I have had seven plug-in electric vehicles over the last decade which probably makes me one of the most experienced EV consumers on the planet. I love plug-in hybrid vehicles and full battery electric’s, but a change is a coming.
Although I cannot find the article or the interview, I watched Ford CEO Jim Farley late in 2022 Tell Bloomberg that 2024 and 2025 will be a bloodbath in the auto industry, and I think he is correct.
It’s not uncommon for me to have two or three vehicles on order because there are just so many backlogs and delays even before COVID blew up the auto industry. Until today I had deposits on:
- Fisker Ocean – since the first week they took pre-orders… about 2019
- VinFast VF8 – since the first week they started taking preorders in Canada which was November 2021
- $30,000 Chevrolet Equinox EV – I have the first deposit on an Equinox EV in all of Alberta Canada
What’s So Good About Fisker?
The Fisker Ocean is by all accounts a high quality vehicle and Fisker correctly Claims to be the world’s first virtual car company. How so? Henrik Fisker runs the entire company out of a single building in California and has contracted the manufacturing of the vehicle to Magna Steyer in Austria. Truly an innovation in auto startups.
In case you didn’t know Magna is a Canadian company and their plant in Austria produces everything from all of the Toyota Supra’s to every last Mercedes G Wagon you’ve ever seen, along with five other mainstream vehicles.
Because of this low overhead, Fisker requires dramatically less capital to run the business than all the other EV startups that have to raise tens to hundreds of millions of dollars even to build small production run assembly plants. Fisker has a real shot at surviving the impending collapse of the western EV startup industry.
Who is Vinfast & Why are They So Interesting?
VinFast is Vietnam’s first car company and it is founded and funded primarily by Vietnam’s richest billionaire. VinFast EV’s like the VF 8 and VF9 have had great reviews because they have Tesla like interiors and their bodies were designed by the legendary Pininfarina.
Very fast change the rental of their batteries from something like $50 a month to $250 a month which drastically changes the economics and then they had to drop the price of the core vehicle to keep up with Tesla and other EV industry price drops.
As a result, Vinfast has unfortunately slowed down its North American rollout and while I have sat in a VF8 and VF9 in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall VinFast store, I just don’t see them getting the product to Calgary anytime soon.
EV Bloodbath – Really – Isn’t That A Bit of a Dramatic Overstatement?
Yes, EV bloodbath, and no. it is not hyperbole to say that.
It has been reported that if all of the new factories that have been announced actually get built there will be two and a half times the production capacity to the volumes that the market demands. It just isn’t going to happen Because so many electric vehicle companies are going to go bankrupt before shovels cut into the earth.
There are about 100 electric vehicle startup in North America and China has about another 100.
Only the strong will survive, and that doesn’t mean that people with great product and great vision and great business sense. When I refer to strong I mean capitalized or at least those that can raise capital.
I have no doubt that I could buy and be very happy with a Fisker Ocean or a VinFast VF8, But if they go bankrupt I won’t be able to sell them in the future and I probably won’t be able to get reliable local service or even parts. That means I probably will have one hell of a time getting insurance.
Put all of that together and I feel I had no choice but to cancel my Fisker Ocean order and my VinFast order. It genuinely disappointed me to do that because I think both of these companies look like they could be winners but I just can’t afford a $70,000 white elephant.
Best EV To Buy in 2023/2024?
The bottom line here is I’m only going to buy from the established players in the next two or three years and I suggest you do the same even though that logic unfairly dooms many of the EV startups.
In my case I still have an order for my very inexpensive Chevy Equinox EV and I live in Canada so I am fortunate to get access to the single motor, smaller battery Tesla Model Y in a few weeks. I’m also waiting for the next Tesla price drop because Tesla has had three drops in the United States and none in Canada recently so something’s going to drop soon. Further, I want to see what the redesigned Tesla Model 3 looks like before I take delivery of anything.
I would consider a Ford Mach E if the price dropped to something reasonable and competitive between the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, but Ford is selling older to make so I don’t see that happening this year.
I also like some of the Volvo product but again the price is just too high and while Volvo is backed by their owner BYD I think they’re only 80% likely to survive another decade.
I would even consider some of the Stelantis Chrysler Dodge product, but other than their toy muscle cars I don’t see anything visually appealing to me so far.
Shockingly Bad Time For the Electric Vehicle Industry
With the rapid advancement of the electric vehicle core technology and a exceptionally broad range of niche EV’s, start up electric vehicle companies face daunting challenges in the coming 48 months.
Jim Farley went on record a couple of days ago as saying that he thinks Tesla is making a mistake by dropping the price of the Model Y because it turns it into a commodity vehicle rather than an luxury product consumers aspire to own.
The electric vehicle business is going to have a shockingly bad time in the next few years and I don’t want to be left owning a near prototype vehicle with no support and no resale value.