Don’t Get Bogged Down by the Current Panic
In today’s Money Morning…there’s a lot of disruption happening in this space…EVs could get a big boost from the war in Eastern Europe…it’s easy to get caught up in the current panic…and more…
Musicians Imani Lauren (aka Sax Bae) and Kaelin Ellis had never met before coming together on that sunny rooftop parking lot overlooking the city.
You see, Ford had issued both a challenge: To create a song together using power only from the ‘frunk’ of their new Ford F-150 Lightning. The F-150 Lightning is the electric version of the Ford F-150, their best-selling pickup truck.
If you don’t know what a ‘frunk’ is, it’s basically a trunk that’s located at the front of the vehicle. You’ve likely seen sports cars like the Audi R8 with the engine at the back and a trunk at the front.
But the term has been applied a lot more recently to EVs as they don’t have an internal combustion engine under the hood.
In the case of the Ford F-150 Lightning, its ‘mega power frunk’ has 14 cubic feet of space along with the bed at the back for storage.
So as the two musicians met up on that rooftop, Kaelin started to take his equipment out from the frunk. A large speaker, a small speaker, a table, a set of drums, a laptop, and a keyboard…all from where the engine should be.
I mean, having more space is great, especially when it’s a pickup truck, and it gives you the option of storing things out of sight instead of on the bed of the truck.
But what Sax Bae and Kaelin Ellis do next is even more impressive.
They go on to power all that stuff from the frunk to give a musical performance. You see, the F-150 Lightning has four 120v outlets and two USB outlets in the frunk, which allows the owner to power things like tools, or in this case, musical equipment.
As Sax Bae put it:
‘That was mind blowing. The fact that that truck could power everything that we were doing just now is just ridiculous.’
The short video titled ‘A Frunkin Performance’ is a new YouTube series from Ford to showcase the F-150 Lightning.
In another episode, ‘The Frunkin Cookout’, they challenge Ghetto Gastro, a culinary collective from New York, to cook up a meal. The two co-founders plug in a blender, an electric stove, and a gridle and then set up a table on the truck’s bed to sit down and eat their meal.
You can watch the episodes here.
The truck can provide electric power from anywhere, but it doesn’t stop there. The pickup truck can even be used as an emergency backup generator for your home if there is a blackout.
A properly equipped F-150 Lightning can power a house for three days from one charge or as long as 10 days if power is rationed.
The point is that it’s an exciting time at the moment for EVs.
EVs aren’t just about lowering emissions, there’s a lot of disruption happening in this space, and EVs can end up offering more benefits than their petrol counterparts.
And there could be a big catalyst for EVs coming our way.
EVs could get a big boost from the war in Eastern Europe
It’s been a bit of a tug of war when it comes to oil prices.
On the one hand, oil demand has been falling as China battles higher COVID cases and imposes lockdowns. On the other hand, the European Union has been looking at sanctioning Russian oil, which would likely increase oil prices.
Europe wants to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year.
But while some countries in the EU have already taken some steps to reduce dependence on Russian oil, some members are still very dependent on it.
The decision needs to be unanimous by all members, and at the moment, Hungary, which is highly dependent, has been withholding its support of the sanctions.
Transport, in particular, is still very dependent on oil in the European Union, as you can see below:
Source: Energy Monitor
For now, Europe has been looking at diversifying its oil imports from other countries in places like the Middle East to reduce dependency.
But that’s still really a short-term solution that still leaves it vulnerable to oil disruptions.
If the conflict has shown anything, it’s that Europe needs to be more energy independent. And, even if the war ended tomorrow, these effects are here to stay for a while.
The long-term solution really is renewable energy and accelerating the shift to electric vehicles. Remember, Europe is one of the biggest carmakers in the world.
And numbers are starting to show that this trend is starting to gather some speed.
Even with global supply chain disruptions, global plug-in vehicle registrations numbered 851,489 in March this year, up 60% from the same time last year and increasing market share to 15%.
While overall car sales slumped in Europe for that month, it was a different story for EVs. For that month, Europe registered around 250,000 new plug-in cars, up 10% from the same month last year and the second-highest monthly result ever.
So higher oil prices and supply unreliability could really accelerate the uptake of EVs.
It’s easy to get caught up in the current panic
There’s been a lot of fear in the markets in recent days.
And don’t get me wrong, there is lots to worry about. The pandemic, inflation, rising interest rates, shortages…it’s a time to be cautious.
But to me, the renewable energy transition is just as exciting as it was a few months ago.
It’s a megatrend that will play out for years to come. It won’t be easy, and it will have its up and downs, but it’s an area that’s all about innovation and disruption, and there will be plenty of exciting opportunities coming out of it.
So while things are looking dire, remember there are still plenty of opportunities out there.
Until next week,
For Money Morning
PS: While things are certainly shifting around the world, my colleague Jim Rickards thinks this isn’t a time to sit idle. In fact, he’s put an entire presentation together about what to do during this time. To reserve your spot, click here.