The vehicle electrification trend may be going strong. But lately, that hasn’t meant much when it comes to the performance of electric vehicle (EV) stocks. After the infrastructure bill sent them surging again last fall, these names have since experienced a sharp pullback, as inflation/interest rate worries have led investors to hit the brakes on speculative growth stocks.
Popular EV plays, like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID), and Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) have all dipped from their respective highs hit in November. The same has happened to more under-the-radar plays. That includes shares in the smaller EV makers, along with shares in EV charging and battery companies.
The specter of tighter U.S. Federal Reserve policy points to tougher times ahead for these names. Even so, it’s far from guaranteed that this space will remain in a bear market in 2022. The so-called “interest rate liftoff” could occur at a gradual pace, preventing another big drop for growth stocks. Add in the continued growth of the EV economy, and enthusiasm could return to this space.
If you’re bullish that another wave of “EV Mania” will hit Wall Street this year, the larger plays in this space should perform well. Yet if you’re looking for even more electrified returns, consider these seven EV stocks instead. Although riskier, any of them could spike in price if sentiment shifts back to bullish:
- EVgo (NASDAQ:EVGO)
- Faraday Future (NASDAQ:FFIE)
- Gores Guggenheim (NASDAQ:GGPI)
- Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV)
- Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:NAKD)
- Romeo Power (NYSE:RMO)
- Lightning eMotors (NYSE:ZEV)
EV Stocks to Buy: EVgo (EVGO)
Among electric vehicle charging plays, EVGO stock may not be what first comes to mind. Instead, ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT), one of the larger names in the space, or even Volta (NYSE:VLTA) may be what you think of first.
However, as our Louis Navellier argued late last month, EVgo is an overlooked charging play with great promise. It has a leading position in the Level 3 DC fast charging segment of the industry. With this, you can make the argument that EVgo is a dark horse candidate to win the EV charging wars.
Especially given its partnerships with General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Uber Technologies (NASDAQ:UBER). Not to mention, its plans to triple the size of its charging network within the next three years. At today’s prices, this former special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) trades basically at its initial offering price of $10 per share. That’s far below the $24.34 per share high it hit early last year.
For now, as sell side analysts, such as the team at Needham, take a “show me” view on EVGO stock, it may tread water for a little longer. But given its high potential, you may want to consider buying it today. Before subsequent developments/strong results send it back to substantially higher prices.
Faraday Future (FFIE)
Not all secondary EV stocks are alike. For every name like Fisker (NYSE:FSR) or Gores Guggenheim (more below), under-the-radar yet regarded by many as a possible winner, there are EV plays where enthusiasm has sputtered out. That’s the case here with Faraday Future.
Formerly a SPAC known as Property Solutions Acquisition Corp, a year ago it zoomed to as much as $20.75 per share. But with the waning of the first wave of “EV Mania,” plus the SPAC wipeout last spring? Shares gave back their gains, and made it back to their $10 per share offering price.
Following the deal close, investors soured even more on FFIE stock. Positive developments, for instance news of Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) investing in the PIPE (private investment in public equity) financing that followed the merger, only provided brief boosts. Other news, like its delay of Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) filings pending an investigation into allegations made by a short seller, have had a more lasting negative impact on its stock price.
So, with Faraday looking more like a Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE) in the making, rather than the next Lucid, why invest in it? Beaten down to around $5.20 per share, if it can ride out the above-mentioned “short report”/delayed filing hurdle, and continue making progress getting to the production stage for its FF 91 vehicles, it could make a stunning recovery after its extended drop in price.
EV Stocks to Buy: Gores Guggenheim (GGPI)
In recent weeks, I’ve talked up EV SPAC Gores Guggenheim. It has big potential to rally once its merger with Polestar closes later this year. Based in Sweden, with the backing of Geely (OTCMKTS:GELYF) and its Volvo unit, this lesser-known electric vehicle maker is very similar to the two most popular publicly-traded early stage names in this industry, Lucid and Rivian.
However, with one key difference. Based on its current stock price ($11.03 per share), the implied valuation of this company is well below the valuations given to either rival. This comes despite it setting its sights on hitting six-digit annual delivery numbers by 2025. Admittedly, it makes sense why the market has given GGPI stock a discounted valuation.
First, with the company and its blank-check merger partner vague on the details when it comes to when the close will close (first half of 2022), there is a risk of a deal delay. Second, its potential notwithstanding, it’s also unclear how it will fare when it enters the U.S. luxury EV market. The competition between Tesla, new names like Lucid, as well as incumbent automakers is heating up.
