What happened

Names in the electric vehicle sector sometimes move as a group, but three stocks that are doing their own thing today are Nio (NIO -6.33%), Nikola (NKLA -5.67%), and Canoo (GOEV -5.04%). As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, Nio shares were about 2% higher, while Nikola shares were up nearly 5%. But Canoo shares, which jumped on Friday, were down 5.4% today after having been as much as 11.4% lower. 

So what

Canoo's move makes sense. The prerevenue EV start-up entered the meme stock universe recently, most likely based on its high short interest. More than 33% of the float was sold short as of mid-September. The stock has soared more than 26% just since last Thursday after it was discussed on Reddit's WallStreetBets forum. But, as with other meme stocks, there's no underlying business news to justify the sudden surge. Nikola, on the other hand, did provide investors with some relevant news today. And Nio shares continue to recover from a more macro-based drop that spread among U.S.-listed Chinese stocks recently.

Nikola headquarters with palm trees.

Image source: Nikola.

Now what

Nio relies on a manufacturing partnership with a state-owned Chinese company. With the government cracking down on business in various sectors, Nio shares have been hit as investor uncertainty surrounding China's regulators and government grew. But the stock has begun to work its way back up as the company nears the official launch of sales in Norway, its first market outside China. The company also recently said it plans to launch its new ET7 luxury electric sedan in Germany by the end of 2022, and released news of a new 75 kWh hybrid battery offering last week. The new battery will extend vehicle range in cold weather, but will cost the same as the previous 70 kWh model. 

Nikola is the one of these EV names to have released news for investors today. The company announced a new share purchase agreement with investment firm Tumim Stone Capital. The agreement doubles the previously agreed to $300 million plan. Nikola will now be able to bring in $600 million from Tumim with the issuance and sale of its common stock. While this would be slightly dilutive to existing shareholders, it importantly should adequately fund Nikola through 2022, according to Nikola CEO Mark Russell. That should get Nikola through the initial commercialization of its battery electric semi trucks. It will also cover the time frame for Nikola to begin to road test its fuel cell electric versions. 

Investors interested in any of these EV names should know they are all quite speculative. Nio is the only one with sales, but it still has yet to produce profits. Today, though, recent potentially promising developments from both Nio and Nikola have some investors buying. If Canoo continues to be on the radar of retail traders looking for a short squeeze, there's no telling what direction its shares will head until the business itself begins to develop. Investors should trade carefully.