Meet the Newest Company to Break Into Electric Vehicles

SPI Energy Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: SPI) shares more than tripled on Wednesday after the company announced that it would be getting into the electric vehicle (EV) business.

Specifically, the firm is launching a subsidiary that will design and develop EVs and EV charging stations. The subsidiary will be called EdisonFuture.

EdisonFuture will be based in Silicon Valley, and it will complement SPI Energy’s suite of photovoltaic (PV) solutions, including solar and battery storage technologies. The subsidiary will focus on the design and development of new EV technologies with potential plans to partner with major manufacturers in the future.

Management noted that this is an important milestone for SPI Energy. As Tesla has demonstrated, an end-to-end business model in the renewable energy space can generate significant value, and that’s what EdisonFuture is after.

With the addition of EV and EV charging segments to EdisonFuture’s diverse solar business, the firm is positioning itself for the future of renewable energy.

In 2019, sales of EVs topped 2.1 million globally, surpassing record sales in 2018. EVs, which accounted for 2.6% of global car sales and about 1% of global car stock in 2019, registered a 40% year over year increase.

The infrastructure for EV charging grew to 7.3 million chargers globally in 2019. Publicly accessible chargers accounted for 12% of global light-duty vehicle chargers in 2019, most of which are slow chargers. Globally, the number of publicly accessible chargers (slow and fast) increased by 60% in 2019 compared with the previous year, higher than the electric light-duty vehicle stock growth.

SPI Energy stock traded up about 350% to $4.69 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $0.55 to $4.93.