The electric vehicle market is accelerating. In fact, since 2020, the market for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) has grown from just over 1% to around 6% by the end of 2022. In 2023, that number is expected to be even higher. That being said, now is a great time to invest in EV stocks with huge potential.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has a significant lead in EV production and deliveries. Plus, its strategy to sacrifice margin to stimulate demand is paying early dividends. In its most recent earnings report, Tesla delivered record revenue of $24.93 billion. However, the increased revenue came at the expense of the company’s gross margin which dropped for the second consecutive quarter.
When it comes to TSLA stock, there will always be concerns about its valuation. But Tesla has a stake in the EV charging space in addition to being a leading manufacturer. And Tesla stock enthusiasts have always viewed the company as a technology company first. Whether that justifies the premium valuation is for you to decide.
If electric vehicles are to reach mass adoption, EV manufacturers will need a ready supply of lithium. That’s because the de facto standard for electric vehicle batteries in 2023 is the lithium-ion battery. That’s why Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM) makes this list as one of the EV stocks with big. potential. According to the World Economic Forum worldwide lithium demand will rise to 3 million tonnes by 2030. And Forbes is forecasting revenue from lithium mining will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% through 2028.
Analysts expect Livent to capture a good bit of this business because it has access to low-cost production through its assets in Argentina. Plus, the company’s recent $10.6 billion all-stock merger with Allkem (OTCMKTS:OROCF) makes the combined companies the third-largest lithium producer in the world.
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is another hot lithium stock to consider. A good portion of its business will be devoted to the EV sector. Specifically, the company will provide Ford Motor (NYSE:F) with over 100,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide for the company’s EV batteries beginning in 2026. ALB stock is down 11% in 2023 and 26% over the last 12 months largely due to lower-than-expected lithium prices. However, that could be changing.
Albemarle just delivered its second quarter 2023 earnings report on August 3. While the top-line revenue was slightly lower than forecast, it was still 60% higher on a year-over-year basis. And the company blew away the bottom line number by posting 112% year-over-year growth. The company raised its full-year guidance on expectations of higher lithium prices.
In addition to lithium, EV makers will need as many semiconductor chips as possible. And one of the chipmakers that will play a significant role in the EV transition is Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). By some estimates, every electric vehicle may require up to 3,000 chips. This means that the automotive sector, which currently accounts for only about 11% of the chip market, will grow significantly.
As I noted in a prior article for InvestorPlace on autonomous vehicle stocks, Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon Ride platform earlier this year. The system provides anywhere from Level 1 to Level 5 autonomous capabilities. And the company has multiple partnerships in the EV sector to help increase adoption. Currently, QCOM stock trades at around 17x forward earnings. However, analysts project earnings growth of 19%, which supports their forecast for 23% stock price growth.
ChargePoint Holdings (NYSE:CHPT) is a good example of a stock’s story getting ahead of its fundamentals. The EV charging company went public in late 2019. The stock quickly got swept up in a combination of the EV bubble and retail investor attraction to small start-up companies. CHPT stock rocketed to over $30 a share.
It’s now trading under $10 and the company is still not posting a profit. Revenue is up 59% year-over-year and analysts are bullish on the stock, expecting revenue to double by 2026. ChargePoint even has a decent amount of institutional interest for a stock that’s trading below $10.
Still, the next couple of years feels like a now-or-never moment for the company. With some estimates that EV charging stations will need to increase four-fold by 2027, the time is now for ChargePoint to build and retain market share. If it does, CHPT stock will reward the patience of investors.
If you have a taste for speculative stocks, Microvast (NASDAQ:MVST) may hold some appeal. The company is involved in every state of lithium-ion battery production from design and development through manufacturing.
That gives the company a large addressable market. But like the EVs that its batteries fit into, this is a capital-intensive business and Microvast is burning through cash. And the company also went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in 2021. The shine has long come off of those stocks.
However, if you can put aside those risks along with regulatory concerns due to the majority of shares being owned by shareholders in China, the company is one of only a handful of companies that is working to meet the demands of this sector. And for investors with the right disposition and capital to put at risk, MVST stock offers a high upside for that risk.
Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF (DRIV)
For sectors that are entering a transition phase, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) can be a low-risk option. The Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF (NASDAQ:DRIV) gives investors exposure to many of the top names in the EV sector without the individual volatility that comes from investing in single stocks.
The DRIV ETF has $954 million in assets under management including many of the stocks listed in this article. In fact, Tesla and Qualcomm are in the top 10 of their holdings in terms of percentage of assets. The Global X ETF is even an adjacent AI play. The fund tracks an AI-enabled index that selects stocks from a range of global companies involved in all aspects of the EV manufacturing process. The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.68%.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch 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.