A Joe Biden presidency could boost Tesla and the auto industry

By Paul R. La Monica | CNN Business

Joe Biden wants the US government to take an active role in increasing adoption of electric vehicles — far more than President Trump does. Biden reiterated that during Tuesday night’s presidential debate. That could be yet another bullish sign for Tesla and other electric car makers.

Biden supports America incentivizing companies to build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country.

He says he wants America to be the global leader in EV manufacturing and plans to support that with a $400 billion public investment in automobile infrastructure, improving battery technology and changing the federal vehicle fleet to electric cars and trucks.

A Biden presidency could also lead to the return of full electric vehicle tax credits and other incentives for consumers to buy electric cars.

Tesla has already done quite well during the Trump presidency. The stock is not far from an all-time high, soaring more than 400% this year as Elon Musk’s company has racked up impressive gains in sales and is finally starting to show consistent profitability. And the electric boom is a global phenomenon. Tesla’s Chinese rival Nio has surged nearly 450%.

But Tesla and other electric auto stocks could get a further boost if Biden continues to lead Trump in the polls and goes on to win the election. Some experts think that most so-called ESG-friendly (environmental, social and governance) stocks would thrive during a Biden administration.

“The difference on ESG between Biden and Trump is like night and day,” said David Page, head of macro research with AXA Investment Managers. “In a second Trump term, the US would stand out as being different from the rest of the world.”

Biden win could be bullish for Tesla and Detroit

Analysts point out that Biden’s pro-electric vehicle stance can help Tesla and other auto companies in California, which recently announced plans to phase out the sale of new cars that rely on fossil fuels by 2035.

Trump countered claims that he’s against alternative energy, saying during Tuesday night’s debate that he’s “all for electric cars” but adding that “what they’ve done in California is just crazy.” Trump has consistently made the case that he simply wants the auto industry to hire more workers.

Still, many of Trump’s energy policies have been more beneficial to coal and oil companies, fossil fuel sources of energy that have been the primary driver (so to speak) of traditional cars and trucks made in America.

But there could also be a big jump in auto industry jobs if the Big 3 US car giants of Detroit shift even more towards producing electric cars, according to Biden.

“We can get to net zero, in terms of energy production, by 2035,” Biden said about the broader energy industry during the debate, adding that this would create “millions of good-paying jobs…by having a new infrastructure that in fact, is green.”

A Biden win would not just benefit auto manufacturers and suppliers like Tesla that are focused on electric vehicles and other green and emission-free technologies. It could also help employees at GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, according to a report from Garrett Nelson, an analyst at CFRA Research.

“Traditional automakers with largely union workforces would likely be among the biggest winners from tax incentives that would further stimulate the production and consumption of EVs,” Nelson said.

Some experts argue that demand for electric cars will likely continue no matter who wins in November. There is pressure around the world to cut back on the production of gas-guzzling cars.

“Car companies have to sell vehicles globally. You can’t just rely on the US,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, which operates the world’s largest electric vehicle network. “There will be a shift due to global pressure. That makes this trend unstoppable.”

Romano also noted that the leadership in electric vehicles from Silicon Valley companies like Tesla, private firm Lucid and ChargePoint will also lead to more jobs in the US.

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