20 Best EV Stocks To Buy in 2022 (Can You Find the Next Tesla?)

Tesla’s dramatic success has finally convinced investors that we are going to see a lot more electric cars on the road over the next decade. Tesla has certainly produced outsized returns for believers. If you are convinced that the transition to EVs will be swift, what are the stocks (other than Tesla) that you could invest in? Here is a list of 20 EV stocks that you should watch in 2022.

SustainFi   Updated January 4th, 2022

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Should you still invest in electric vehicles?

Despite climate change concerns and Tesla’s brand power, U.S. electric car penetration is only 3%. Some of that is because there just aren’t many attractive models apart from Tesla, which holds a 70% market share. But EV penetration should only grow from a low base.

Transportation accounts for a fifth of U.S. carbon emissions. It is clear that the electrification of cars will help the environment, and available options are expanding fast. The Infrastructure Bill has promised $7.5 billion to expand the nationwide EV charging network. And, over the past decade, the range of EVs has improved a lot, while EV battery prices dropped an astonishing 89%.

However, many EV stocks dipped in December 2021 after the failure of Biden’s Build Back Better Bill, which would have delivered subsidies of up to $12,500 per electric car for EV buyers. Many EV makers are suffering from chip shortages, while the cost of “green metals” like lithium and copper has skyrocketed.

But, assuming that EV penetration grows, this could be an opportunity to invest. More EV upstarts should start delivering cars in 2022, so that Tesla will no longer be the only pure-play EV company with real manufacturing capabilities.

Of course, the risks of investing in EV startups remain. Traditional manufacturers with decades of car-making experience are going all-in on electric vehicles. The charging infrastructure is still poor, potential customers suffer from road trip anxiety, and charging an EV still takes longer than a gasoline-powered car. EVs cost more than gasoline-powered cars, too.

EV startups with no revenue trade at high valuations – they will need to show real sales to justify them. Some of them have been targeted by short-sellers or investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is likely that not all EV startups with survive. But investors who can pick a winner will be rewarded.

What are the best electric car stocks?

EV stocks list

  • Tesla (TSLA)
  • Rivian Automotive (RIVN)
  • Lucid Group (LCID)
  • Fisker Inc (FSR)
  • Ford Motor Company (F)
  • General Motors (GM)
  • NIO (NIO)
  • Li Auto Inc (LI)
  • Xpeng (XPEV)
  • BYD (BYDDF)
  • ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT)
  • EVGo (EVGO)
  • Volta (VLTA)
  • Blink Charging (BLNK)
  • Wallbox (WBX)
  • Proterra Inc (PTRA)
  • Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc (FFIE)
  • Livent Corporation (LTHM)
  • Albemarle (ALB)
  • QuantumScape (QS)
  • Nikola (NKLA)

Read more about each company (except Tesla, which is well-covered pretty much everywhere):

1. Rivian Automotive (RIVN)

  • Market capitalization: $93 billion
  • 2021 return: 3%

Founded in 2009 by RJ Scaringe, the electric truck and SUV startup Rivian went public in November 2021 without any sales. However, the car-maker has since released the first electric pickup truck on the market, the R1T truck, named the 2022 MotorTrend Truck of the Year. The writers said it was the most remarkable pickup truck ever.

Remarkable concept and 386 truck deliveries (as of December 15, 2021) aside, in 2022, Rivian needs to prove that it can handle mass production. The production ramp has been disappointing so far, with Rivian unable to meet its 2021 goal of 1,200 deliveries. As of December 15, 2021, Rivian had 71,000 pre-orders, likely to be filled in 2022-2023.

Rivian’s Normal, Illinois plant has a planned capacity of 200,000 trucks per year; the company also plans to construct a Georgia facility to add the capacity for another 400,000 EVs, with production starting in 2024.

Besides the R1T trucks, Rivian has agreed to deliver 100,000 delivery vans to Amazon, one of its backers.

