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Ford (F) and Others Collaborate With SMUD for EV Charging

·4-min read

In a path-breaking development, automakers Ford Motor Co. F, General Motors GM, and Bayerische Motoren Werke BAMXF, which is commonly referred to as BMW, announced a new managed EV charging pilot program in partnership with SMUD, the sixth-largest not-for-profit electric service provider.

The new charging program will save EV customers money on utility costs to promote a balanced energy grid.

SMUD or the Sacramento Municipal Utility District is a leading player in the clean energy space and strives to reduce carbon dioxide content and aims to reach zero carbon emissions for its power supply by 2030 under its Zero Carbon Plan. It is a community-owned electric utility serving Sacramento County and parts of Placer County. It is among the 10 largest publicly owned utilities in the United States, generating the bulk of its power through natural gas and large hydroelectric generation plants

SMUD is tasked to see if the new pilot program can help Sacramento-based EV users find the optimal time to charge their vehicles during the day.

SMUD’s current power supply is about 50% carbon-free, yet the energy provider has set an ambitious target to add 3,000 Megawatts of renewable energy and storage. If successfully completed, this would indeed be an achievement as it would be sufficient to power more than 600,000 homes annually.

Per the agreement, the three auto giants will create custom charge requests by providing an optimal charging schedule for EV owners to charge their vehicles in their suitable time slots.

All three automakers are focused on their electrification initiatives, and thereby the venture complements their vision.

Ford’s aggressive EV initiatives under the Ford+ plan looks to explore the e-mobility future and enhance customer experience. With planned spending of around $50 billion by 2026 and the target production of more than 2 million EVs by 2026-end (representing 70% CAGR), it augurs well for long-term growth. By 2030, Ford expects EVs to account for 50% of its global sales, which will cement its position in the red-hot EV landscape. Recently, it announced a range of initiatives for sourcing battery capacity and raw materials to reach its targeted annual run rate of 600,000 EVs by late 2023 and the 2 million EVs by 2026-end. Ford is thus enthusiastic about the collaboration as it looks to make charging easier for customers.

General Motors Ultium platform has been developed to help the company inch closer to the top place in the EV ladder. The company is determined to manufacture cheaper battery packs. The automaker envisions launching 30 new EVs around the globe by 2025. The pilot program underscores GM’s commitment to an all-electric future and affordable EVs for everyone.

Since last year, BMW has boosted its orders for battery cells to cater to the demand surge for EVs. BMW’s ChargeForward plan is the first smart charging program to offer customers the scope to maximize the integration of renewable energy while optimizing EV charging. The company believes that the partnership with SMUD will popularize the ChargeForward plan among more customers in California and encourage them to transition to clean energy. As a result, customers will play a prominent role in making a sustainable grid.

The new EV charging pilot program is the first of many clean energy initiatives in the anvils of SMUD and marks the initial step toward its goal of 75,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

1 Year Price Performance

Shares of F have increased 26.4% and shares of GM and BAMXF have declined 23.3% and 12.8%, respectively, over the past year.

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Zacks Rank & Key Pick

F, GM and BAMXF each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently.

A better-ranked player in the auto space is Harley-Davidson HOG, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Harley-Davidson has an expected earnings growth rate of 6.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 8.5% upward in the past 30 days.

Harley-Davidson’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one. HOG pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 49.52%, on average. The stock has risen 3.2% in the past year.

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