What happened

Shares of three niche electric-vehicle (EV) producers are soaring higher today, as investors begin to get familiar with these unknown names. The stocks of ElectraMeccanica Vehicles (NASDAQ:SOLO) and Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV) are up 18% and 26%, respectively, as of 11:45 a.m. EST. The companies both make different types of three-wheeled electric vehicles. 

And shares of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) CIIG Merger (NASDAQ:CIIC) are 25% higher today. The company announced yesterday that it is merging with electric van and bus maker, Arrival, to bring it public on the Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol ARVL.

Arrival electric bus and van travel next to each other on a road.

Arrival will begin production on its bus and van in late 2021 and 2022, respectively. Image source: Arrival.

So what

Arrival will be getting $660 million in proceeds from its merger with CIIG, and the combined company will have an enterprise value of $5.4 billion, according to the SPAC. CIIG says Arrival's method of production allows it to price its EVs at comparable levels to fossil fuel alternatives, and significantly below comparable EVs "using its proprietary hardware, software and robotics technologies and low cost Microfactories."

ElectraMeccanica and Arcimoto both produce three-wheeled EVs made for specific purposes. ElectraMeccanica bills its $18,500 Solo as an urban commuting vehicle, with its 100-mile maximum range and 80 mph top speed. Arcimoto's Fun Electric Vehicle (FUV), which starts at $17,900, has a similar range and a top speed of 75 mph. The company also offers its Deliverator and Rapid Responder with similar specs, but custom-built for package delivery and emergency response use, respectively. 

Emergency workers pose with an Arcimoto Rapid Responder in front of fire truck.

An Arcimoto Rapid Responder. Image source: Arcimoto.

Now what

Investor interest in EV makers is expanding beyond just cars and trucks. In just the past month, shares in the niche three-wheeler makers Arcimoto and ElectraMeccanica are up more than 80% and 185%, respectively.

While sales are beginning to grow, the companies are just getting started. Arcimoto began production in September 2019 and has only produced a total of 136 vehicles as of Sept. 30, 2020. Revenue for its recently reported third quarter was slightly under $700,000. The company has also recently announced a new product, the Roadster, to compete in the recreational motorcycle segment. 

ElectraMeccanica is also offering its own classic-car-looking four-wheel, two-seater eRoadster, which will start at $124,900. That compares with the company's recently reported total third-quarter revenue of about $230,000. 

All three of these companies are just getting started. Arrival isn't in production yet, but plans to have four different bus and van vehicle platforms in production beginning in 2021 through 2023. 

Investors interested in the EV space in general are just starting to notice. The wave of all-electric transport won't be limited to just replacing existing cars and pickup trucks. There are other niches that likely will grow. It's early to know which will succeed, but investors seem to think these three companies are off to a nice start.