Although Rivian continues to burn a lot of cash, including $1.1 billion in Q3 2021, it raised $13.7 billion in the IPO. The U.S. SUV and pickup truck market is huge, including roughly 60% of passenger cars sold in the U.S. each year. With $93 billion in market cap and high-profile backers like Amazon and Ford, Rivian may be one of the more credible contenders for the “next Tesla” title. Their main challenge now is to keep up with investor expectations.

2. Lucid Group (LCID)

  • Market capitalization: $68 billion
  • 2021 return: 309%

Luxury electric car maker Lucid Motors went public in mid-2021. Since then, MotorTrend named the luxury sedan Lucid Air its car of the year, and the company started delivering vehicles. 

Production at Lucid’s manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, started in September 2021, with the first cars shipping in October. Lucid also reported over 13,000 reservations (as of November 15, 2021) and $1.3 billion in estimated bookings. 

Lucid Air’s range exceeds 450 miles – pretty impressive for an EV. The Dream Edition can go as far as 520 miles on a single charge.

Does the company justify its $68 billion valuation? It depends on how quickly production ramps up in 2022. The company is expanding its manufacturing facility in Casa Grande to increase production capacity from 34,000 to 90,000 vehicles annually. And it even plans to expand to Canada, Europe, and China.

3. Fisker Inc (FSR)

  • Market capitalization: $4.9 billion
  • 2021 return: 10%

Fisker’s goal is to sell affordable, mass-market electric cars using an asset-light, direct-to-consumer business model. To make the cars, Fisker will use its partners’ infrastructure and IP. Partners include established contract manufacturers like Magna International and Foxconn. As a result, Fisker needs to invest less to produce the cars than vertically integrated companies like Lucid or Rivian.

Fisker, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in late 2020, should launch its first model, Fisker Ocean, in Q4 2022. Fisker Ocean is a mid-sized SUV with a suggested retail price between $37,499 and $69,900.

Although execution will, as always, be key, Fisker is targeting 200,000-250,000 in annual sales across four models by 2025.

4. Ford Motor Company (F)

  • Market capitalization: $95 billion
  • 2021 return: 178%

Founded in 1903, Ford is a traditional automaker transforming itself into an EV powerhouse. Under new leadership, Ford has pledged to spend $30 billion on EVs through 2025, including $7 billion on three battery factories.

The company’s EV line-up now includes the Mustang Mach-E SUV, which will compete with Tesla Model Y, and the F-150 Lightning pickup truck, which will compete with Rivian’s R1T. Although the company no longer plans to develop an EV with Rivian, the stock has been rewarded for the 12% stake in Rivian, which went public in 2021.

No upstart, Ford generated over $127 billion in 2020 sales from gasoline-powered cars. And some investors are betting that it may be easier for a car-maker with over 100 years of experience to transition to EVs than for a startup launched over the past five years to start making a lot of cars.

5. General Motors (GM)

  • Market capitalization: $89 billion
  • 2021 return: 59%

Another established car-maker, General Motors has pledged to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous cars through 2025. The company plans to launch 30 new EVs by 2025, dedicating two Tennessee assembly plants to EV production. In the meantime, GM is a profitable company with over $122 billion in revenue that clearly knows how to make cars.

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6. NIO (NIO)

  • Market capitalization: $50 billion
  • 2021 return: -37%

China is the largest market for electric cars, and if you want to invest in EVs, you should consider Chinese EV makers like NIO. “The Tesla of China,” NIO is the pioneer in the premium EV market. It was founded in 2014 and backed by Tencent Holdings. Although NIO is based in Shanghai, the company has an ADR listed on the New York Stock Exchange, making it easy for U.S. investors to access.

Unlike the EV stocks that have yet to deliver, NIO delivered 91,429 vehicles in 2021, including 10,489 in December alone, a nearly 50% annual increase.

Despite being known for SUVs, NIO has just launched the ET5, a mid-size electric sedan, which is expected to challenge Tesla’s best-selling Model 3. Deliveries are expected in September 2022. The company is also expanding into Europe, starting with Norway, the country with the highest EV penetration in the world.

Still, NIO’s valuation is high, which is one of the reasons the stock struggled in 2021.

