Tesla used to be the only electric game in town. No longer
电动汽车市场上,特斯拉曾一家独大。这种局面到头了

特斯拉宇宙之旅 Journeys in the Teslaverse-书迷号 shumihao.com

A RECENT VIDEO of Elon Musk taking a spin in a new all-electric Volkswagen with Herbert Diess, the German carmaker’s boss, set tongues wagging. VW was forced to deny that a deal with Tesla was in the offing. A deeper bromance between Mr Musk’s firm and his main rival in the market for electric vehicles (EVs) looks unlikely. But the meeting highlights how the car industry is at last taking the impending EV revolution seriously.
在近期的一段视频中,伊隆·马斯克和德国汽车制造商大众的老板赫伯特·迪斯(Herbert Diess)开着一辆新款全电动大众汽车兜风,引得人们议论纷纷。大众被迫否认与特斯拉即将达成一项交易。大众是特斯拉在电动汽车市场的主要竞争对手,两家公司之间似乎不太可能存在更深厚的兄弟情。但二人的会面突显出汽车行业终于开始认真对待即将到来的电动汽车革命了。

Giant new businesses are gearing up to support the switch from petrol to electricity. Besides changing the way cars are propelled, this requires batteries, software to ensure these work in harmony with motors, and data harvested from cars that may one day allow them to drive themselves. Over 250 firms are manufacturing electric motors. Forty-seven battery factories are under construction. Anjan Kumar of Frost & Sullivan, a consultancy, expects total new EV-battery capacity to go from 88 gigawatt-hours in 2019, enough to power Texas for less than two hours if plugged into the grid, to 1,400 gigawatt-hours in 2025. Established carmakers are pondering how to loosen the grip of big tech on software.
各种大型新业务正在加紧准备,好为从汽油到电力的转变提供支持。除了要改变汽车的驱动方式外,还需要电池、确保电池与发动机协调运作的软件,以及从汽车上收集的大量数据——借助这些数据,有朝一日可能会实现无人驾驶。250多家公司正在生产发动机。47座电池工厂正在建设中。咨询公司弗若斯特沙利文(Frost & Sullivan)的安然·库马尔(Anjan Kumar)预计,新增电动汽车电池产能将从2019年的88吉瓦时(如果接入电网可为得克萨斯州供电近两小时)升至2025年的1400吉瓦时。老牌汽车制造商正在思索如何能让大科技公司放松对软件的控制。

The total market capitalisation of listed makers of exclusively electric cars now exceeds $400bn. Add producers of batteries that go into them, and the EV-industrial complex, which makes fewer than 400,000 vehicles annually, is worth at least $670bn (not counting miners of lithium and other battery minerals). That is nearly three-fifths as much as traditional carmakers, which churn out 86m cars a year, nearly all of them petrol-powered (see chart 1). Call it the Teslaverse.
目前,专门生产电动汽车的已上市制造商的总市值超过4000亿美元。加上电动汽车电池生产商,这个年产量不到40万辆的电动汽车产业综合体至少价值6700亿美元(不包括开采锂和其他电池所用矿物的矿业公司)。这将近是传统汽车制造商总市值的五分之三。后者每年生产8600万辆车,几乎全部是汽油动力车(见图表1)。我们不妨将电动汽车产业综合体称作“特斯拉宇宙”。

As that moniker suggests, Mr Musk’s firm sits at its centre. In July it overtook Toyota as the world’s most valuable carmaker, and kept accelerating—never mind that it made 370,000 cars against Toyota’s 10m and a fraction of the Japanese firm’s revenues (see chart 2). By August Tesla was worth over $450bn. A market correction lopped a third off its share price but it has since rebounded. What would it mean to take it seriously, as investors appear to be?
顾名思义,马斯克的公司位于这个宇宙的中心。7月,它超越丰田成为全球市值最高的汽车制造商,而且还在不断加速——先别管它仅生产了37万辆汽车,而丰田为1000万辆;而且它的营收也只相当于这家日本公司的一小部分(见图表2)。到8月时,特斯拉的市值超过了4500亿美元。在市场修正后,其股价被削去了三分之一,但随后又反弹。重视这家公司——就像投资者表现出来的那样——意味着什么?

