On Sept. 16, Lucid Group (LCID -2.37%) announced it had received an a 520-mile rating for its Lucid Air Dream Edition from the EPA -- the longest range ever for an electric vehicle (EV). It's an impressive milestone worth celebrating and celebrate shareholders have. As of this writing, shares of Lucid are up roughly 20% since the announcement.
However, what if they're better ways to invest in the EV space? In this video clip from Motley Fool Backstage Pass, Fool contributor Jose Najarro explains to fellow contributor Jason Hall why Niu Technologies (NIU 8.31%) is among his favorites in the space.
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Jason Hall: Lucid Motors just got an EPA rate of range of 520 miles for an EV. The longest EV range ever rated by the EP. Now it's a $170,000 car. That's a lot of money to spend at the pump for sure.
There's plans. They're going to iterate, they're going to bring lower-priced models. But I think it's interesting because this is the same folks that were involved in designing the Model S, that are over at Lucid. They know what the target is. It's obviously, whatever Tesla's saying, we can do it faster. We can do it better. By the way, that is a sexy looking car guys. I don't know if anybody has seen the pictures with the Lucid Air Dream Edition. That is a pretty car.
Here's the question. Like we're talking about with alternative proteins, can start-ups like Lucid Motors really be winning investors? Think about that EV space. We've already seen a ton of these EV start-ups stocks have come down a lot from last fall and this spring. Lucid shares, I think are down by half or maybe more than half. Big Auto's not messing around. We're seeing a lot of money being focused in this space. What's your favorite winter in the EV future from here? Jose, you want to kick us off?
Jose Najarro: Definitely, Jason. I want to say I mean, Big Auto I think showed a great example with this on what it means to be or the strength they have from being a leader in the market right now. When the EV market started, everybody was, I feel like attacking Big Auto that hey, you guys are not doing anything, you guys are not progressing. You guys are going to be left behind. But it seems like Big Auto was like, "no, we just don't want to waste our money at the moment. We wanted to see how the consumers are feeling about the product." Once they got the whiff that hey, yes, our consumers are ready for this product. Now we're ready to show that we have the money ready to fund this.
I think sometimes just because you are the first doesn't mean you're going to 100% be the winner or one of the first. We see Tesla going amazing in this field right now. But there are a lot of start-ups. Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of these start-ups are not going to do so well. I mean, we're not going to have 30, I want to say 40 different EV start-ups running the game, especially with Big Auto already in the market.
Hall: Not a lot of people using Palm smartphones today.
Najarro: [LAUGHTER] Definitely. I might be biased from my engineering background, I feel like tech companies like this, a start-up in the EV market, this requires a lot of engineers. To me, I feel like a start-up company is going to be made or broken by the engineers that work there. I think Big Auto is going to understand the power of engineers. I feel like right now a lot of companies have plenty of cash and not just in the automobile industry. But I feel within the next few years, we're going to see a numerous amount of acquisitions with a lot of big players and I think that's what auto is going to do. They're going to wait for some of these stock prices to maybe cool down a little bit more in the EV market, and then they're going to start, "Hey, we like the technology that this company has, we like the engineers working there. Let's just pick them up right now, we can get some of their engineers to start working for us."
One of my favorite plays in this market, I think is not in the true EV vehicles and your four wheelers. I think for me it's mainly in more niche play, where Big Auto is not currently playing, for example. That's to me like the EV scooters, EV motorcycles, and like EV bikes. Especially for me, I think I see huge growth in countries in Latin America and countries in Southeast Asia.
I come from a central American background and whenever I go, you can see car traffic is insane. I was born in El Salvador and when I was five, my dad didn't have a car. But for me to go to school, I would be holding on behind him in a motorcycle and that's how I would make it because if I was to go in a car, we would never make it there, I would have to wake up super early.
A company I'm in right now, I do have shares is Niu and many people might confuse it with NIO.
Hall: Not NIO?
Najarro: Not NIO. This is N-I-U. This mainly focuses in the EV electric motorcycles, they have mopeds as well and bikes. I do want to say right now this is a Chinese play, so there is that negative sentiment that we're seeing in that market right now. I believe 90% of their revenue comes from the Chinese market, but they are expanding into international, mainly Europe, mainland America.
For me, the EV play is outside of the traditional vehicles, is more in the niched out vehicles. That's my company.