Movers and SHAKERS
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EV SPAC Activity Accelerated in 2021
Electric Vehicle companies are nothing new. EV history traces back to the early 1900s, with Studebaker entering the market with electric vehicles before pivoting to gas powered vehicles around the time that Ford revolutionized the automotive production process. In the modern age, General Motors announced the EV1 in the 80s, which did not succeed, but did help launch the battery technology that would lead to today’s widely accepted EVs.
In recent years, Elon Musk has brought some attention to his company Tesla (TSLA), leading to wide adoption of a platform many had dismissed in the past. With increasing popularity, along with increasing regulation, many conventional gas-powered auto manufacturers have pledged full electric vehicle lineups in the coming years. Alongside these established manufacturers, numerous EV startups have also entered the market, some as off-shoots of existing vehicle brands.
Below, we take a look at a few EV companies looking to go public through the SPAC process, some new companies; others off-shoots of brands consumers have known for years.
Fisker – Spartan Energy Acquistion Corporation
In late 2020, Fisker Inc. began trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FSR following their business merger with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO).
Fisker Inc. was launched in 2016, and preceded by Fisker Automotive, which existed between 2007 and 2014. Fisker’s current lineup features the Fisker Ocean, a luxury SUV featuring a 250-350 mile range, with pricing between $38k and $69k, including incentives.
Spartan remains active in the EV space. Recently Allego Holding B.V., an electric vehicle charging network, announced a business merger with Spartan Acquistiion Corp III (NYSE: SPAQ). Allego also announced a strategic partnership with Nissan to install, operate, and maintain DC fast-charging solutions.
Polestar - Gores Guggenheim
Polestar, a luxury EV brand spun-off from Volvo in 2016 and jointly owned by Volvo and the automaker’s parent company Geely, announced their intentions to go public by merging with Gores Guggenheim (NASDAQ: GGPI).
Polestar currently offers two vehicles (the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2), with three other concept cars nearing production. They also have started offering fleet and business vehicle programs. Polestar differs from other EV SPAC start-ups in that they have already sold their products to consumers.
The intended value of the offering is $20B, which would immediately transform Polestar into one of the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturers. The combined company is targeting sales of around 300,000 units by 2025. This ambitious move is aided by $800M raised by Gores Guggenheim, as well as another $250M already raised by investors.
Lucid - Churchill Capital Corp IV
Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID) went public in July of 2021, completing their merger with Churchill Capital Corp IV. The company has made a lot of news in that short time, including a recent announcement that the company was being investigated by the SEC over “certain projections and statements” made during the SPAC merger. On December 20, Lucid is expected to join the Nasdaq-100 Index, according to a company release dated December 13, 2021.
Lucid Motors was originally founded in 2007 as a battery company. In 2016, they decided to develop a sedan to bring to market, with original plans to deliver the first units to customers in as early as 2018. Now in 2021, the company’s first production vehicle, the Lucid Air, is available for reservation. At nearly $80K, including incentives, with an estimated range of over 500 miles, the Air is slated to compete directly with the Tesla Model S.
LiveWire - AEA-Bridges Impact Corp.
Today, iconic motorcycle company Harley-Davidson announced that their electric motorcycle division, LiveWire, will go public via a merger with SPAC company AEA-Bridges Impact Corp., with the resulting company expected to list on the NYSE under ticker symbol LVW.
Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) officially launched the LiveWire brand earlier this year, in May. Their first offering, the LiveWire One, a $22k, 150-mile range, all-electric motorcycle, made its debut at the International Motorcycle Show just a few months later.
The aforementioned companies represent examples of EV companies going public through the SPAC merger process. They join an already crowded field of EV start-ups trying to solidify their place in the next chapter of automotive history. Will only the largest survive? Or will there be room in the marketplace for more vehicle manufacturers? Has a shift away from the importance of massive brick and mortal showrooms created space for the smaller players?
As with any investment decision, investing in a SPAC company pre- or post-merger can pose significant risk. Proper due diligence is required before making any investment decision.
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