Car sales could fall by 25% in 2020 owing to pandemic disruption. But the share of EVs on the road will continue to grow as emissions regulations tighten, the price of batteries falls and the choice of models expands. Next year three in every 100 cars sold will be pure electric or a plug-in hybrid. The share may rise to 20-25% by 2030, equal to 20m new EVs a year.
由于疫情的破坏,2020年汽车销量可能会下降25%。但随着排放法规收紧、电池价格下降以及可供选择的车型增加,电动汽车的销售份额将继续增长。明年,每100辆售出的汽车中将有三辆是纯电动或插电式混合动力汽车。到2030年,这一比例可能会上升至20%至25%,相当于每年售出2000万辆电动汽车。

At the moment Tesla is the “apex predator”, says Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley, a bank. It has been manufacturing EVs at scale longer than any other carmaker and sells more of them. Its elevated share price translates into the lowest cost of capital in the business. A growing offering, with a lorry and pickup soon to hit the road, will widen its appeal. It attracts the best engineers and possesses in Mr Musk, love him or loathe him, a leader with messianic zeal.
摩根士丹利的亚当·乔纳斯(Adam Jonas)说,眼下特斯拉是“顶级掠食者”。它大规模生产电动汽车的历史比其他任何汽车制造商都更久,目前销量也更多。它的高股价转化成了行业内最低的资本成本。它的产品越来越多(一款卡车和一款皮卡即将上路),这将扩大它的吸引力。它吸引了最好的工程师,并拥有马斯克——人们爱他也罢,憎他也罢——这样一位具有救世热情的领袖。

Mr Kumar puts Tesla two to three years ahead of rivals in battery technology. Its batteries have a higher energy density, which means better range and lower costs. On September 22nd Mr Musk presented plans for new production capacity and fresh battery technology. Together, this would extend Tesla’s cost advantage.
库马尔认为,特斯拉在电池技术上领先竞争对手两到三年。其电池的能量密度更高,因而续航能力更佳、成本更低。马斯克于9月22日宣布了新产能和新电池技术的计划。这两方面的合力将扩大特斯拉的成本优势。

The firm’s edge is even more pronounced in software. Rainer Mehl of Capgemini, a consultancy, calls Tesla cars a “shell around the software and applications inside”. Thanks to vertically integrated manufacturing, systems have been interlinked from day one. As Olaf Sakkers of Maniv Mobility, an Israeli fund, explains, big carmakers have outsourced almost all their technology apart from internal-combustion engines to suppliers, and focused on assembly and marketing. This makes for a “bird’s nest of complexity”, says Mr Sakkers. Tesla’s software and mechanics are seamless by comparison.
在软件领域,特斯拉的优势更加明显。咨询公司凯捷(Capgemini)的赖纳·梅尔(Rainer Mehl)称特斯拉的汽车为“包裹住软件和各种应用的外壳”。由于采用了垂直整合制造,各类系统从一开始就相互连接。以色列基金Maniv Mobility的奥拉夫·萨科斯(Olaf Sakkers)解释说,大型汽车制造商已将内燃机之外的几乎所有技术都外包给了供应商,自己则专注于组装和营销。这就导致了“鸟巢般的复杂”,萨科斯说。相比之下,特斯拉的软件和硬件是无缝连接的。

All this software means Teslas improve with age, thanks to regular “over-the-air” updates with new features, bug fixes and even performance upgrades. This makes up for a sometimes shabby finish and questionable reliability. Other big carmakers are five years behind, says Luke Gear of IDTechEX, a consulting firm.
所有这些软件能力让特斯拉汽车随车龄的增长而改进,这要归功于定期的“无线”升级,包括添加新功能、修补漏洞,甚至性能升级。这使得人们更容易接受它们有时不够尽善尽美的外观工艺以及可靠性存疑的问题。咨询公司IDTechEX的卢克·基尔(Luke Gear)表示,其他大型汽车制造商在这方面落后了五年。

Tesla also seems to have mostly put what Mr Musk has called “production hell” behind it. As Philippe Houchois of Jefferies, an investment bank, notes, a reputation for delivering models late and over budget has become one for being ahead of time and on budget. A rapidly built new factory in Shanghai began shipping in December and “gigafactories” are under construction in Berlin and Texas that will boost capacity from 700,000 units to 1.3m in 18 months, says Credit Suisse, a bank. Tesla cheerleaders talk of 3m-5m new Teslas annually by 2025, out of a global total of around 85m cars. Mr Musk eventually wants to make 20m a year.
特斯拉似乎也基本上爬出了马斯克所说的“生产地狱”。正如投行杰富瑞(Jefferies)的菲利普·霍乔伊斯(Philippe Houchois)所指出的那样,特斯拉延迟交付车型且超预算的名声已变成了超前且符合预算。瑞信(Credit Suisse)表示,一家在上海快速建成的新工厂已于去年12月开始出货,柏林和得克萨斯州的“超级工厂”也正在建设中,这将使特斯拉的产能在18个月内从70万辆提升至130万辆。特斯拉的支持者谈论着到2025年,在全球每年约8500万辆的汽车总产量中有300万至500万辆会是特斯拉。马斯克希望最终每年能生产出2000万辆。

