Shares of several electric-vehicle-related stocks were higher on Monday on optimism about new COVID-19 vaccines and the prospects for electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States under the incoming Biden administration.
Here's where things stood for these three stocks as of 1:45 p.m. EST on Monday relative to their closing prices on Friday:
- Lordstown Motors (RIDE -1.37%) was up about 7.6%.
- Switchback Energy Acquisition (SBE) was up about 22.2%.
- Workhorse Group (WKHS 2.69%) was up about 9.5%.
These three companies' stocks were among many electric-vehicle-related issues trading higher on Monday, including electric-truck start-up Nikola (NKLA -4.18%); Chinese EV makers NIO (NIO 2.12%), Xpeng Motors (XPEV 2.37%), and Li Auto (LI -0.25%); and California electric shuttle-bus maker GreenPower Motor (GP -3.77%).
Auto investors' interest in electric-vehicle issues has been piqued recently by several factors:
- News that category leader Tesla (TSLA 4.72%) will be added to the S&P 500 index in December.
- The election of Joe Biden, who is expected to implement policies to speed adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S.
- Reports that several COVID-19 vaccines have shown good results in trials and are nearing U.S. approval, suggesting that the end of the pandemic may be in sight.
All of those factors were likely contributing to the rise of Lordstown, Switchback Energy, and Workhorse today.
There was no news of note on either Lordstown or Workhorse, but there may have been an additional factor driving up the stock price of Switchback Energy, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that will soon merge with EV-charging network ChargePoint. Citron Research, a prominent short seller, tweeted a harsh take on rival Blink Charging (BLNK -1.15%) that, well, see for yourself:
New most ridiculous EV stock is $BLNK. No $$for R&D, management accused of securities fraud, no real revenues. Expect a massively diluted deal soon so management can continue to deceive public. This should trade right back to $10 where it is still overpriced. Total scheme— Citron Research (@CitronResearch) November 23, 2020
For all $BLNK investors who are naïve, for same mkt cap of $BLNK you can buy ChargePoint $SBE with 73% market share, considering mkt penetration $BLNK should be at $1 per share. Consider $SBE spent $70mil on RD and $BLNK $0 pic.twitter.com/nfXGj42Iq1— Citron Research (@CitronResearch) November 23, 2020
$BLNK has made no progress expanding downloads or network in years. A total commodity product with no brand. It is an insult to other EV makers to even mention $BLNK as an EV stock, lowest form of shareholder base. This is a $1 bil joke. pic.twitter.com/x4H6CVjSeF— Citron Research (@CitronResearch) November 23, 2020
While many EV-related stocks have boomed in 2020, I still think that auto investors should be cautious with the electric-vehicle space generally. Most of these businesses -- Workhorse and Lordstown included -- are early-stage entrants in an industry that requires huge capital investments and that is dominated by long-established global giants.
It's not at all clear that any of these companies will be able to thrive over the longer term much less deliver the growth that's already baked into their stock prices. Nevertheless, electric vehicles will be a dominant technology in the not-too-distant future, and right now there is a real market for electric commercial vehicles of the types made by Workhorse and Lordstown. In addition, ChargePoint has already built out a sizable network of recharging stations that will almost certainly become much more valuable over the next decade.
There will be big winners as the world transitions to electric vehicles. Just keep in mind that all of the stocks mentioned in this article (yes, including Tesla) are high-risk bets at current prices, and invest accordingly.