This was a memorable year for electric vehicle (EV) stocks. From a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger that saw Churchill Capital take Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) public to Rivian’s (NASDAQ:RIVN) blockbuster initial public offering (IPO), EV stocks have taken investors for quite a joyride.
However, as the year closes out, reality is starting to set in. It’s no secret that many EV companies are reporting $0 in earnings with sky-high market capitalizations. Other EV companies are looking to rival Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) even without concrete plans for scalability.
This momentum in EV stocks has helped companies generate incredible returns this year. However, whether or not these companies can report deliveries and sales that will justify their market caps remains the big question. This period of questioning is weighing on Rivian, Lucid, Fisker (NYSE:FSR) and Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV) today.
Why Are EV Stocks Down Today?
A majority of today’s EVs use lithium-ion batteries, making it a key component in the supply chain. However, a report released by the Wall Street Journal details how the scarcity of lithium has driven prices up as EV makers race to acquire the metal. According to research firm Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the price of lithium has doubled between May and November and is up 240% year to date (YTD). There is plenty of lithium waiting to be mined, but the process to convert it to battery-grade chemicals is lengthy and costly. Additionally, supply has been struggling to keep up with demand, as producers of lithium often face environmental opposition and long, strung out permitting processes. Ultimately, fears of rising lithium prices has investors questioning whether EV companies can make delivery and production targets in 2022.
A cautious note from Guggenheim is also sending EV stocks down today. Analyst Ali Faghri initiated coverage on Lucid with a price target of $38 and Tesla, with a price target of $924. However, it wasn’t the price target that scared investors. Faghri mentioned that:
“In the near term, however, we believe EV adoption may fall short of industry forecasts, particularly in the US due to a less onerous regulatory backdrop and limited product launches in key market segments. We also see insufficient domestic charging infrastructure and battery capacity as near-term bottlenecks.”
Faghri echoed the WSJ’s fears of a battery shortage as lithium prices continue to rise higher. Heading into 2022, Guggenheim remains cautious on EV stocks.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan 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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.