'Inconvenient' Fact: Morgan Stanley Says Electric Cars Create More CO2 Than They Save
For all the funds out there looking to fill their portfolio with “environmentally conscious” companies working diligently to avert an inevitable global warming catastrophe that will result in the extinction of the human race, we guess in lieu of their actual fiduciary duties to simply make money for their investors, Morgan Stanley has compiled a list of how you can get the most ‘environmental healing’ per dollar invested.
As MarketWatch points out, it’s not terribly surprising that of the 39 publicly-traded stocks analyzed, the solar and wind generation companies landed at the very top of Morgan Stanley’s environmentally friendly the list.
Morgan Stanley identified 39 stocks that generate at least half their revenue “from the provision of solutions to climate change,” something it said was a central component of investing to make a difference, as opposed to just a making a buck.
“In our view, impact investing needs to begin with companies whose products and services have a notable positive environmental or social impact,” wrote Jessica Alsford, an equity strategist at the investment bank.
Not surprisingly, alternative-energy companies ranked the highest in terms of their positive impact, and the “top five climate-change impact stocks” were all manufacturers of solar and wind energy: Canadian Solar, China High Speed Transmission, GCL-Poly, Daqo New Energy, and Jinko Solar.
What is surprising, however, is that publicly traded electric car manufacturers, darlings of the environmentally-conscious Left, were actually found to generate more CO2 than they save. As a stark reminder to our left-leaning political elites who created these companies with massive taxpayer funded subsidies, Morgan Stanley points out that while Teslas don’t burn gasoline they do have to be charged using electricity generated by coal and other fossil fuels.
This is where Tesla, along with China’s Guoxuan High-Tech fall short.
“Whilst the electric vehicles and lithium batteries manufactured by these two companies do indeed help to reduce direct CO2 emissions from vehicles, electricity is needed to power them,” Morgan Stanley wrote. “And with their primary markets still largely weighted towards fossil-fuel power (72% in the U.S. and 75% in China) the CO2 emissions from this electricity generation are still material.”
In other words, “the carbon emissions generated by the electricity required for electric vehicles are greater than those saved by cutting out direct vehicle emissions.”
Morgan Stanley calculated that an investment of $1 million in Canadian Solar results in nearly 15,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide being saved every year. For Tesla, such an investment adds nearly one-third of a metric ton of CO2.
Ironically, as we recently pointed out, Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) credits (a nicer way of saying taxpayer funded corporate welfare) is pretty much the only ‘product’ that Tesla seems to make money selling and is the only reason they managed to ‘beat’ earnings in Q2.
I’m referring to zero-emission vehicle, or ZEV, credits. California and several other states require that a certain proportion of the vehicles sold by an automaker emit no greenhouse gases. These cars earn the automaker credits, and if they don’t have enough to meet their quota, they can buy extra ones from someone who does. As Tesla only makes vehicles that run on batteries and emit nothing, it usually has a surplus for sale.
The profit margin on these is very high, perhaps 95 percent. The implied $95 million of profit equates to about 58 cents a share. Tesla reported a loss of $1.33 per share this week — beating the consensus forecast by 55 cents.
This isn’t the only time ZEV credits have played a big role for Tesla. Looking back to early 2013, selling credits has given Tesla’s earnings extra oomph in many quarters, likely taking them above consensus forecasts in some (on an implied basis, assuming that 95 percent margin):
Of course, Q2 wasn’t the first time that ZEV credits played a huge role in padding Tesla’s cash flow…
Ponder that for a moment…as taxpayers we’re actually subsidizing a product (and an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire) that is bad for the environment…