EV ETFs To Invest Your TSLA Profits In
I’ve been saying for a few years that I’d love to have a good EV and autonomy index fund that had global reach, and that covered car brands, OEMs and batteries. I’ve been looking for similar good funds in the larger cleantech and clean energy space as well, but this article is just about my findings on the EVautonomy front.
As with many in the CleanTechnica community of readers and authors, I’ve been long on TSLA for years. My purchase price cap was 275 USD, which led to me buying in three times in 2016 and 2018.
And now it’s 2020, and TSLA peaked at 961.96 on Tuesday, Feb 4 at 3:30 PM, after closing at 650.57 on Friday Jan 31. A lot of profit taking has ensued, and I have to admit I was part of it. I’ve taken far more than my initial investment out of TSLA, yet still have far more than my initial investment left in the stock. I’m letting that ride, but have been looking to diversify. (As a note, I’m in a portfolio rebalancing phase regardless, and have also divested my upside on AAPL and a ditched a few other holdings entirely).
That’s led me to look for my more preferred investments, index funds and the like. I’ve been saying for a few years that I’d love to have a good EV and autonomy index fund that had global reach, and that covered car brands, OEMs, and batteries. I’ve been looking for similar good funds in the larger cleantech and clean energy space as well, but this article is just about my findings on the EVautonomy front.
Obvious note: I’m not an investment advisor and this doesn’t constitute investment advice.
So what have I found?
Well, I’ve found a lot of new exchange traded funds (ETF), a category of investment I chose to stay away from in the past when it was emerging, but one that’s stabilized into something I like and can understand fully. I’m not a deeply sophisticated investor. My strategy is buying and holding (something which Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow makes clear is a much wiser choice for non-institutional investors than the alternative). I don’t do leverage. I don’t buy short (a pox on all their houses) or futures. ETFs were a little weird when they first came out, and appeared to me to feature a lot of junk assets, including a lot of junk debt. I wasn’t paying attention to them during the 2007-2010 period, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that a lot of them collapsed badly.
Modern ETFs have mixes of things, but the ones I’m pulling into this article are just stock funds bundled as ETFs as opposed to mutual funds. No futures or synthetic oddities that I’m aware of, and often tracking third-party stock indices. They have different targets, and the variances are interesting, and often illuminating. Unsurprisingly, all of the mobility-oriented ETFs feature TSLA, often as their biggest holding. As such, they appear suitable for less sophisticated investors, but your kWh per 100 km may vary, of course.
The first two are very similar, with Tesla and tech giants dominating the list.
2019 inception, medium capital (31M), low expense ratio (0.47%).
“INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE: The iShares Self-Driving EV and Tech ETF seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of developed and emerging market companies that may benefit from growth and innovation in and around electric vehicles, battery technologies and autonomous driving technologies.”
The German Solactive index tracking appears in a couple of funds, and it’s mixed, weighting German manufacturers a bit more favorably than they deserve, in my opinion.
2018 inception, medium capital (17M), high expense ratio (0.68%)
FUND OBJECTIVE: The Global X Autonomous Electric Vehicles ETF (DRIV) seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Solactive Autonomous Electric Vehicles Index.
2019 start, capitalization unclear, high expense ratio (0.69%)
This one is more global, with Baidu out of China (good) and BMW (not so good) in the top 10 holdings, and is based on the Solactive index, hence BMW’s presence in the top 10, one assumes.
Investment Strategy: KARS seeks to measure the performance of the Solactive Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index.
2018 inception, high capitalization (77M), low expense ratio (0.50%).
This one is not specific to EVs and autonomy, but wraps them up in a 100-stock disruptive technology higher-risk fund. Lots more Asia, but also Adobe, which seems odd to me.
Fund Summary: The investment seeks investment results that correspond (before fees and expenses) generally to the performance of the Indxx Disruptive Technologies Index (the “underlying index”). The fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in securities that comprise the underlying index. The underlying index is designed to identify the companies using disruptive technologies in each of ten thematic areas: Healthcare Innovation, Internet of Things, Clean Energy and Smart Grid, Cloud Computing, Data and Analytics, FinTech, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, 3D Printing, and Mobile Payments. The fund is non-diversified.
2018 inception, low capitalization (450.7M), high expense ratio (0.65%).
Natural language processing assisted managed EV and autonomy fund. Good global coverage, and the top 10 stocks didn’t have any surprises for me, but were reasonable choices in my opinion.
EKAR Factset Analytics Insight: EKAR identifies companies involved with “next generation” vehicles—generally, electric or autonomous vehicles—using a natural language processing (NLP) algorithm to scan large volumes of textual data, media platforms, and databases. Stocks are sorted into one of four categories: battery producers (mining, chemicals/components, or manufacture), original equipment manufacturers (design, manufacture, or distribution of next-gen vehicles), suppliers (parts and components), and semiconductor and software companies (sensors, mapping, or driving policy). The fund uses a proprietary ranking methodology to select up to twenty-five stocks within each category. Holdings are market-cap weighted, with a 7% cap on individual positions and a 40% cap on each category. The index is rebalanced quarterly and reconstituted semi-annually. EKAR’s expense ratio is in line with its competition in the segment.
Second oldest fund at 2011 inception, medium capitalization (19.5M), very high expense ratio (0.70%)
So what am I choosing to invest in?
