Companies along the EV supply chain need further support and investment, if we are to solve EV issues and encourage faster uptake
Although the pandemic has caused demand for the Electric Vehicle to fall, the outlook for EVs looks bright: with enhanced globalisation pushing the industry’s growth, government subsidy packages, and more EV investment, the rising valuations are deserved. The EV industry is providing a solution to the most pressing concerns of our time, including climate change, and unemployment caused by the pandemic.
European governments are leading the way in recovery initiatives for the EV sector, from manufacturing to sales. This has led to some fantastic opportunities. Investors are seeing favourable returns; the international community is on the way to achieving climate change goals; the EV industry is benefitting from more funding; individuals are finding employment in a fantastic field of work during a general economic downturn. However, more investment is needed to spur further innovation: only then will the issues in the industry be solved, and more buyers will turn to electric.
For a start, the base metals that constitute the EV product are crucial to the supply chain. But these critical materials need to be mined. Local and responsible mines are in dire need of further support, to compete with the dominant China, and other big mining players who don’t always adhere to international human rights standards. My company, Fincraft Resources, has begun actively pursuing opportunities in responsible nickel and cobalt mine projects in Eastern Kazakhstan, creating jobs and wealth in the area and diversifying the market.
Once the right materials have been sourced for the EV, one of the most important elements of the car, the battery, must be carefully put together. Basic EV batteries currently take at least 4 hours to charge. This is one of the main deterrents of prospective buyers today, who can refill a fossil-fuelled car within minutes.
A highly innovative company to watch is EV battery-charging company StoreDot, based in Tel Aviv, which is providing a solution to the problem. It has already successfully demonstrated that its technology can charge an electric motorbike in just 5 minutes. The batteries are already on the market for drones and portable devices. By the end of the next year, their 5-minute charging battery will be ready for production for EVs. I am proud to be supporting StoreDot through my VC fund Singulariteam, and passionate about bringing their organic, environmentally-friendly technology to the masses.
In the end, once the EV parts are available, the final EV model must be put together. But to encourage various buyers to purchase an EV, we cannot look at the final product as a one-size-fits all approach. Different EV buyers have different needs. A vast collection of designs, styles, capabilities and prices are available for the fossil-fuelled car, and the EV sector needs to step up. This year, the cutting-edge EV manufacturer Mullen Technologies announced a merger with my company Net Element, divesting its services in payments to focus on EVs. Mullen Technologies have a fantastic range of EVs in production, from SUVs to luxury sports cars. Innovations like these will entice more EV buyers.
Amongst these exciting developments, we must not forget one of the main reasons why the EV industry needs investment: EVs can have a significant impact on climate change. EVs are estimated to emit 18% fewer carbon emissions in their life span than ICE vehicles (Science Direct, 2019). If we want to continue on a path to sustainability in the long-term future, we must find ways to persuade consumers to swap their fossil-fuelled cars for the EV, looking at its raw materials, battery technology, number of available models, infrastructure and related products such as smart chargers.