Mr Jonas says that Tesla’s current share price implies it will end up with 30-50% of the car market. This overlooks other sources of revenue: from selling batteries, its operating system or an EV“skateboard” of battery pack and running gear to which others can add a body (and in time more futuristic data and self-driving systems). Even the most wildly optimistic scenarios for Mr Musk’s company, then, leave room in the Teslaverse for others.
乔纳斯说,从特斯拉目前的股价来看,它最终将获得汽车市场30%到50%的份额。这忽略了其他收入来源:销售电池、操作系统,或由电池组和行驶系统组成的电动汽车“滑板”(skateboard)平台,其他人可以在该平台上添加车身(今后还能添加更多具未来感的数据和无人驾驶系统)。这样说来,即使是在对特斯拉来说最为乐观的情景中,也为其他公司在特斯拉宇宙中留有一席之地。

Start with the established carmakers. Their lowly valuations may be read as implying they ought to give up trying to make the transition to EVs and quietly fade away. But even firms with the heftiest petrol-driven legacies should not be written off. Chinese carmakers show why. The government prodded them to go electric with tough mandates in the hope of dominating the future market. Around half the world’s EVs are currently sold in China. The likes of Geely and BYD (which also makes batteries) want to expand overseas.
先来看老牌汽车制造商。人们可能会以为,它们的低估值意味着它们应该放弃向电动汽车转型的尝试,悄然退出历史舞台。但即使是那些汽油动力传统最深重的公司也不应该被完全放弃。中国汽车制造商的经历很能说明原因。政府颁布了严格的命令,敦促它们向电动汽车转变,以期控制未来的市场。目前中国市场约占全球电动汽车销量的一半。吉利和比亚迪(也生产电池)等公司希望能向海外扩张。

There, big Western carmakers face a slog. Though some suppliers, such as Aptiv, have spun off legacy operations to concentrate on EVs and self-driving technology, most remain bound to the internal combustion engine. And lots of car firms, in particular the German premium ones, must contend with powerful unions fearful of job losses resulting from the move to EVs’ less complex—and thus less labour-intensive—mechanics.
而在西方,大型汽车制造商正面临一番苦战。尽管安波福(Aptiv)等一些供应商已经剥离了传统业务而专注于电动汽车和无人驾驶技术,大多数仍未割舍掉内燃机。许多汽车公司(尤其是德国的高档汽车公司)还必须要对付强大的工会。电动汽车的机械设备没那么复杂,也就没那么劳动密集,因此工会担心向电动汽车的转向会导致工作岗位流失。

Despite the difficulties, the industry is desperate to make the EV side work. Mr Kumar estimates that 60% of big car firms’ research-and-development spending now goes on EVs, up from 5-10% in 2012. Morgan Stanley reckons big carmakers will invest up to $500bn in EVs over the next five years. According to Bernstein, a research firm, they have been “terrible deployers of capital” but they are “waking up”. Potential big sellers on sale this year include VW’s ID.3 and Ford’s Mustang Mach-E.
尽管困难重重,但汽车行业迫切希望在电动车这条线上有所成就。库马尔估计,大型汽车公司如今有60%的研发支出用于电动汽车,2012年这一比例为5%到10%。摩根士丹利估计,未来五年,大型汽车制造商在电动汽车上的投资将高达5000亿美元。按研究公司盛博的说法,一直以来,它们“在资本部署方面一塌糊涂”,但正在“觉醒”。今年上市的可能会大卖的电动车包括大众的ID.3和福特的野马Mach-E。

Electric power to the people’s car
电力归于“人民之车”

VW is leading the charge. It will spend €60bn ($71bn) by 2025 on EVs and digitisation. Carmakers typically develop 2-5% of software in-house. In an effort to reinvent itself as a software company, VW wants to boost its share to 60% by 2025. Other carmakers and suppliers harbour similar ambitions. Daimler’s recent tie-up with Nvidia, a giant chipmaker, should allow remote updates by 2024. Aptiv already offers integrated software.
大众冲在最前。到2025年,它在电动汽车和数字化上的支出将达到600亿欧元(710亿美元)。汽车制造商在内部开发的软件占比通常为2%到5%,大众希望到2025年之前将这一比例提高至60%,力图将自己重塑为一家软件公司。其他汽车制造商和供应商也怀有类似的雄心。戴姆勒近期与芯片巨头英伟达达成合作,这应该能让它在2024年之前实现远程更新。安波福已经在提供集成软件。