Well, if you look at my criteria, what I chose to highlight, and my Комментарии и мнения владельцев (as well as what I’ve been writing about for the past while), you can probably guess which ones I favor and which ones I don’t. But I’m interested in what the CleanTechnica braintrust has to say. There are undoubtedly more sophisticated investors in the crowd who can weigh in with insights. At least one investment advisor I’ve noted has recommended against too narrowly thematic funds.
I’m also interested in what investment vehicles I’ve missed. Chime in.
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is a member of the Advisory Boards of electric aviation startup FLIMAX, Chief Strategist at TFIE Strategy and co-founder of distnc technologies. He hosts the Redefining Energy. Tech podcast (https://shorturl.at/tuEF5). a part of the award-winning Redefining Energy team. He spends his time projecting scenarios for decarbonization 40-80 years into the future, and assisting executives, Boards and investors to pick wisely today. Whether it’s refueling aviation, grid storage, vehicle-to-grid, or hydrogen demand, his work is based on fundamentals of physics, economics and human nature, and informed by the decarbonization requirements and innovations of multiple domains. His leadership positions in North America, Asia and Latin America enhanced his global point of view. He publishes regularly in multiple outlets on innovation, business, technology and policy. He is available for Board, strategy advisor and speaking engagements.
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Global X Autonomous Electric Vehicles ETF
This ETF provides diversification across all aspects of the EV industry, skewing toward autonomous vehicles (AVs). The Global X Autonomous Electric Vehicles ETF had almost 450.3 billion of net assets in late 2021 and 76 distinct holdings.
The ETF’s top holdings include Alphabet ( GOOGL 0.23% )( GOOG 0.27% ), Nvidia ( NVDA 0.78% ), Microsoft ( MSFT 0.13% ), and Apple ( AAPL.0.4% ). Major automakers, including Tesla ( TSLA 1.92% ) and General Motors ( GM.1.14% ), which plans to go all-electric by 2035, are further down the list. The ETF also invests in a mix of companies that make semiconductors, components, batteries, and software for EVs and AVs.
The fund’s expense ratio is 0.68%. It aims to mimic the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Solactive Autonomous Electric Vehicles Index.
KraneShares Electric Vehicles Future Mobility ETF
The KraneShares Electric Vehicles Future Mobility ETF tracks the Bloomberg Electric Vehicles Index. Its top holding is Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, a leading Chinese battery manufacturer that doesn’t trade on U.S. exchanges.
Other major holdings include China’s NIO ( NIO 6.28% ), Tesla, the auto parts company Aptiv ( APTV 3.79% ), and various semiconductor suppliers. Also on the list is the German auto giant Volkswagen ( VWAGY.0.83% ), which is investing substantial resources in EVs and EV batteries.
This ETF has an expense ratio of 0.70%, total assets of almost 350 million in late 2021, and more than 60 total holdings.
SPDR SP Kensho Smart Mobility ETF
This ETF focuses on U.S.-listed companies participating in the Smart transportation sector, which encompasses EVs, AVs, transport systems, and drones. The fund tracks the SP Kensho Smart Transportation Index.
EVs are only part of the fund’s FOCUS. About 20% of this ETF’s holdings are in automobile manufacturers. Two of the top holdings are Tesla and Chinese EV manufacturer Li Auto ( LI 4.85% ).
Industries that support EVs are heavily represented. Another 16% of the fund’s assets are invested in auto parts and equipment companies, and about 8% of the fund is allocated to construction machinery and heavy truck manufacturers. Semiconductor companies comprise roughly 13% of the ETF’s holdings.
Top holdings other than automakers include automotive technology provider Veoneer (NYSE:VNE) and materials company Aspen Aerogels ( ASPN 1.21% ). The ETF comes with an expense ratio of 0.45% and has about 200 million of assets under management.
EVs and ETFs
If you are interested in exploring an electric vehicle-focused ETF, Fidelity offers the Fidelity Electric Vehicle and Future Transpo ETF ( ). Holdings information may be obtained by clicking the fund trading symbol.
The top 10 holdings of this fund, as of 3/31/2023, are:
- Tesla – 4.77%
- NXP Semiconductors – 3.88%
- STMicroelectronics – 3.70%
- Samsung SDI – 3.64%
- ON Semiconductor – 3.59%
- Aptiv – 3.41%
- LG Energy Solution – 3.20%
- NIO – 3.05%
- Skyworks Solutions – 2.88%
- Garmin – 2.85%
Can any bumps in the road slow down EVs?
An impressive aspect for the EV market has been its resilience in the face of the global supply chain headwinds that have impacted car makers, as well as a range of other businesses. Cars contain thousands of components, and despite supply issues across a spectrum of these components, 2022 was a record year for EVs—and 2023 is expected to be even better.
With that said, there are reasons for investors to be cautious. Not only are supply chain issues continuing to cause some shortages and delays for automakers, relatively higher input remain a factor that threatens to curb margins over the near term. For instance, key battery components including lithium carbonate, graphite, and nickel have all increased in price relative to several years ago. Of course, improvements in battery technology have been helping bring down over time, partially offsetting the uptick in input prices. Nevertheless, new car have increased substantially over the past several years, potentially pricing out many buyers.
Another risk that remains is the EV market’s reliance on government support. While many governments around the world are increasingly focusing on EV infrastructure, EV car sellers still depend to a great extent on tax credits and other policies. Just as subsidies and other governmental support for oil and gas industries help support the traditional gas engine market, the EV market relies to a great extent on the public-private partnership.
Nevertheless, trends in the electric vehicle market appear to be stronger than ever.