The last time Joe Biden was sworn into the White House in early 2013, Tesla Inc. was an upstart electric vehicle maker few believed could seriously threaten the dominance of the traditional auto giants.
As Biden prepares to swear in as president this month, the company's valuation stands at more than five times the value of Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles combined.
The stunning rise in Tesla's fortunes in less than a decade is a crucial point of context in understanding what the industry and consumers can expect under the former vice president.
There's no doubt now that the technology works, that the consumer demand exists and that the world is moving rapidly toward an EV future. These trends suggest there'll be relatively little resistance to Biden's plans to accelerate America's transition away from gasoline vehicles and return to Obama-era climate and fuel-efficiency standards.
As the incoming administration's policies unfold, U.S. automakers and suppliers will benefit from much-needed clarity around how to invest and prepare for the transition to EVs. After lagging Europe and Asia in recent years, the U.S. auto industry will get another chance to become a world leader in electric technology. This will mean big opportunities for investors while creating intense pressure for suppliers and automakers to adapt to new production models.