Shares of Canadian electric-bus maker GreenPower Motor (GP -1.36%) were trading higher on Friday, after a Wall Street analyst reiterated his bullish take on the stock following a meeting with GreenPower's management.
As of 1 p.m. EST, GreenPower's shares were up about 12.9% from Thursday's closing price.
In a note published after the U.S. market closed on Thursday, BTIG analyst Gregory Lewis reiterated his buy rating on GreenPower's stock.
Lewis wrote that, after hosting investor meetings with GreenPower executives earlier in the week, he's bullish on the company's competitive position in the Class 4 truck market. (The Class 4 category include vehicles like large delivery trucks and shuttle buses, including GreenPower's EV Star.) He thinks the market is large enough to support both near-term and longer-term sales growth for GreenPower as more fleet operators seek out zero-emission vehicles.
Lewis initiated coverage of GreenPower back in September, with a buy rating and a price target of $25. At the time, he said the company is a "rising star" in the electric-bus market, noting that it already had about 90 examples of its battery-electric EV Star shuttle bus deployed in municipalities and at airports in California.
Like many of the electric-vehicle companies that have drawn interest from auto investors in recent months, GreenPower is a newcomer to the public markets. The company began trading in the U.S. in late August, after an initial public offering that raised about $37 million.
While small, the company has staked out an intriguing niche. In addition to the EV Star, GreenPower is offering battery-electric school buses and a full-size city-transit bus, the latter available with range over 200 miles.
Investors should be cautious with the electric-vehicle space generally: While the price gains can be huge, so are the risks. Most of these businesses are early-stage entrants in an industry that requires massive, sustained capital investment. It's not at all clear how well they'll compete over the longer term with the global companies that currently dominate vehicle production (and that have shown they can sustain the investments required).
That said, GreenPower has real products for a real market, where there's real demand, and it's already shipping vehicles. That's enough to put it ahead of some highly touted rivals. I'm not yet convinced its stock is a buy -- but if electric vehicles are a space that intrigues you, GreenPower seems worth a look.