JPMorgan thinks the electric vehicle revolution will create a lot of losers

  • Adoption of electric vehicles will accelerate and that's going to hurt some internal combustion legacy businesses, JPMorgan Cazenove said in a note on Monday
  • Losers were likely to include dealer networks, maintenance businesses, lenders and oil companies, the note said

Adoption of electric vehicles is set to accelerate, and that's going to run over a lot of losers, including within the auto industry itself, JPMorgan Cazenove said in a note on Monday.

The shift toward electric vehicles is set to be a multi-year process, but once there's a tipping point, likely on a shift in costs, the transition could take off, JPMorgan analysts said.

They noted the price difference between traditional internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) was already narrowing as battery prices fall, but prices might not need to fall much for consumers to make the leap.

"Concerns about scrap values of ICVs may drive consumers towards EVs even before the price differential between the two classes of vehicles closes," JPMorgan said.

It estimated electric cars would take 35 percent of the global market by 2025 and 48 percent by 2030.

That's going to create some clear losers in an industry that's been spreading its tendrils for more than a century.

For one, adoption of electric vehicles means much lower maintenance costs for consumers, the analysts said.

"EVs have 20 moving parts compared to as many as 2,000 in an ICV, dramatically reducing service costs and increasing the longevity of the vehicle," the analysts said, adding that it estimated running costs for an electric vehicle can be around 10 percent of an internal combustion one.

"We see this as a meaningful risk for car dealers who rely on after-sales service for a large chunk of their profitability," the note said. "This should over time reduce the number of vehicles sold as well, in addition to other potential trends, such as automated driving and greater car utilization rates."

The lower number of moving parts can take a bite out of capital expenditure for the industry as well, JPMorgan said.

"EVs are relatively simpler to plan and build," it said, adding it would weigh on demand for product-lifecycle and automation software.

The auto finance industry could also take a hit, JPMorgan said, noting that scrap values for traditional cars are set to fall.

That would mean not only a lower recovery rate if the lender needs to repossess and resell an internal combustion car, but if consumers keep their electric vehicles longer, there will be fewer loans to write ahead.

Oil will likely be another victim of the new technology, JPMorgan said, noting that passenger vehicles account for 20 percent of global oil demand.

It estimated that oil demand could fall by around 15 percent by 2035 if there's a broad switch toward electric cars after 2025.

That could set off a vicious cycle, with the prospect of perpetually lower oil prices spurring increased oil drilling as companies try to monetize an asset that will only see further price declines ahead, it said.

To be sure, JPMorgan also pointed to some winners from the sea changes, particularly the semiconductor industry.

"A typical EV uses two to three times the dollar value of semiconductor constituents, compared to an ICV," the analysts said, adding that semiconductors were also used in charging stations.

JPMorgan also said it expected consumers, and consumer spending, would be winners, noting that in the U.S. and the Eurozone, personal vehicles and gasoline made up around 8 to 10 percent of overall consumption spending.

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