That said, just like Lucid revved up in price several times in 2021, the same thing could happen here with GGPI stock during 2022. You may want to buy today, before it starts to break out.
Canoo is another example of an EV play investors have largely given up on. Yes, updates with its manufacturing timeline did help it to surge in price during November. But despite releasing more positive news in December, the stock gave back its gains, and then some.
In all, GOEV stock is down 30.13% in the past month. Over the past twelve months, it’s down about 50%. This speculative EV startup was a bad bet for investors in 2021. However, things could play out a whole lot differently in 2022. Why? For starters, this pre-revenue company could move to the revenue generation stage this year. It plans to launch its “lifestyle vehicle” (basically an electric camper van) later this year.
Second, more progress in building out its manufacturing infrastructure, and in beginning production of its delivery vehicle and pickup truck models, could help boost Canoo stock as well. Given its high short-interest (around 29% of float has been sold short), improvements with its underlying business could have a dramatic impact on shares.
Keep in mind though its high-risk nature. As my InvestorPlace colleague Will Ashworth recently recommended, only invest in GOEV stock that you can afford to lose. As it’s far from guaranteed that its ambitious plans will pan out, this undercapitalized EV maker could see an even greater price decline this year than it did last year.
EV Stocks to Buy: Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. (NAKD)
Don’t let the ticker symbol fool you. With its merger with Cenntro Automotive Group now complete, NAKD stock has gone from e-commerce play to EV play in the blink of an eye. Focused on building commercial vehicles for last mile delivery, the EV maker is already at the production stage, and is generating revenue.
In the coming year, it could see a big ramp-up in production. It plans to soon open its new production facility in Jacksonville, Florida. If all goes to plan, the company could generate $506 million in sales in 2022, and $2.1 billion in sales in 2023. In turn, hitting these ambitious projections could send NAKD stock, which recently had a one-for-15 reverse stock split, to prices well above current levels (around $4.25 per share).
Of course, much like Canoo and the other speculative EV stocks we’ve discussed, this too is a highly risky play. It does have access to the more than $250 million in cash that was on the former Naked Brand’s books. Yet this may not be enough to scale itself into a multibillion enterprise. I wouldn’t be surprised if the company decides to raise more capital via dilutive secondary offerings.
Also, while it’s smartly targeting a niche segment of the EV space, that alone doesn’t mean it’ll find success. With competition heating up in the commercial EVs as well, it may prove difficult to hit the aforementioned projections. Still, while risky, consider it an under-the-radar electric vehicle stock to keep an eye on.
Romeo Power (RMO)
After talking about four EV makers, and an EV charging company, let’s look at an electric vehicle battery play. In the run-up to the SPAC merger that took it public, RMO stock, formerly known as RMG stock, shot up to prices well above $30 per share.
Today? It trades for a mere fraction of that, at around $3.33per share. As seen with similar plays, for instance Microvast Holdings (NASDAQ:MVST), analysts and investors have clearly become more bearish on EV battery stocks.
So, why take a chance on Romeo Power? Like I discussed in December, oversold and heavily shorted (despite posting better-than-expected quarterly numbers), it could further prove its skeptics wrong, and continue to scale up its business. This could result in a dramatic shift in the market’s view on the stock. With this, shares could see a sharp move back toward prior price levels.
Trading for around 30x projected 2021 sales, I’ll admit it could take another big tumble, if it fails to see a nearly five-fold increase in revenues this year, which is what analysts are expecting. Yet comparing upside potential against downside risk, investors bullish that “EV mania” is due to return may want to enter a small, speculative position in RMO stock.
EV Stocks to Buy: Lightning eMotors (ZEV)
Lightning eMotors, a commercial EV maker, made some waves a short-squeeze play late last summer. At the time, I suggested it was best to fade the squeeze. Despite announcing big partnership deals, I argued it would be years before these deals would pay off for Lightning.
Since then, the squeeze has long since ended. Only about 12.4% of its float is sold short. ZEV stock changes hands now for around $6.93 per share, down from the double-digit prices it was fetching back in August. With a lot of the hype now out of the way? Today may be the time to build a position.
As seen in recent headlines about the company, it’s finding solutions to supply chain issues. It also appears set to increase its sales pipeline, which currently stands at around $1.3 billion.
Like with other lesser-known names mentioned above, it’s best not to bet the ranch on this play. It has just $187 million in cash on hand. This may mean it’ll have to raise more capital on dilutive terms down the road. But if you’re looking for EV stocks that could outperform the larger names if enthusiasm returns to this space? Consider ZEV stock one such play.
On the date of publication, Thomas Niel 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.
Thomas Niel, a contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.