2024, and even Ferrari wants to be 80% battery-powered by 2030.
While this might sound like sacrilege for the car buff, there's a trend towards EVs because going green is en vogue. Play the ESG theme song; you get the idea.
The messaging, spin, and rhetoric in America for the better part of a decade is that internal combustion engines that require dirty gasoline are bad. Batteries that run on electric power = good. It's that simple.
Even the business incentives are aligned to move away from oil refining capacity. There hasn't been a new start project to build a refinery in the US for forty years. Mind you, building one is not an overnight affair.
If you thought building your custom dream home took a long time, a refinery is basically a one-off snowflake that takes years to get right. Did I mention the cost? There's that, too: the price tag has a hell of a lot of zeroes.
Some people say "the only problem" with EVs is the charging infrastructure, that it's not there yet. Well, we can skip the argument about "the only problem" because I assure you that only a 200-mile range on a 50k-dollar vehicle has more problems than just where to charge it.
However, these cats do have a point: good luck driving anywhere outside the local area without extensive route planning and potentially long detours with long stops. In other words, your map service of choice should provide longer time estimates for trips away from your house.
Charging infrastructure won't be plumbed in overnight, but arguably this is the direction that people want to go.
There might be an opportunity here to identify and source solid positions in developers and deployers of the technologies that will facilitate moving away from ICE and towards EVs.
It's not an overnight guaranteed moneymaker, but it might make for a nice long play in a down market.