The transport industry has experienced notable turbulence in recent years, with a variety of innovative fuels entering the arena to take on the reigning champions of petroleum and diesel vehicles, many clean fuels have struggled to gain a foothold worth defending
Though as a new decade awakens, the momentum for a cleaner fuel has begun to echo throughout our society
In response, an alliance of the most favourable clean energy giants along with a handful of vibrant startups have chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder for a brighter, cleaner and smarter future
If you're at all interested in our journey toward an emission-free future, this story is likely one to inspire you and help you recognise that the inflexion point for change, is near
On November 17th 2020 the Zero Emission Transport Association (ZETA), launched a national ambition to drive the United States toward a 100% electric vehicle sales goal within all vehicle sectors by 2030
A consortium of 30 companies, from the now biggest car company in the world by market cap - Tesla, to companies within their infancy like Arrival came together in common poise to engrave the United States as the leader of the clean transportation ecosystem
This enormous ambition narrows our crosshairs at the decade to come. Somehow, from a rocky 2020 beginning to the 2030 finish line, this group must evolve the ethos of America toward a sustainable future, and with hope, incite the world to follow
Though targetted at the US, the companies involved in the group have a solid presence across the globe. If only to begin with North America, it's easy to see that once it comes to a new continent, the companies already established there should have the advantage to keep the movement going
Companies involved in ZETA are:
Hopefully, there exist a lot of companies that you have become familiar with and by their reputation alone you can recognise the significance of the group
In order to achieve 100% Electric Vehicle sales in 2030, by which we mean... all of the vehicles to be sold in that year (and onward) must be electric only. The group are lobbying for an aggressive 'all-in' approach
It's easy to understand why this approach is needed, for the time frame of just10 years, the pressure is certainly on
Before we delve into this group specifically, as they are a 'lobbying group' - we need to cover what a lobbying group actually is
Because having a justified cause is great, but ultimately it's those in office and at the highest tiers of government you will need to convince for a real change in society
A lobbying group can be formed for all different types of reasons, they often get a bad reputation but this is because the intention of some groups can be not as 'just' as this one
What is a Lobbying Group
A Lobbying or Advocacy Group is a collection of people or private interests who come together to change and influence those in public office, i.e the politicians that can bring some of their policies into law
On their own, they may not have enough power or a 'loud enough voice' to be heard. But together they can act as a consortium to show a real demand for change and have greater influence
The lawful name for influencing those in power is to 'lobby', you can branch into legislative lobbying or regulatory lobbying
Separate countries handle this idea differently, the United States is pretty popular for it, makes sense I guess with all of the growth in the past decades
Lobbying groups can exist for greater emphasis on safety regulations, more investment into particular sectors or issues related to tax, and many other reasons!
Ultimately, provided that the group generate enough demand, they can have a huge influence when it comes to the creation or the review of policies
The Importance of ZETA
The Zero Emissions Transport Association, we're dealing with the transport sector - which is a great place to start for the zero-emission beginning!
Though if you look at the companies involved, you'll note they are involved at all levels within the 'supply chain' of vehicle production
We have the vehicle producers themselves (Tesla, Lucid) but also companies involved in gathering resources for the vehicles (Piedmont, Albermarle) and even companies involved in power generation and distribution (Nextera Energy)
But it doesn't stop there! We also have companies involved in the vehicles once they are in the hands of the consumer (Uber) and companies involved in the recycling process when the vehicles come full circle and are..well, recycled! (Redwood, Li-Cycle)
So before us, we can see every 'chain' of the vertically integrated path to creation, use and disposal of the vehicles. Right away, we can see the depth of potential for the group
The group is only dealing with the transport sector at the moment, but it's understandable if you were to think "couldn't this be branched off into different sectors too?"
My answer would be yes, for sure
The reason they are starting with the transport sector is that this whole environmental thing is only just catching on, it's within its infancy
The transport sector is a good one to start with because the advantages are obvious but it also is a great way to change the ethos of the world, we've all been normalised to the idea of owning, using or seeing a vehicle day-to-day
It's also the sector that has got the ball rolling, Tesla especially has been the breakthrough company and it's with their success and the success others that lead to the adoption of a fresh ethos
If we can have the transport sector act as the 'smoking gun' to this new revolution, it's our ambition that the world will begin to perform an inventory upon on itself and work to problem solve other sectors for a cleaner future
Power generation and recycling are two other sectors gaining traction, fortunately, these are two of the most important
The transport sector will, of course, make a sizable impact but unfortunately, it won't be enough to slow the planet's degradation. This movement has to be the ignition to many further movements in many other sectors
Without a chain effect of revolutions across each sector, the world doesn't stand much chance of halting itself before it passes the irreparable point of damage
So as I say, this one's significant! The road to 2030 will be bumpy but it will yield the most change and set the foundation for the proceeding decades
ZETA's Game Plan
At the heart of the group's mission, is the national adoption of 5 policies, they refer to these as the 'pillars'
It's believed that with these pillars in place, the 100% adoption by 2030 can be successful, they are the following:
P.S I've highlighted the important 'keyword' bits!
