The EV Semitruck Race Is Heating Up
I spent 25 years selling electronic test equipment to AT&T. I did very well and ended up retiring at 47.
At that job, I quickly learned to pay attention to my competition. After all, many competing companies had veteran salespeople hawking equipment that rivaled my own.
One of my favorite quotes about this subject is from Henry Ford. He once said, “Competition whose motive is merely to compete, to drive some other fellow out, never carries very far. The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”
Ford completely disrupted manufacturing, supply chain management and the transportation industry.
He didn’t bother worrying about the competition. He just kept improving the Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F).
Fast-forward 100 years… A young man named Elon Musk decided to disrupt a few things too.
He started with PayPal, which was the perfect solution to help online vendors get paid. He later sold that company and formed seven new ones: Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, OpenAI, Neuralink, Future of Life Institute and Starlink.
Musk is certainly aware of his competition and detractors. But he almost never talks about them.
He has learned to focus on his own businesses. And that strategy has paid off handsomely.
Tesla’s Explosive Growth
Let’s look at Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA).
In April 2013, shares were selling for just $37. The company was dramatically underpriced.
I recommended investors buy a few shares of Tesla. And I wrote that those who buy now might be able to afford one themselves in a few years.
That’s exactly what happened.
Had you invested $1,000 in Tesla that year, it would have been worth more than $25,000 today. Had you bought 100 shares, you could have ordered a loaded Model 3, have it delivered and still have $40,000 in your bank account.
If you missed my initial recommendation years ago, don’t despair. Tesla shares could easily triple or quadruple from here.
And that’s because Musk and his team are focused on Tesla. While he continues to out-innovate on every aspect of EVs, his competitors have been scrambling just to catch up.
But that may have just changed…
Musk’s latest push is bringing electric semitrucks to volume manufacturing. But was this a reaction to his competition?
Competitor Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA) has preorders for 14,000 of its own semitrucks. In addition, it will soon start taking reservations for its Badger pickup truck.
So far, Nikola and Tesla have produced only prototypes. However, Musk has ultimately delivered on everything he’s promised.
Granted, some of his promised dates have been a little aggressive. But the company now produces four EV models.
That real-world productivity should let Musk maintain his edge, even if new competition has attracted his attention.
Today, more competitors are entering the electric truck market. There are plans to produce electric trucks for just about every application.
I think Nikola and Tesla are the two companies to watch for now. Competition between them will increase.
That’s good for both investors and customers. At least, that’s how I see it.