7. Li Auto Inc (LI)

  • Market capitalization: $33 billion
  • 2021 return: 0%

Nasdaq-listed Li Auto is the largest electric SUV maker in China, focused on the mid to high-end market. Li Auto’s first model, Li ONE, is a six-seat large premium electric SUV that was released in May 2021.

The company delivered 90,491 vehicles in 2021, including more than 14,000 in December, a 130% increase. Going forward, Li Auto plans to extend its product line with new types of vehicles, expanding its addressable market.

Li Auto was founded in 2015 and backed by TikTok owner Bytedance and the e-commerce group Meituan Dianping.

8. Xpeng (XPEV)

  • Market capitalization: $43 billion
  • 2021 return: 14%

Alibaba-backed Xpeng is a Chinese EV maker with an ADR listed in the U.S., making it easy to invest.

Founded in 2015, the company produces a smart electric SUV (the G3) and a sedan (the P7), targeting the mid to high-end passenger car market. Like Tesla, Xpeng has pitched its smart features, such as autonomous driving and voice assistants.

In 2021, Xpeng delivered 98,155 EVs, a 263% increase year-over-year. The car-maker has also unveiled a new SUV, the G9, which it plans to launch in China in the third quarter of 2022. Besides, Xpeng is also planning to expand its European presence in 2022, having already started with Norway.

9. BYD (BYDDF)

  • Market capitalization: $114 billion
  • 2021 return: 24%

Warren Buffet-backed BYD is more than an EV manufacturer. Founded in 1995 in Shenzhen, China, BYD began as a rechargeable battery maker for mobile phones. Today, it’s also a major EV battery supplier. Besides electric cars, BYD makes battery-powered buses, trucks, forklifts, and a monorail system. The company posted strong 2021 EV deliveries and shipped 603,783 passenger and commercial vehicles overall (including ICE vehicles). The company is also selling EVs in Norway and plans to expand to other European and global markets.

10. ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT)

  • Market capitalization: $6.3 billion
  • 2021 return: -46%

For broad adoption, EVs need charging stations. And charging station providers win no matter which EV brands succeed or fail.

Several EV charging companies are leading the way in the U.S., and ChargePoint is the largest. The company sells charging equipment and software to over 5,000 customers. Because its customers own the charging stations, ChargePoint doesn’t need to spend a lot of money on outfitting the stations.

With over 163,000 places to charge in North America and Europe, ChargePoint has 7x the market share of its closest competitor. The stock did not have a good 2021, however, dropping 46%. With only $146 million in sales and negative earnings, ChargePoint has a way to go before it is profitable. On the positive side, sales are proportional to EV penetration, which will only go up from here.

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11. EVGo (EVGO)

  • Market capitalization: $2.8 billion
  • 2021 return: -2%

EVGo operates a network of over 800 fast charging locations across 34 U.S. states and expects to more than triple in size over the next five years. With over 310,000 customer accounts, EVGo serves both retail and commercial customers. Like many EV stocks, EVGo doesn’t have much revenue, guiding to $20-22 million in 2021, and investments in charging stations continue to be a dent on profitability. Having said that, the growth in EV adoption will be a boon for the stock.

12. Volta Inc (VLTA)

  • Market capitalization: $1.1 billion
  • 2021 return: -36%

Founded in 2010, San Francisco-based Volta is building a network of EV charging stations in the United States. As of September 2021, Volta had connected 2,137 locations in 23 states, generating about 238,000 charging sessions per month. Unlike its competitors, Volta makes money from outdoor advertising, and charging stations are supposed to draw customers to partner locations like Whole Foods. The company generated $20 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2021, but the future revenue opportunity looks big.

13. Blink Charging (BLNK)

  • Market capitalization: $1.1 billion
  • 2021 return: -29%

Founded in 2009 and based in Miami Beach, Florida, Blink designs, owns, and operates EV charging equipment. The company has deployed over 24,000 charging stations in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, boasting over 190,000 registered members. Blink makes money from selling electricity to EV drivers (if it owns and operates the charging station), selling its charging hardware, network fees, and advertising. Blink generated $6 million of revenue in 2020 and $13 million in the first nine months of 2021.

