26 Oct 2021

US Spotlight: Future Mobility

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As part of our guest blog series on thematic investing, MSCI and Lukas Neckermann share their views on the future of transport, with a focus on the US market. A year on from their earlier insight on new mobility trends as a result of Covid-19, they explain how those trends are seemingly accelerating further still.

In an earlier Thematic Insight, we highlighted the acceleration of certain trends related to the Future Mobility theme that appeared to be occurring as the world first responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Over one year on, those trends seem to have become both more established and more visible, as a wave of well-capitalized businesses in this space have become public companies via traditional initial public offerings (IPOs), direct listings and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).2

Electrifying the States

In 2020, the share of electric vehicles sold was below 2% in the U.S., below 4% in Canada and almost negligible in Mexico. By comparison, in Europe more than 10% of new cars sold had a plug (5.4% battery-electric, 5.1% plug-in hybrid) and 11.9% more were hybrids (Exhibit 1).3,4,5 Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) across North America is hindered by at least three factors: lack of cohesive government support, the lack of attractive EV supply to bring car buyers to (online) showrooms and infrastructure. As we will see, each of these hindrances is changing.

Exhibit 1: Electric Vehicle Sales in Canada, the US and the EU (1,000s)

Exhibit 1: Electric Vehicle Sales in Canada

Source: Neckermann Strategic Advisors analysis, Statistics Canada update (April 22, 2021)

New Administration, New Supply, New Attitudes?

Although the U.S. clearly lags China and Europe in vehicle electrification, a new alignment of factors has powered an acceleration of this and other facets of the Future Mobility ecosystem across North America. Among them, changing consumer attitudes, an increase in supply and a change in the U.S. administration.

Read the full Future Mobility insight by MSCI

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MSCI would like to thank Lukas Neckermann, Managing Director of Neckermann Strategic Advisors and COO at Splyt, for useful discussions and insightful analysis of this megatrend which have greatly facilitated the preparation of this article

Lukas Neckermann is the author of three books: “The Mobility Revolution” (2015), “Corporate Mobility Breakthrough 2020” (2017) and “Smart Cities, Smart Mobility: Transforming the Way We Live and Work” (2018). His most recent study, "Being Driven" has just been released as an eBook.

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1 Neckermann, Lukas. 2020. “Future Mobility: Understanding a New Transport Ecosystem.” MSCI Thematic Insight and “Post-Pandemic Reflections: Future Mobility COVID-19’s Potential Impact on the New Mobility Ecosystem.” MSCI, 2020.
2 A SPAC or a special purpose acquisition company is a listed shell corporate structure that pools funds in readiness for an M&A opportunity within a specified time frame (often two years). This allows a private company that is acquired to come to market outside the traditional IPO route. See https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investingbasics/glossary/spacs.
3 Jarratt, Emma. 2021. “Zero-Emission Vehicle Market Share in Canada Rose to 3.5 Per Cent in 2020, According to StatsCan’s Official Release.”
4 IHS Markit. 2021. “Electric Vehicle Share in the US Reaches Record Levels in 2020, According to IHS Markit.”
5 European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). 2021. “Fuel Types of New Passenger Cars in the EU.”

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