What happened

Many, but not all, electric-vehicle (EV) stocks continue to move higher today. Three that are in very different niches are Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA), Canoo Holdings (NASDAQ:GOEV), and Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV). As of 1:15 p.m. EST Monday, shares of these EV makers were moving as follows:

  • Nikola was down 4.4%
  • Canoo was up 9.7%
  • Arcimoto was up 16.7%

So what 

Arcimoto, the big mover of the day so far, also has the largest gains so far this month, with shares up 31% since the start of 2021. The maker of electric three-wheeled EVs is the only one of the three with vehicles in production, and is the smallest, with a current market capitalization of about $600 million. The company's products include what it calls a "fun utility vehicle," another for short-distance deliveries, a motorcycle-type roadster, and one for rapid responders. The company announced last week that it is dramatically expanding its manufacturing capacity.

Arcimoto fun utility vehicles parked in front of a downtown restaurant

Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicles. Image source: Arcimoto.

While Arcimoto is not yet profitable, the fivefold expansion in manufacturing capacity has investors hoping that demand will be sufficient to fill it.

While Canoo hasn't released any news recently, the company seems to be expanding its plans beyond just building its vanlike lifestyle vehicle and multipurpose delivery vehicle. The company is now also showing a silhouetted utilitylike "home-truck" vehicle and "home-sport" car on its website that it says will be coming soon. 

Nikola shares gained over the past week after some presumably positive business progress. But the aspiring maker of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell semi trucks still has much to prove. 

Nikola Two and Tre semi trucks

Nikola Two and Tre semi trucks. Image source: Nikola.

Now what

Nikola reportedly has several of its Tre battery-electric trucks in Arizona for commissioning. That's a positive sign, but not really a reason for investors to take action. A potentially supportive Biden administration could be meaningful for Nikola, if it helps build out infrastructure for battery charging and hydrogen fueling. But that remains to be seen, and that realization may be why the stock is giving back some of recent gains today. 

The excitement around Canoo is also based strictly on potential. The company won't be manufacturing its products until 2022. But its membership-model business plan is unique and has attracted investors. The fact that it plans to expand its offerings soon may be why investors are buying today. 

Arcimoto said the purchase of its new factory will go toward achieving mass production of its EVs. The company believes it can reach that level of production in 2022. With a current price-to-sales ratio above 150, investors in the stock are counting on that massive increase in production and sales. 

All three of these stocks remain speculative, though with potential. Investors just need to accept that there will be much volatility along the way, and potentially large declines that go with the short-term gains. 

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.