Lightning eMotors Stock Is a Buy on More Than Just Its Berkshire Connection

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution isn’t just about cars. It also involves zero-emission buses, powertrains and charging products. Lightning eMotors (NYSE:ZEV) provides all of these and more, which makes ZEV stock one of the more interesting plays in the EV space.

An electric vehicle charger is seen next to a row of blue electric buses.
Source: BigPixel Photo /

Besides, that’s not the only angle worth pursuing here. As InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald pointed out and William White reaffirmed, Lightning eMotors appears to be a prime short-squeeze target.

We’ll certainly explore ZEV stock’s potential as a short-squeeze candidate. However, there are other reasons to take a long position in Lightning eMotors.

Among those reasons are a pair of deals valued in the millions of dollars. Better yet, one of those deals involves a holding company whose CEO should be very familiar to many investors.

Let’s rewind the clock to April 21, which is when shell company GigCapital3’s stockholders approved a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with Lightning eMotors.

GigCapital3 fulfilled its purpose and ZEV stock was born on May 7. The share price was around $8.67 at that time.

By Aug. 9, the stock had drifted down to $6 and change. However, the bearish price trajectory would soon be reversed.

On Aug. 10, ZEV stock suddenly shot up to $11.60. Was this because of a Reddit-fueled short-squeeze raid?

More likely, it was spurred by a value-added deal involving a well-known holding company – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

At the same time, we can’t ignore the short-squeeze potential with Lightning eMotors. Not long ago, MacDonald observed that ZEV stock’s short percent of float was extremely high, at around 35%. He also noted the company’s high borrow fee rate of 87%, which could make it difficult for short sellers to hold their positions for a long period of time.

In any case, ZEV stock has settled at $8 and change today, well below the pre-SPAC-deal-announcement price, so there may be a bargain here.

The Buffett Connection

If anything makes Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) special, it’s the renown afforded to its legendary CEO, Warren Buffett.

Anytime a smaller company gets a Buffett connection, investors perk up and take notice.

This is exactly what happened with Lightning eMotors as Forest River, a Berkshire Hathaway company and North America’s largest shuttle bus manufacturer, entered into a strategic partnership in August.

According to the press release, Lightning eMotors has been tasked with delivering up to 7,500 zero-emission Class 4 and Class 5 buses across the U.S. and Canada between 2021 and 2025.

This should keep the company busy and flush with capital as the deal has a potential estimated value of up to $850 million. Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser is ecstatic about this arrangement, no doubt.

“This has the potential to be the largest contract ever in the electric shuttle bus market,” he said.

Another Power-Packed Deal

Just in case the $850 million Berkshire-backed agreement isn’t enough for you, here’s another deal to augment the bull thesis for ZEV stock.

On Aug. 31, the company announced a strategic partnership to manufacture and deploy zero-emission, all-electric Type A school buses.

This partnership is with  Collins Bus, a leader in manufacturing Type A School Buses and a subsidiary of Rev Group (NYSE:REVG).

Collins Bus is highly experienced in this niche market. In fact, the company has deployed over 70,000 buses over the past 50 years across the U.S. and Canada.

Moreover, this partnership should help Lightning eMotors move further into the school bus electrification market.

“Electrifying school buses just makes sense,” said Chief Revenue Officer Kash Sethi. “With predictable routes, dedicated overnight parking at school bus depots, fuel and maintenance savings, all-electric school buses now make a lot of operational and financial sense as well.”

The Bottom Line

There certainly could be short-squeeze potential here if Lightning eMotors becomes a target of the Reddit crowd.

Yet, that’s not the only reason to put ZEV stock on your radar.

With a Buffett-backed deal and a foray into the electric school bus market, Lightning eMotors could be the next EV business to ride to the top.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, Finom Group, Benzinga, and (of course) He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.

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