Electric vehicles, also known as EVs, have become all the rage lately, especially among investors.
As the world looks to go green, and EVs address one of the largest drivers of carbon emissions, investors have been flocking to electric vehicle stocks, leading to increased trading volume, and in many cases, extreme price appreciation. Moreover, many believe the tremendous gains seen in the sector are just the tip of the iceberg.
Best Electric Vehicle Stocks to Buy
As is the case with any stock or other investment vehicle, not all electric car stocks are created equal. It’s important that you don’t invest in a stock based solely on the fact that it’s in the EV sector.
Returns on investments in this or any sector will be wildly different from one stock to another. While the EV industry is relatively new, there are a ton of companies getting into the fray, making pinning down a list of strong opportunities in the space more difficult than in mature industries with clear market leaders.
Here are the top electric vehicle stocks on the market today:
1. Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO)
Nio has become a hot topic in the stock market as one of the leading competitors to Tesla. The company is a Chinese electric car startup with plenty of offerings on the market that are starting to gain steam.
Ultimately, Nio is a double emerging market play. Not only is the company taking part in the emerging electric vehicles industry, but it’s also located in China, an emerging economy that’s quickly becoming a developed one, which is a recipe for tremendous growth.
In the beginning, investors were concerned about Nio. As recently as 2019, sales had slumped, and many believed the company was headed toward bankruptcy. However, in 2020, that all changed as sales made a tremendous comeback. The growth in sales continued through 2021 with more of the same expected in 2022.
In the first quarter of 2022, Nio produced $1.458 billion in vehicle sales, up more than 24% from the same quarter last year. Vehicle deliveries have also grown significantly. The company delivered 25,768 vehicles in Q1 2022, up 5,708 deliveries from Q1 2021.
Nio also seems to be expecting demand for its EVs to ramp up significantly, which can be seen in the company’s production capacity. The company spent a massive amount of money on infrastructure with the goal of increasing its production capacity, which sat at about 150,000 vehicles for 2021, according to Nasdaq.
According to Electrive, Nio is aiming for a 500,000 vehicle-per-year production capacity.
Recently, Morgan Stanley’s Tim Hsiao weighed in on the stock with a positive opinion. He expects margins to fall slightly, but expects investors to pay more attention to increasing sales. He also said Nio’s expansion of models including sedans, SUVs, and crossovers is likely to grow its addressable market, which is expected to support further sales growth.
As demand continues to increase, Nio continues to innovate, and a global focus on clean energy becomes stronger, the stock is becoming more and more of an opportunity. Combine that with the fact that the company is fast approaching profitability in a double emerging market, and the stock becomes hard to ignore.
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2. General Motors (NYSE: GM)
You might not expect to see a 112-year-old traditional automaker included in the list of the best electric vehicle stocks for 2021. But why would a massive vehicle manufacturer and leader in the auto industry exclude itself from the EV market?
Not only is General Motors working to develop electric offerings of its own, the company has made what investors see as one of the biggest promises in the auto industry’s history.
General Motors is working its way toward an all-electric future and has announced its ambition to end production of its fossil-fuel powered vehicles in favor of all electric vehicle models. To kick things off, the company invested about $7 billion in 2021. By 2025, the company will have invested $35 billion into the EV space.
As a result of the company’s aggressive plans to become a leader in the electric vehicle market, it’s earned its spot on the top EV stocks for 2022.
Although the stock recovered quickly from COVID-19-related lows, it’s had a horrible time in the market since late 2021. It’s down more than 40% over the past year. That might make you want to turn and run, but savvy investors see the undervaluation as an opportunity.
That EV portfolio is growing quickly. The company recently unveiled the Cadillac Celestiq, a luxury EV model. It has also launched the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, the Chevy Bolt, Silverado, Blazer, and GMC Hummer, all of which are now fully electric.
Over the years, General Motors has proven to be a dominant player in the auto industry, and as it continues to innovate in the emerging EV market, it will likely continue to hold its crown. All in all, the stock is one that’s worth your attention.
3. Ford (NYSE: F)
Ford is another pioneer in the automotive industry, with a leadership position that’s held for more than a century. The company has survived the peaks and valleys of the auto market and has remained a leader in innovation. It’s not a company that’s likely to leave an opportunity on the table.
