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3 Leading Electric Vehicle Stocks to Buy in 2021 and Beyond

By Rekha Khandelwal – Nov 12, 2021 at 8:45AM

Key Points

  • Nio has delivered strong revenue growth in the last few quarters.
  • Volkswagen has ambitious plans to dominate the global EV market.
  • Lucid Group started delivering its first cars last month, in line with its plan.

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The growth in EVs will benefit more than just a handful of prominent players.

Considering the incredible stock price run-up seen for Tesla stock over the past couple of years, some investors are likely thinking it's now too late to buy in on the electric vehicle (EV)-producing company and see similar gains going forward. Others aren't hesitant at all and they continue to buy more. That difference of opinion is what makes investing so interesting, stock prices ever-changing, and, occasionally, stock analysis so frustrating.

If you are in the investing group that thinks it might be too late for Tesla, but you still want to invest in the growing demand for EVs, you still have several attractive options to choose from with some potential for Tesla-like gains.

Let's look at three leading EV stocks to buy in the rest of 2021, or beyond. 

Person charging an electric car at public charging station.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Nio

Nio (NIO 4.44%) has managed to carve out a place for itself in the fast-growing Chinese EV market. In the third quarter, Nio delivered 24,439 vehicles for sale in the Chinese market -- up 100% year over year. The company's October deliveries fell, but that was largely due to upgrades of its manufacturing lines and preparation for the introduction of new models. Nio's new orders continued to increase in October. 

Nio tries to differentiate itself in the crowded EV space through technological innovations. Its innovative battery-as-a-service model has helped drive its sales growth. It is also focused on autonomous driving technologies. China is one of the fastest-growing EV markets. China's new EV sales in the first half of this year were almost equal to EV sales in the country in all of 2020.

In the future, Nio plans to expand operations into the European market. Though the company faces stiff competition, its strong operations and a rapidly growing domestic market should support Nio's growth in the long run.

2. Volkswagen

Investors tend to forget that legacy automakers can also be EV companies. Though these companies have been a bit slow to embrace EVs initially, the biggest legacy automakers all now fully recognize this as an unstoppable trend. Volkswagen (VWAGY -0.40%) has laid out ambitious plans to increase its EV deliveries to 20% of overall sales by 2025 and become a global leader in EVs. By 2030, it expects as much as 60% of its sales in Europe to be EVs.

A red Volkswagen electric sedan on a dark street.

Image source: Volkswagen.

Volkswagen understands the importance of batteries and recharging infrastructure to achieve these goals. It has laid out detailed plans to strengthen its hold in these two key areas. It plans to develop six gigafactories for battery production in Europe by 2030. The company intends to invest 35 billion euros in electric mobility in the coming years. 

Volkswagen's third-quarter deliveries were hurt by the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Still, in the first nine months of the year, the group delivered nearly 7 million vehicles worldwide. Of these roughly 293,000 were fully electric while an additional 246,000 were plug-in hybrid vehicles. So, around 7.8% of the company's deliveries were electric or hybrid vehicles. All in all, Volkswagen is set to become a top EV stock in the coming years.

3. Lucid Group

Lucid Group (LCID 43.00%) has surely garnered tons of attraction recently. On Oct. 30, the EV start-up started deliveries of its first car, the Lucid Air Dream Edition. This model beats Tesla's Model S in terms of battery efficiency and range. Lucid Air's improved performance and sleek design have captivated car buyers and investors alike. As a result, Lucid's stock price has risen more than 90% in the last month.

A Lucid air driving away on an open road.

Image source: Lucid Group.

The Lucid Air's impressive range and positive reviews have left investors wondering if Lucid can become the next Tesla. Apart from attractive designs and better performance, the other things that this company needs to succeed are robust demand and timely deliveries while generating decent margins. Customers' interest in Lucid Air looks high. The company has received more than 13,000 reservations for the car.

So, delivering the cars looks to be the only task in front of Lucid in the near term. To be fair, this is by no means an easy job. The stock still entails significant risks, but with the first cars out on the roads, Lucid has taken some risk off the table.

Rekha Khandelwal has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends NIO Inc., Tesla, and Volkswagen AG. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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