14. Wallbox (WBX)

  • Market capitalization: $2.6 billion
  • 2021 return: 100%

Founded in 2015, Wallbox makes EV chargers for homes, businesses, and cities, selling over 100,000 units to date. The Spanish company expanded to the U.S. in 2021, and its home EV charger is now a best-seller on Amazon.

Moreover, Wallbox has partnered with SunPower, a residential solar company, to integrate its EV chargers with solar panels. As the expected first choice EV charger provider for SunPower’s 370,000 customers, Wallbox could see growth accelerate. WBX stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

15. Proterra Inc (PTRA)

  • Market capitalization: $2 billion
  • 2021 return: -14%

Electric bus and EV battery manufacturer Proterra has already delivered over 700 electric buses. A leader in the U.S. electric bus market with over 50% in market share, the company also installs charging stations across the country.

Proterra expects $246 million in 2021 revenue, which is way more than many EV startups on this list. Although Proterra is not yet profitable, the company expects to benefit from the Infrastructure Act, which allocated $6 billion to zero-carbon transit and school buses and another $7.5 billion to EV charging stations.

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16. Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc (FFIE)

  • Market capitalization: $1.9 billion
  • 2021 return: -43%

The Nasdaq-listed EV startup Faraday Future is certainly risky, but it is going after two big markets, the U.S. and China, the largest EV market in the world.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the startup wants to make very high-end EVs at its facility in Hanford, California, and through a partner in South Korea.

17. Livent Corporation (LTHM)

  • Market capitalization: $4.2 billion
  • 2021 return: 40%

Today, EVs are powered by lithium-ion batteries that need lithium, a metal that is not scarce but difficult to extract and process. By betting on lithium, you are not betting on any particular automaker, just on EV adoption.

Based in Philadelphia, Livent Corp is a pure-play American lithium company that makes lithium for EV batteries. It is one of Tesla’s lithium suppliers. About half of Livent’s revenue comes from energy storage, including EV batteries.

To extract lithium, Livent mines deposits in Argentina and Canada. Given the strength of the lithium market, Livent expects revenue to increase from $288 million in 2020 to $370-$390 million in 2021. Besides, Livent is profitable.

18. Albemarle (ALB)

  • Market capitalization: $28 billion
  • 2021 return: 59%

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle Corp is one of the world’s largest lithium producers, with mines in Chile and Australia. Although Albemarle is not a pure-play lithium company, lithium is the largest segment at about 40% of sales. ALB is also involved in bromine (used to make fire retardants), catalysts used in oil refining, and applied surface treatments. The company has over $3.2 billion in revenue, and it is solidly profitable.

19. QuantumScape (QS)

  • Market capitalization: $9.8 billion
  • 2021 return: -55%

San Jose, California-based QuantumScape is a pre-sales startup developing a solid-state battery, a possible alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Although solid-state batteries do not power EVs today, they could, in theory, last longer, charge faster, be cheaper and less likely to catch fire than lithium-ion equivalents. The startup’s investors include Bill Gates and Volkswagen.

QuantumScape stock is highly speculative: despite nearly $10 billion in market cap, the startup has zero revenue while spending hundreds of millions on research and development. Commercial batteries are not expected to ship until 2024 or 2025. There are no guarantees that the batteries will work as expected, but, if QuantumScape is successful, its batteries could be a battery technology breakthrough.

20. Nikola (NKLA)

  • Market capitalization: $4 billion
  • 2021 return: -36%

Electric truck startup Nikola has had its fair share of troubles in 2020-2021, will 2022 be better? Following a lot of hype about “the Tesla of trucks,” shares crashed from $90 a share to as low as $10 after a short-seller accused the company and its founder, Trevor Milton, of misleading investors. Since then, Trevor Milton has left, and in December 2021, the company agreed to pay $125 million in an SEC settlement. Also in December 2021, Nikola delivered its first EV truck, and shares surged. Perhaps it’s time to give Nikola another chance.

EV ETFs

What if you don’t want to pick individual stocks? You can still invest in EVs through several ETFs like the iShares Self-Driving EV and Tech ETF (IDRV). Read our review of EV ETFs.

NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.

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