As a result, the company is also racing to lead the charge in electric vehicles.
Currently, Ford has three electric vehicles on the market:
- Mustang Mach E. The king of the muscle car, Ford wouldn’t be doing its followers any favors if a switch to the electric model left the Mustang in the dust. So, it’s no surprise that the first all-electric vehicle out of the company is known as the Mustang Mach E. Showcasing the power electric cars can have, the Mustang Mach E reaches peak acceleration in under one second and comes with minimal scheduled maintenance, reducing the cost of ownership.
- F-150 Lightning. The F-150 is one of the most popular pickup trucks in history, and now a fully-electric version is available. The truck lives by the company’s “Built Ford Tough” motto, and its electric design opens room under the hood for a car-like trunk. The truck can tow up to 10,00 pounds and accelerate from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds.
- 2022 E-Transit. Ford is also looking to produce commercial vehicles in competition with its longtime rival General Motors. The 2022 E-Transit seems to be a shot at doing just that. The commercial van features plenty of space for transporting packages or any other commercial use. Unfortunately, range comes up short compared to the BrightDrop EV600 with just 126 miles of range on a full charge.
These are just the first of many 100% electric models this leader in auto manufacturing is likely to offer in the relatively near future.
Not to mention, the company recently announced a partnership with Google. The six-year partnership starts in 2023 when the two companies will work together to modernize Ford production facilities through vision AI, create new buying experiences, and create new offerings with connected vehicle data.
Because the auto industry of the future blends technology with traditional mechanics, a partner like Google is a major advantage to any player in the game.
Like with General Motors, an investment in Ford is an investment in a longstanding company that has not only survived the ups and downs of its industry and the economy, but thrived in the process. Now, with Google on its side, this classic winner is becoming even more attractive, making it one for the watchlist.
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4. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)
When you think of the automotive industry, Apple isn’t likely the first to come to mind. The company became a behemoth thanks to products like the iPhone and iPad; what does it have to do with electric vehicles?
Apple is planning on launching an autonomous electric sedan of its own. Big names like Nissan and Hyundai have both stepped up to the table to chat about becoming the manufacturing partner behind this revolutionary vehicle.
Apple hasn’t announced who will manufacture the vehicle. But that’s not unusual for Apple.
The company is known for its secretive approach to launching new products, but if rumors are any indication, Apple plans on going further than any other self-driving vehicle company with autonomous vehicles that don’t require user intervention.
Beyond rumors, here’s what we know to be facts:
- Apple Is Working on an Autonomous Vehicle. The company has confirmed its work on autonomous driving technology.
- Vehicle Testing. The company has been testing autonomous driving technology in California using vehicles leased from Hertz.
- Workforce. Apple has hundreds of employees dedicated to its autonomous driving project.
Sure, an Apple Car may be a long way off, but it’s coming, which means an investment in the stock gives you exposure to the EV market.
Because there’s always risk with investing in an emerging industry like electric vehicles, it’s wise to consider investing in stocks that give you access to the emerging market while providing stability through a tried-and-true business model.
That’s exactly what Apple does.
The company has a strong history of increasing revenue and earnings, making it one of the strongest growth stocks on the market today. Moreover, throughout the last year, it has shown it’s capable of performing well even in times of a pandemic.
As a leader in innovation, Apple climbed above and has stayed on top of the competition in the smartphone and tablet industries, and will likely take a sizable piece of the EV market in time, making the stock one for the books.
5. Blink Charging (NASDAQ: BLNK)
While the majority of companies in the EV space are focused on developing and manufacturing the next big car, truck, SUV, or van, there are only a handful of companies focused on the technology needed to charge these vehicles.
One of the exciting facts about Blink Charging is that the company has so little competition.
Electric vehicles need power to run. There’s no gasoline and no combustion; these cars run on batteries. The batteries that provide the power for electric vehicles run out of juice and need recharged, generally after every couple hundred miles.
At first glance, it may not seem like a great business. EVs come with the chargers that let you plug them in and recharge them at home. So, what’s the need for a charging company?
