The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for well over 30 years… and its best-selling pickup truck for more than 40 years. By many measures, it’s the most successful motor vehicle of all time.
So, it was big news last week when Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) unveiled the electric version, the F-150 Lightning. In addition to starting to accept reservations for the new electric pickup, Ford says it’s investing $30 billion in electric vehicles (EVs) through 2025 and is aiming for 40% of its sales as electric by 2030.
All this confirms what I’ve been saying about the EV trend over the long term.
While it’s true that Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) sells twice as many or more EVs as any of the big auto companies, including Ford, the company trails far behind its larger competitors on all other relevant metrics.
For example, earlier this year, I recommended Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) to members of my Fry’s Investment Report letter. And I showed them how the only true comparison between Tesla and Volkswagen is no comparison whatsoever.
- Tesla built half a million cars in 2020. VW built 18 times more than that.
- Tesla spent $1.5 billion on research and development (R&D) last year. VW spent 10 times more than that.
- Tesla generated $31 billion in revenues last year. VW generated eight times more. VW also produced about eight times the net income Tesla produced.
And yet, VW’s market value is not eight times larger than Tesla. On the contrary, even after the world’s largest automaker’s recent 55%-plus run following its big “Power Day” EV announcements, Tesla’s market value is still three and half times larger than Volkswagen’s.
Moreover, Volkswagen tripled its EV sales last year and has been quickly closing the gap on Tesla. It is on pace to top Tesla’s production by 2022 and to establish itself as the world’s No. 1 electric vehicle maker.
Last year, VW and its nameplates, including Audi and Porsche, produced just five EV models. But they will be launching several new models this year, and every year after that throughout the rest of this decade.
VW and Ford aren’t alone in taking on Tesla. Just for starters… earlier this year, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra pledged to phase out internal combustion engines and go all-electric by 2035, and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) plans to sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles per year by 2030 — a figure that includes hybrid electric cars as well as fuel-cell vehicles.
After I recommended VW to my Investment Report subscribers on February 12, the stock jumped as much as 123% — and we’re still up more than 60%. Ford also soared after its big EV announcements last week.
Here’s the thing: I don’t believe Tesla or any of its young, money-losing EV upstart competitors are the best way to play this megatrend.
So, in today’s issue, I’ll show you my No. 1 way to profit from the ongoing EV revolution…
More Than One Way to Skin a Cat
For years now, I’ve been talking about the “Technochasm.” That’s the giant, growing split — fueled by technology — separating the rich and the poor in this country, and fueled by technology.
Here’s how I first described it:
On one side are the successful folks who fully understand what’s happening and are taking full advantage of the situation.
On the other side, there’s everyone else… And no matter how hard they work or what they do, they just continue to fall further behind.
This proverbial chasm between the “haves” and the “have nots” is widening… and it’s going to widen even more in the coming years.
The destruction of seemingly strong, dominant businesses by innovative technology-focused upstarts is a story we keep seeing over and over and over in America.
EVs are a big part of the Second Electric Revolution — which is helping to widen the Technochasm — and the spectacular opportunities it is creating.
But rather than choose a manufacturer, beyond VW, I’ve been looking at the companies that provide essential ingredients to the EV and energy storage industries.
I’m talking about “battery metals.”
EV and energy storage technologies require vast amounts of metals like lithium, copper, nickel, and manganese. The average battery-electric vehicle, for example, contains about 180 pounds of copper — that’s about half as much as the average American home.
So, it’s likely that the boom in EVs and energy storage will create major “echo booms” in several metal markets.
I’ve recommended several battery metal plays in the past couple of years, including one we’ve discussed here several times before.
A Battery Metal Triple
And with 99% returns in 2020, the global copper giant came in No. 1 among the picks from InvestorPlace’s top analysts. The thing is… Freeport hadn’t finished its recent epic run.
So far this year, the stock has climbed another 62%. The S&P 500 index, meanwhile, is up just 12% over the same time frame.
A rallying copper price deserves most of the credit.
After such a massive move, you might think the metal and Freeport are due for a slowdown… but I don’t think so.
EVs require four times as much copper as traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. Solar and wind farms are also adding to demand. It’s also the go-to metal when it comes to building, particularly in electrical wiring and plumbing. If you’re building something, copper plays a role.
In fact, about 43% of all mined copper is used in building construction. Another 20% or so goes to transportation equipment — and that figure will only climb as our world increasingly turns to electric vehicles. Copper.com reports that EV sales growth will increase demand for copper by 1,700 kilotons by 2027.
As a result, investment bank Goldman Sachs recently set a 2025 price target of $15,000 per ton, against a current $8,700.
Obviously, that would be excellent news for Freeport… and I believe the company remains great copper play on the battery boom.
Meanwhile, I added a new battery metal pick in a recent Fry’s Investment Report issue. It’s the miner of a lesser-known metal that could help provide a “greener” alternative to lithium-ion batteries for energy storage.
If you’re thinking of taking advantage of this angle on the EV revolution, check out my Investment Report service.
Well, the whole world has changed since then… and he’s back to talk about the Technochasm, the biggest megatrend in investing, in ways he couldn’t before… and discuss opportunities for even bigger market gains… the kind to keep you from falling behind.
And he’s bringing along investing legend Louis Navellier to join him on camera for the first time ever. Click here to check out their conversation – and to get Eric’s No. 1 stock pick right now.
NOTE: On the date of publication, Eric Fry did not own either directly or indirectly any positions in the securities mentioned in this article
Eric Fry is an award-winning stock picker with numerous “10-bagger” calls —in good markets AND bad. How? By finding potent global megatrends… before they take off. In fact, Eric has recommended 41 different 1,000%+ stock market winners in his career. Plus, he beat 650 of the world’s most famous investors (including Bill Ackman and David Einhorn) in a contest. And today he’s revealing his next potential 1,000% winner for free, right here.