1) Outcome-Driven consumer EV incentives
Point-of-sale consumer incentives drive adoption
Provide cost reductions and achieve real results in pushing transportation electrification
Incentivising early retirements while encouraging EV adoption ( will speed the transition and meet the urgency of the moment )
2) Emissions / Performance standards enabling full electrification by 2030
Achieve and exceed emissions targets for public health and sending the correct market signals to support and accelerate the transition to zero-emissions transportation
3) Infrastructure Investments
Strong federal charging infrastructure investments will drive the electric transportation transition and ensure that the United States is leading the way in a clean recovery where everyone is better off
4) Domestic Manufacturing
Ensure domestic growth and leadership in EV manufacturing ( but also accelerate transport electrification where needed around the globe)
Federal policies must encourage job creation and economic activity across the entire EV supply chain and lifecycle, from critical materials to vehicles
5) Federal leadership and cooperation with sub-national entities
Federal support should invest in research and development
Provide an aligned vision for electrification
Ensure local leaders are empowered with the expertise and resources to support full vehicle electrification
The ZETA Education Fund, an affiliate group focused on educating the public on the environmental and social benefits and opportunities associate with broad EV adoption will launch concurrently
There we have it!
A very ambitious bucket list, but I believe totally achievable. It's great to read over some of the specifics highlighted above. The mention on local leaders, public health and acceleration is both exciting and heartwarming to see
For any further information, check out their site here
The Clear Benefits
The following are the benefits quoted right out of ZETA's fact sheet (linked here)
67% less lifetime greenhouse gas emissions
$632 average annual fuel savings for EV drivers
96% of EV owners say their next vehicle will also be electric
$113B in avoided climate impacts as a result of a fully electric domestic fleet
$8600 lower healthcare costs for the society for each EV on the road
All of these are impressive, but there's one that jumps out
The 96% of EV owners staying electric once they've made the jump, tell us that this is adoption and not just a FAD
This also tells us that once we educate the public on the benefits and they give it a shot, it's overwhelmingly likely that they will stay, because, to be honest... the EV is the better technology when you take away the emotional connection (if any) to ICE vehicles
Of course, these are just the benefits you can put numbers on, there are so many others noted on their site but they pretty much result in the above
If you'd like to do any more reading on anything ZETA, there's a further reading section near the end of the post with a link to their press release and other cool stuff!
An Investment Opportunity?
As always before we go down this rabbit hole, the following isn't investment advice, this is just conjecture and sharing the potential ideas on what someone could do, not necessarily what someone should do
That said, let's read between the lines on what's happening here
A lobbying group is powerful by design, but one that has the president-elect on their side and the overall momentum of a growing population...might be a flicker of a green light
Investment opportunities typically come off the back of many different scenarios but one to look out for is when regulations begin to align toward a particular side of an economic push
What I mean by this, is if the environmental energy sector hasn't received much investment in the past and all of a sudden there are regulations coming in that support their growth... guess where the money and attention need to shift to!
Furthermore, this environmental movement ( as a practical solution ) is still young, really young... like 'goo-goo-gaga' young
I think it's a reasonably smart idea to at least do some research on what's going on and try to envision how the future might look, then work out an investment thesis and proceed with whatever you conclude
So with that, let's take the companies above and break down which of those you can invest in!
We're only considering the public primary markets and brokerages here, some of the stocks that are listed may have an investment opportunity but they will be through private secondary brokerages or specific investment schemes. On top of that, some of these companies are pretty close to launching an IPO or trading under a Blank Check Company (SPAC)
Bear in mind, these are the companies involved in the ZETA movement. There exist a lot more EV related companies - some of which you can invest in, others you can't but might be able to in the future
As for zooming in and starting on a particular sector, for the EV and clean energy market, this is probably a good list to start with
The companies that receive a lot of press at the moment are Tesla, Lucid, Rivian, Uber, Piedmont Lithium, Redwood Materials and Nextra Energy. These are the companies that are likely to receive increased movement since they are 'more' in the public eye
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The aims of any lobbying group are to influence the highest tiers of public office, having someone on the 'inside' who's in favour of your mission is of huge advantage
For ZETA, the mission concerns the environment. Luckily enough, the president-elect Joe Biden is firmly in favour of such an ambition, in fact, it was at the forefront of his policies to be elected
And so it would seem that ambitions of ZETA and the president-elect are intertwined - this should yield an enormous benefit, to them both!
Specifically, Biden aims to create over 1 million new jobs in the automotive industry which means an investment in automotive companies should be available, this should also include the companies that are vertically integrated and are necessary to keep the automotive companies going
This isn't just to do with personal vehicles either, it's to establish a zero-emission public transport infrastructure across America
Though as I've said, the adaption of the automotive industry will not be enough. The president-elect understands this and is also pushing for a pollution-free power sector as early as 2035
You'll notice that the plans of the president-elect align very well to the mission of ZETA
It's with these perfectly aligned ideals that the United States of America could become the home of the EV revolution
I don't know about you, but stories like give me hope for the future
It shows a hint that the next decade might lend the biggest growth spurt to the EV movement in all time, even when 2030 rolls around, these companies will still be relatively young with even more potential in the coming years
Additionally, to have evidence that politics are beginning to be shaped by the demands of a more aware world is promising...ultimately, it's who we elect and put in power that will speed up the transition
When it comes to election day where you are and you're a fighter for a clean future, be sure to spare some headspace for the eco-friendly policies, having that as part of there pledge is..and should become totally necessary from now on
Interesting times, and we're only at the beginning..for now!
Check some of the links out above if you're keen on more information and fancy infographics!
Thanks for reading!