What happened

Shares of Ohio-based electric-van maker Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS) were trading higher on Tuesday, a day after a Wall Street analyst initiated coverage of the stock with a bullish note.

As of 2:45 p.m. EST, Workhorse's shares were trading at $21.45, up about 7.7% from Monday's closing price.

So what

In a note on Monday, R.F. Lafferty analyst Jaime Perez initiated coverage of Workhorse with a buy rating and a price target of $29. 

Perez wrote that Workhorse has "proven technology," with roughly 400 electric vehicles in operation and more than 5 million miles driven. For the moment at least, Perez argued, Workhorse is the leader of the U.S. market for electric commercial vehicles. 

A red Workhorse C-650, an electric delivery van.

Workhorse hopes to build 1,800 of its new C-Series electric delivery vans per year. Image source: Workhorse Group.

Perez noted that Tesla's Cybertruck is still in prototype form, and hasn't yet been tested to nearly the extent of Workhorse's truck. The analyst is optimistic that Workhorse will achieve its full-year production forecast of 1,800 vehicles by 2022, if not in 2021.

Now what

While it's true that technically Workhorse is the leader of the U.S. market for electric commercial vehicles, few analysts expect that status to last for long -- and few with a deep understanding of the space expect Tesla's gimmicky Cybertruck to win many commercial-fleet sales.

The concern for auto investors holding Workhorse stock shouldn't be Tesla, it should be Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), the leader of the overall U.S. commercial-vehicle market -- and specifically, the battery-electric E-Transit commercial van that Ford unveiled last week. 

It's a safe bet that Ford will sell a lot more than 1,800 E-Transits in 2022, and that the E-Transit will be exhaustively tested before its launch. Trade carefully. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.