When finance types talk about internal combustion engines, they often just use the abbreviation ICE.
It's an appropriate name. Investors have a frosty view of car companies that depend on gasoline or diesel to power their vehicles.
Volkswagen Group has a market value of 73 billion euros ($87 billion), or about 6.5 times the earnings it generated last year. By contrast, Tesla's all-electric lineup has propelled it to an astonishing $352 billion valuation even though its profits are tiny. Budding Teslas such as Rivian Automotive and Nikola have achieved multi-billion-dollar valuations before even delivering their first electric vehicles.
The traditional industry giants of Germany and Detroit, such as VW and General Motors, must be hugely frustrated by the market's favoring of Elon Musk and his upstart peers. Tesla has impressive software and battery technology, but others know how to build a decent electric vehicle now.
Established automakers are spending tens of billions of dollars on doing exactly this; they just are not very good at getting credit for it.
Some environmentally focused investors refuse to ignore the fact that the incumbents still make lots of gas-guzzling SUVs.