If you want game-changing gains in your investment portfolio, you are going to have to take some risks. You also have to accept that game-changing results can take substantial time to come to fruition.

What doesn't seem to be risky right now is predicting that the future of the automotive industry is electric vehicles (EVs). In the U.S., EV sales have jumped more than 40% on average annually since 2016. Some experts are predicting that the largest auto markets around the world could be fully electric as soon as 2035.

For investors, one way to capitalize on this trend while lowering your risk of picking the wrong up-and-coming EV manufacturer somewhat is to focus on an EV supplier offering immense value to multiple auto manufacturers. Two supplier-focused stocks that offer that opportunity are QuantumScape (QS -3.72%) and Aptiv (APTV 0.22%). Either could be a stock to buy for 2022 and beyond.

1. QuantumScape: Potential home run

If EVs want to go mainstream, they will need to improve their drive range on a single charge and find ways to recharge faster. The dilemma for current batteries is that manufacturers have to choose between high-density batteries that drive further on a charge but take longer to charge or lower-density batteries with a shorter driving range but a faster charge.

QuantumScape is working to offer an incredibly valuable solution to automakers with its solid-state lithium-metal batteries. Management believes its technology will eventually enable batteries to power cars further on faster charge times than current battery options offer, as shown in the chart.

Graphic showing QuantumScape's new batteries far outperforming current standards.

Data source: QuantumScape's May 2022 investor presentation.

While that battery technology sounds like a home run (and so far testing has gone well), previous attempts by companies to push the boundaries haven't materialized. The risk is that QuantumScape will be the latest to join the list of failed experiments with its tantalizing solid-state lithium-metal batteries.

So admittedly uncertainty does exist with QuantumScape's technology, but the interest in what it offers is clearly there: The company already is working with three of the top 10 auto companies in the world, as well as a top luxury OEM.

QuantumScape's stock price has tumbled 56% over the past 12 months and even more from its late 2021 peak because some investors are hesitant about the uncertainty of the company's business. However, for long-term investors who believe QuantumScape has the management team and engineers to drive its solid-state batteries to commercial production, this could be a great entry point into a potentially game-changing automotive investment.

2. Aptiv: Invest in the vehicle brain

Another company working to benefit from the rising sales of electric vehicles is Aptiv. This tech company focuses on vehicle architecture, active safety features, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and smart-mobility/connectivity solutions.

That's a mouthful. To put it simply: Aptiv is working on the brain and nervous system of autonomous vehicles.

Inside look at a futuristic autonomous vehicle.

Image source: Getty Images.

2022 offers investors an intriguing opportunity to purchase the stock, as it's declined roughly 40% over the past year due to pressure from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Chinese lockdowns, chip shortages, and broader inflation headwinds.

Despite those factors, Aptiv managed record quarterly bookings of $14 billion during the second quarter and 8% year-over-year revenue growth. Further, after a decade of fine-tuning its business to focus on the future autonomous vehicle industry, its business may be better poised than ever to return value to long-term shareholders.

Consider that over the past 10 years the company has exited low-growth commodity businesses, including the powertrain segment spinoff in 2018; enhanced its automated driving and data management capabilities; and established an autonomous driving joint venture with Hyundai. All in all, it's made 15 acquisitions and four divestitures to better focus on higher-margin growth revolving around electric and autonomous vehicles.

Follow the megatrends

A number of megatrends will make investors incredibly happy with their portfolios, even if this requires investing in riskier companies. Over 75% of vehicles are expected to have some level of autonomy by 2030, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are committed to rolling out over 400 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by 2025. In fact, connected vehicles on the road are projected to grow over three times to 600 million vehicles by 2030, according to Wejo estimates.

For patient investors willing to accept some risk and uncertainty, QuantumScape and Aptiv both offer businesses that should thrive as the megatrends of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles take over the road.