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Here's My Top Electric-Vehicle Stock to Buy Now

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® and Jason Hall - Updated May 17, 2021 at 9:34AM

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You might not think of this as an electric-vehicle stock, but you should.

When it comes to the electric-vehicle industry, investors quite literally have hundreds of companies to choose from. But that doesn't necessarily mean that an up-and-coming automaker is the best way to play the space. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on April 28, Chief Growth Officer Anand Chokkavelu, along with contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, and Jason Hall, discusses why General Motors (GM 4.16%) could be a great electric-vehicle investment for years to come. 

Anand Chokkavelu: We get to No. 1, which, surprise or not, is GM. Matt is probably the biggest bull here. I will give him some time, but I will do the blurb, which is along with VW (VWAGY -0.51%), it's got more sales than market cap, $122 billion to $84 billion. We can brand it Detroit 2.0. It's led by GM, not General Manager, Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra, since 2014. They've been embracing EVs at least since late 2018, when they really made a pivot.

It's the No. 4 carmaker in the world, and as the old ad line says, this is not your father's Oldsmobile. Here's the new PR blurb, in the long run. "General Motors is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all." At the heart of this strategy is the Altium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles.

If it's next-gen, GM seems to have a hand in it. They're planning between 2020 and 2025 to invest $27 billion in EVs and autonomous vehicles. Looking to launch 30 EVs around the world and lay its home market of North America. Like VW, it's looking to get into the millions of EVs by mid-decade. Also looking to reduce battery costs.

Autonomous vehicles, a majority stake in Cruise, which is valued at alone at $30 billion. Pump that against GM's $80-some billion market cap, they've got Bright Drop which is a new commercial EV business. EV 600 van going after things like package delivery and food delivery, hydro-tech fuel cell technology, so hydrogen power for kind of trucking and military, aerospace and that kind of thing.

They even brag about 5G. This was a little more dubious. Factory ZERO will be the first U.S. auto plant in a group of 5G fixed-mobile network technology. They talked about services on demand, just like in Apple (AAPL -0.29%), beyond products, trying to get that service revenue. Got OnStar insurance services, and then using that brand name to push the advantage with the GMC Hummer EV in the fall, like that old Tesla model of something that people actually want.

They say all the right things. Mary Barra says, "Our future will be inclusive and comprehensive and will create new businesses and in some cases new brands."

Also a Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A -0.08%) (BRK.B 0.09%) favorite. They own a 5% stake.

Matt, what have I left out?

Matt Frankel: Well, we all agree that Tesla (TSLA 0.78%) has done more to transform the EV market than any other company in the world. I would argue that GM is a not-too-distant No. 2. They produced the first production EV in 1993, the EV1, which, as Anand mentioned, was a glorified golf cart, but it was the first one. I would argue that no other car has revolutionized the plug-in hybrid space as the Chevy Volt.

Jason Hall: Yeah.

Frankel: I said that did as much for that market as the Model S did for the EV market.

The brand loyalty you mentioned is just off the charts. This is one thing I think a lot of people who are pessimistic on GM's EV ambitions are really missing. Someone who drives a Silverado wouldn't drive an F150 if it was free. They're not going to buy the Cybertruck next year. The brand loyalty is just off the charts. And Corvette enthusiasts are already planning on buying the electric Corvette that's planned for 2025. It's really just kind of off-the-charts brand loyalty and Cruise is the most underappreciated part of that company.

GM is not just trying to build out automated vehicles for you and I. They're trying to build an automated ridesharing service, which they view as a $5 trillion worldwide market opportunity. Automating things like Uber (UBER -0.50%) and Lyft (LYFT -2.22%) for the world would be $5 trillion in average annual revenue. Automated freight, they're seeing as a $2 trillion market. You mentioned their partnership with FedEx (FDX -2.50%). Wait till those drive themselves if GM gets there first.

I'm a big GM bull. I know Jason ranked it No. 1 as well. You ranked it No. 2. We were pretty unanimous that this is a pretty impressive growth story.

Anand Chokkavelu, CFA owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). Jason Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), FedEx, and General Motors and has the following options: short February 2021 $140 calls on Apple and short May 2021 $140 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), FedEx, and Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends Uber Technologies and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short June 2021 $240 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

General Motors Company Stock Quote
General Motors Company
$37.56 (4.16%) $1.50
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
$439,167.01 (-0.08%) $-361.91
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
$292.34 (0.09%) $0.27
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$164.87 (-0.29%) $0.48
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$871.27 (0.78%) $6.76
FedEx Corporation Stock Quote
FedEx Corporation
$229.02 (-2.50%) $-5.87
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
$19.60 (-0.51%) $0.10
Uber Technologies, Inc. Stock Quote
Uber Technologies, Inc.
$31.85 (-0.50%) $0.16
Lyft, Inc. Stock Quote
Lyft, Inc.
$19.83 (-2.22%) $0.45

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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