Big firms could create distinct units to lure outside capital and talent, and take risks, suggests Morgan Stanley’s Mr Jonas. Some already are. General Motors (GM) has the Cruise self-driving arm, BMW has iVentures and Toyota has its Mobility Foundation. Another tactic is to invest in startups. On September 8th GM said it would buy an 11% stake in Nikola, a controversial electric-lorry firm, for $2bn. Ford has backed Rivian, which hopes to crack the lucrative pickup market.
摩根士丹利的乔纳斯建议,大公司可以另外组建部门来吸引外部资本和人才并冒险。有些公司已经在这样做了。通用汽车有无人驾驶技术公司Cruise,宝马有iVentures,丰田有移动基金会(Mobility Foundation)。另一个策略是投资于创业公司。9月8日,通用汽车表示将以20亿美元收购备受争议的电动卡车公司尼古拉11%的股份。福特已经注资里维安(Rivian),这家公司希望能打入利润丰厚的皮卡市场。

The likes of Nikola and Rivian are examples of another part of the Teslaverse. Although they face some big barriers, notably in manufacturing and distribution, raising money is not one of them. Capital is pouring in, helping cars move off the drawing board and into production. Chinese Tesla copycats have sprung up. In America Lucid Motors unveiled its first car at its headquarters near San Francisco on September 9th, with a Tesla-beating 800km range. One of its biggest backers is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund. Lordstown, Fisker and Canoo are aiming to follow Nikola, which went public in June through a reverse merger and is now worth $13bn. Firms working on next-generation solid-state battery technology, such as QuantumScape, backed by vw and Bill Gates, plan to go public soon.
像尼古拉和里维安这样的公司是特斯拉宇宙另一部分的代表。尽管它们面临一些巨大的障碍,特别是在制造和分销方面,但筹集资金却不成问题。资本正在涌入,帮助汽车从筹划阶段进入生产阶段。在中国,一批效仿特斯拉的公司纷纷涌现;在美国,9月9日,Lucid Motors在位于旧金山附近的总部发布了它的首款车,续航里程超800公里,完胜特斯拉。其最大支持者之一是沙特阿拉伯的主权财富基金。尼古拉在6月通过反向合并上市,目前市值130亿美元,洛德斯顿(Lordstown)、菲斯克(Fisker)和卡诺(Canoo)力争追随其脚步。大众和比尔·盖茨支持的QuantumScape之类的致力于下一代固态电池技术的公司计划很快上市。

Several Chinese Tesla wannabes, such as Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto, are already listed in New York. They enjoy the benefit of cheap domestic labour, a huge local market and proximity of battery-makers such as BYD and CATL, the world’s biggest such firm. Nio, which teetered on the brink of collapse in February before a bail-out by the city government of Hefei, where it has a big factory, is now valued at around $24bn.
几家想成为“中国特斯拉”的公司如蔚来、小鹏和理想汽车都已在纽约上市。它们享受着种种优势:廉价的国内劳动力、巨大的本地市场,以及靠近电池制造商,如比亚迪和世界最大的电池厂商宁德时代。2月,蔚来曾一度濒临破产,之后获合肥市政府纾困,目前估值约为240亿美元。蔚来在合肥有一家大型工厂。

Carmaking remains a tough business to crack. Assembling bodywork or brakes at scale is different to making gadgets or writing code. Dyson, a British maker of high-tech vacuum cleaners and hand-driers, sunk £500m ($640m) into developing an EV before scrapping the idea. Apple abandoned plans to make a car in 2016, though it is still investing in self-driving systems. Other tech giants are opting instead to invest in startups. In China Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba have backed WM Motor, Nio and Xpeng, respectively. Amazon has put money into Rivian and ordered 100,000 of its electric lorries (in part to show it is serious about reducing its carbon footprint).
汽车制造仍然是一个难以攻入的领域。大规模组装车身或刹车装置和制造小设备或写代码是两回事。英国高科技吸尘器和干手器制造商戴森曾投入5亿英镑(6.4亿美元)开发电动汽车,后来放弃了。苹果在2016年放弃了造汽车的计划,不过仍在投资无人驾驶系统。其他科技巨头则选择投资创业公司。在中国,百度、腾讯和阿里巴巴分别支持了威马汽车、蔚来和小鹏。亚马逊已向里维安投资,并订购了10万辆电动卡车(一定程度上是为了表明它对减少碳足迹是认真的)。

To survive in the Teslaverse, companies have to demonstrate they have valuable intellectual property that sets them apart, as many of the upstarts claim. But they must also prove they can sell and maintain their cars, where legacy carmakers have a long track-record. It is too early to divine the winners and losers. Even Mr Musk’s firm could falter. But his vision of an electric future is already emerging victorious.■
要想在特斯拉宇宙中生存,企业必须展示出能让自己脱颖而出的宝贵知识产权——许多新贵自己正是这样声称的。但它们也必须证明它们有能力销售和维修自家的汽车,而传统汽车制造商在这方面有着丰富的经验。现在预测赢家和输家还为时过早。就连马斯克的公司也可能会衰落。但他构想的电动化的未来已经胜利在望。