In stock markets, spotting winners early is probably the biggest challenge. You really need to see several years out to make a bet on a company's future. Looking at future trends could be of some help here. A shift from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles is one such trend.

Three stocks -- Tesla (TSLA 3.17%), Lucid Group (LCID 2.21%), and QuantumScape (QS 4.88%) -- are among those that could benefit from the growth in electric vehicles. While Tesla is already profitable, Lucid Group could still be years away from bottom-line profits. By comparison, QuantumScape is at the pre-revenue stage and still developing its product.

Let's discuss why, despite being at different stages, each company looks well-placed for long-term growth.

Tesla is positioned for growth

Investors may hold strong views on whether Tesla stock is still a buy or has already run too far. However, most will agree that the company has a long runway for growth. Tesla has huge expansion plans. It is constructing two new factories, one in Berlin and another in Texas, and is planning to launch a new model -- the Cybertruck -- next year. Its upcoming vehicle lineup also includes the Semi and Roadster.

A person looks at a smartphone while standing near an electric car that is charging.

Image source: Getty Images.

Apart from new models and capacity expansion, Tesla has its eyes set on full self-driving (FSD). The company is expanding its beta testing to ensure the smooth rollout of its FSD features. Though the stock's price looks saturated based solely on the company's EV plans, breakthroughs in FSD could help Tesla maintain its lead over the competition.

Moreover, the company has massive production plans for more efficient batteries. Finally, there are other potential growth avenues, such as auto insurance.

All in all, there is a lot to look forward to from Tesla. The stock could continue generating market-beating returns as long as the company continues to grow its top and bottom lines at higher rates than its competitors. Buying on dips could be a great way to build a long-term position in Tesla stock.

Lucid could just be starting

Lucid Group looks like a promising EV maker with solid long-term growth plans. The company created a lot of buzz by launching its first model, the Lucid Air, with a market-leading range. Superior performance and attractive designs garnered lots of interest from potential buyers. The company now has more than 17,000 reservations for various versions of the Lucid Air. If Lucid manages to deliver its planned 20,000 vehicles in 2022, it could generate $2.2 billion in revenue for the year.

Two Lucid Air electric vehicles parked near a lighted bridge and city at night.

Image source: Lucid Group.

Lucid plans to launch its luxury SUV, the Gravity, in 2023 and hopes to deliver 500,000 vehicles annually by 2030. It is an ambitious plan, but the company has had a good start. Surely, many challenges lie ahead -- from scaling up production to competition -- yet, the management looks determined to face competition head-on. All in all, this is one EV company that looks to have more chances of succeeding than most others currently in the market.

QuantumScape holds a lot of promise

QuantumScape is working on the next-generation battery technology that will help reduce the size and cost of batteries used in electric vehicles. At the same time, the company's technology will improve battery efficiency. QuantumScape's solid-state lithium-metal batteries are being designed with much higher energy density than the lithium-ion batteries used currently.

Couple writes in a notebook and looks at a laptop while enjoying coffee.

Image source: Getty Images.

QuantumScape received $300 million in funding from Volkswagen (VWAGY 2.17%). Volkswagen is also monitoring the company's progress in battery development. Another top-ten automaker by revenue recently entered an agreement to buy 10 megawatt-hours of capacity from QuantumScape. The company's early progress was also validated recently by an independent lab.

QuantumScape is an early-stage company that holds a lot of promise. Whether it can deliver on that promise remains to be seen. However, the story so far seems to be unfolding as per the company's plans. If it succeeds, a small investment in QuantumScape could generate significant returns in a decade.