Wouldn’t it be nice to pull your car into a parking space and plug it in, knowing your car is charging while you’re shopping or watching a movie? What about when you go on vacation? Wouldn’t you want to charge your car while you’re away from home?
That’s where Blink Charging comes in.
The company owns a network of charging stations, some of which it manages directly, and some of which it sets up and allows a business owner to manage while taking a share of the revenue. They work like gas stations, with customers paying to plug their vehicles into one of the chargers.
With the goal of continuously expanding its charging station network, Blink Charging could become the preferred charging solution for EVs, just as if it was the Exxon Mobil of the future.
As the company’s network of charging stations grows, so too does its revenue, which increased more than 236% last year. Although the company is still operating at a loss, the vast majority of its spending is being used for expanding infrastructure that will lead to future revenue, much like what we saw from Amazon.com in the early days of e-commerce.
The bottom line is if every other company on this list does well, EVs will be all over the place, and few companies are focused on charging stations. With relatively little competition, a network that’s growing quickly, and profitability likely just around the corner, Blink Charging is worth your attention.
6. Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA)
Nikola is another green vehicle startup, but it comes with a twist. The company isn’t interested in creating the next sporty electric car or creating a vehicle the whole family can enjoy. Instead, the company is focused on the utility of the development of hydrogen fuel vehicles, specifically trucks. Hydrogen fuel is a clean source of energy that gives off one byproduct when consumed: water.
Sure, strictly speaking we’re not talking about EVs here, but the discussion isn’t complete without speaking to the alternative clean transportation offerings at Nikola.
The company currently has three trucks on the market, all of which are semi trucks. It was working on the production of a consumer pickup truck but decided to tighten its core focus and stick with commercial vehicles.
Its trucks are Tre BEV, Tre FCEV, and Two FCEV. The Tre models have day cabs while the Two FCEV is designed for cross-country trips and is fully equipped with a sleeper cabin.
The lower-cost Tre is capable of running 250 to 300 miles on a single charge, with the Two’s range reaching 500 to 750 miles. It only takes about 20 minutes to charge these vehicles up from empty.
As a relatively new business, Nikola is another company that isn’t quite profitable yet, but it’s quickly ramping up production. Given the current leadership in Washington D.C., the company will likely benefit from increased demand as companies that rely heavily on trucking look to go green in order to take part in tax and other incentives.
All told, Nikola is working in a space with little competition and solving a major problem in the process. As a result, the potential for dramatic growth in the stock is compelling.
7. Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS)
Workhorse Group is another clean transportation company with a twist.
As the company’s name suggests, its EVs are designed to be workhorses. The company’s claim to fame is its line of electric delivery vans, and it’s gaining in popularity. In fact, the company’s customers already include UPS, DHL, and Fed-Ex — not to mention, the company is partnered with massive international companies like Duke Energy, Hitachi, and Ryder.
As a vehicle manufacturer that caters to the shipping industry, Workhorse Group is likely to benefit greatly from the current leadership in Washington. The Biden Administration and the Democrats in control of Congress are expected to push for legislation that will lead to further adoption of electric vehicles among corporations, lifting demand for the company’s vehicles.
The company’s most popular offerings are its two C Series trucks — one with 650 cubic feet of cargo space and the other with 1,000 cubic feet. Both vehicles also have a range of 100 to 150 miles, depending on optional battery modules, making them a perfect option for last mile deliveries, a massive segment of the package and delivery business.
There was an overvaluation argument early last year, but recent declines have made the stock more attractive as a value play. Not to mention the extreme potential for growth given the company’s focus on last-mile delivery vehicles, which reduces competition and may give it the ability to control the market.
Although Workhorse Group is one of the higher-risk stocks on this list, it’s a compelling offering. Should it become a leader in the provision of last-mile delivery EVs, this relatively small company could grow to become a massive player in the auto industry.
8. XPeng Inc (NASDAQ: XPEV)
XPeng is another electric vehicle startup making waves in the Chinese market. The company’s most impressive offering is its G3, a super-long-range SUV capable of traveling 323 miles on a single charge.
The company also offers the P7 super-long-range sedan, which can travel 438 miles on a single charge and offers an intelligent infotainment system and user experience.
