What happened

Shares of electric-vehicle company Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS) were up 65% in November, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. While the company had plenty of news during the month, nothing was a clear catalyst to send the stock to these heights. Rather, electric-vehicle stocks were higher in general during November.

So what

Early in November, the U.S. held a presidential election, changing executive leadership for the country. President-elect Joe Biden's policies are viewed as more electric-vehicle friendly than those of President Trump, sending stocks like Workhorse higher. For example, the S&P Kensho Electric Vehicles Index tracks stocks in this industry, and it was up 43% in November. Its gains almost perfectly mirrored those of Workhorse early in the month.

A red rocket prepares to fly over a rising bar chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Then, on Nov. 16, news broke that Tesla was being added to the S&P 500, causing Tesla stock to surge the following day. But Tesla lifted other electric-vehicle stocks as well, including that of Workhorse. From there, the stock continued to track higher through the end of November. 

In summary, Workhorse stock went up because of investor enthusiasm for electric-vehicle stocks in general. I don't believe it had much to do with its business results.

Now what

Long term, Workhorse's business results are going to be what matter. The company had set a goal of 300 to 400 vehicles by the end of this year. But in November, management said it's going to be unable to meet this goal. And since the start of December, Workhorse stock has been falling because the United States Postal Service (USPS) is delaying new vehicle purchases. Workhorse previously developed a prototype vehicle for the USPS, and investors hope it snags a large portion of the $6 billion contract up for grabs.

That said, Workhorse has received real vehicle orders, which makes this growth stock better than some electric-vehicle start-ups. Management believes it can produce 1,800 vehicles next year. For now, I suggest investors focus on the company's ability to improve its supply chain to meet this target. 

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.