Both vehicles are equipped with hands-free parking capabilities and artificial intelligence-assisted driving, bringing more safety and simplicity to the EV space.
XPeng is seeing compelling growth in revenue. In 2021 the company reported a year-over-year gain in revenue of more than 263%.
The company is already incorporating AI features into its cars, but it plans on going fully autonomous. Last year, it announced a partnership with Livox, a leading Chinese lidar company. (Lidar — short for light detection and ranging — is technology that uses lasers to sense the surroundings and makes autonomous driving possible.)
XPeng already has lidar sensor technology in its vehicles and a fully autonomous EV may be coming out of the manufacturer relatively soon.
The company is also quickly going from national to international. In fact, the company recently made its first shipment of XPeng G3 smart cars to Norway. The company also rolled out its P7 model in 2021, further expanding its target market and potential growth.
The domestic Chinese electric vehicle market is growing at an incredible rate too, and XPeng smart EVs offer consumers the environmental efficiency they want alongside smart technology that enhances the driving experience. Moreover, the company was the first automaker to mass produce an EV equipped with lidar, further solidifying its position as the leader in smart technology being incorporated into EVs.
With strong growth taking place in revenue and an expansion into international markets to drive further growth, XPeng is a stock that’s well worth paying attention to.
9. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Tesla has become synonymous with the EV industry. The company, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, continues to be a pioneer in the electric vehicles space.
It’s no surprise investors have been all over the stock, which sent share prices soaring in 2021, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tesla’s share price climbed from about $171 per share in February 2020 to a high of over $1,100 per share in 2021 before pulling back to around $700 per share by August 2022.
Although it’s too late to take advantage of those gains, many experts believe plenty more upward movement is ahead for this high-growth stock.
There are some significant risks to consider, however:
- Supply Chain Shortages. Analysts have slashed Tesla’s production expectations citing supply chain shortages.
- Worker Issues. Business Insider reports that the company wasn’t ready to handle an in-house work force when Musk announced his return-to-work order. As a result, the work force is dealing with population-related issues like crowding and slow wifi.
- Musk Stated Bankruptcy Concerns. In a recent meeting, Musk was quoted as saying, “We’re not out of it yet. That’s overwhelmingly our concern is how do we keep the factories operating so we can pay people and not go bankrupt.” That’s a huge statement not to be taken lightly when uttered by the CEO of a publicly traded company.
- Twitter. Finally, some argue that Musk is becoming detached or distracted from Tesla as he works to acquire Twitter.
Even with the risk in mind, there’s a strong argument that it is now undervalued, considering the stock has fallen around 40% this year. Moreover, Tesla is a pioneer in electric vehicles, and it’s been over its fair share of hurdles and then some. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Musk and his team pull the figurative rabbit out of the hat again.
All in all, it’s rarely a good idea to bet against the pioneers of any industry, and it’s not likely to prove to be a good idea to bet against Tesla stock.
The electric vehicles industry is an exciting one that’s garnering quite a bit of attention from the investing community. With the global view of energy changing quickly, demand for these green vehicles is likely to continue on an upward trend.
Moreover, EVs are the result of a new intersection between traditional mechanics and cutting-edge technology, making them a very interesting topic.
Although investing in electric vehicles comes with risk, there’s no such thing as a risk-free investment, which is why research is so important when investing in any stock. At the moment, everything seems to be falling in line for the industry, setting the stage for a continuation of the dramatic growth we’ve seen among leaders in the space over the last year.
So, there’s plenty of opportunity in the industry.
When investing in the space, keep the risks in mind and do your research. By making well-researched, well-thought out investment decisions, you stand to enjoy benchmark-beating profitability.
Disclosure: The author currently has no positions in any stock mentioned herein nor any intention to hold any positions within the next 72 hours. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and not necessarily those of other members of the Money Crashers Team or Money Crashers as a whole. This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez, who shared his honest opinion of the companies mentioned. However, this article should not be viewed as a solicitation to purchase shares in any security and should only be used for entertainment and informational purposes. Investors should consult a financial advisor or do their own due diligence before making any investment decision.