The automotive industry is going electric. Every major automaker is actively developing or already selling electric vehicles (EVs). Tesla (TSLA 0.18%) is the industry pioneer. Now, Ford (F 2.91%), General Motors (GM 1.1%), Volkswagen (VWAGY 1.2%), Daimler (DAI 1.38%), and other carmakers are pushing ahead with plans to capitalize on the growing consumer preference for electric cars.

Rivian R1S electric vehicle.
Image source: Rivian.

GM expects to produce 1 million EVs annually in North America by 2025, while Ford expects to build 600,000 in 2024, reaching 2 million just a few years later. Volkswagen's even more ambitious. It is targeting more than half of all its sales to be EVs by 2030. Stellantis, the company behind Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge, set a goal for battery EVs to account for 100% of sales in Europe and 50% in the U.S. by 2030.

Investing directly in EV stocks is one way to profit from this mass transition. Another way is to invest in the companies supplying the batteries, the most important and costly components of EVs. If electric vehicle production significantly increases over the next decade, the demand for EV batteries will skyrocket similarly.

Major battery producers are investing heavily to meet rising EV battery demand. Meanwhile, battery technology start-ups (some of which are going public via special purpose acquisition company [SPAC] mergers) are developing new energy storage systems that could revolutionize the industry. It's an exciting time to consider investing in EV battery stocks.

Best EV battery stocks in 2024

Best electric vehicle battery stocks in 2024

These are the top EV battery stocks for investors to consider:

Data source: Yahoo! Data as of Jan 11, 2024.
Company Market Capitalization Description
BYD (OTC:BYDD.F) $79.5 billion A vertically integrated manufacturer of EVs and components, including batteries
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) $15.12 billion A top producer of battery-grade lithium
Panasonic (OTC:PCRFY) $23.46 billion A Japanese conglomerate and battery supplier to Tesla
QuantumScape (NYSE:QS) $3.9 billion An early-stage company that develops solid-state battery technology
Microvast (NASDAQ:MVST) $326.3 million A designer, developer, and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery solutions
FREYR Battery (NYSE:FREY) $212 million Another early-stage development company building battery factories
Solid Power (NASDAQ:SLDP) $224 million A company developing solid-state battery technology

1. BYD

1. BYD

BYD is an integrated EV company based in China and one of the world's most valuable automakers. It manufactures and sells hybrid and battery-powered cars, buses, trucks, and monorails. It also builds the batteries, semiconductors, and other components used in its EVs.

One factor that makes BYD stand out in the EV industry is that Warren Buffett is a major shareholder. His Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 1.53%)(BRK.B 1.35%) first bought shares of the battery and EV company in 2008. Buffett trimmed Berkshire's stake in BYD in late 2022 and early 2023 after seeing a significant appreciation in the share price.

BYD's EVs are top sellers in China. The company sells five of the top 15 new energy vehicles in the country, where it ranks as the leading overall brand. BYD was the leading global manufacturer of battery EVs and plug-in hybrids in 2022. As a fully integrated EV company, its battery business is benefiting from the brisk sales pace.

2. Albemarle

2. Albemarle

Albemarle is one of the world's top lithium producers -- a key ingredient in most EV batteries. The mining and base materials company has narrowed its focus on lithium in recent years.

Albemarle is busy developing several projects in Chile, Australia, and China to meet surging demand for battery-grade lithium. Paired with rising prices for lithium itself, increased production capacity has led Albemarle to raise its financial guidance multiple times in the past year.

Revenue grew 120% in 2022, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) climbing 299%. For 2023, management expects revenue growth between 40% and 55% and adjusted EBITDA to improve 10% to 25%.

As is often the case with producers of commodities, Albemarle will be a cyclical business. Its revenue and profits will ebb and flow along with the supply and demand for lithium and other base materials it extracts from its mining operations. However, given the expected boom in EV sales this decade, Albemarle could have plenty of tailwinds to keep its overall trajectory headed higher for years to come.

Law of Supply and Demand

The law of supply and demand is an economic theory asserting that supply and demand will meet each other at a certain equilibrium price.

3. Panasonic

3. Panasonic

Japanese conglomerate Panasonic is a large producer of EV batteries and has been a partner and supplier of Tesla for many years. The two companies first entered into a supply agreement in 2009. Although Panasonic is no longer Tesla's exclusive battery supplier, the company continues to produce a high volume of batteries for the EV carmaker via their "gigafactory" joint venture.

Panasonic colocated its North American battery production facility in Nevada with Tesla's massive Gigafactory 1 and expanded there in 2021 by installing a new production line. In 2022, it made plans to add another factory in Kansas, and it's already planning yet another factory in the U.S.

It's also adding production capacity at its Japanese EV battery factory. The company makes multiple types of EV batteries and is installing new production equipment to satisfy the demand from Tesla for larger batteries.

Panasonic's supplier relationship with Tesla may not last forever. It's working to expand its supplier relationships, including a deal with Lucid at the end of 2022. The battery maker remains well positioned to supply EV batteries to all the major automakers that have unveiled grand plans to produce EVs. While Panasonic isn't a pure-play EV battery company, it's likely to remain a leader in the sector.

4. QuantumScape

4. QuantumScape

QuantumScape is developing solid-state battery technology to increase the range of EVs and enable them to recharge more quickly. The U.S. company is just beginning to test its battery technology at scale. It plans to start producing more than 200,000 batteries annually, although it currently doesn't generate any revenue.

QuantumScape is spending heavily to bring its technology to market. The company delivered its first prototype battery samples to EV automakers in 2022. Management says tests have gone well, and it expects to provide batteries for test cars in 2023 and begin commercial battery production in 2024 or 2025. It says it has a cash runway through mid-2025.

Although QuantumScape believes it has a strong enough balance sheet to cover several more years of development and testing, investing in the company is risky. Companies that don't turn a profit were highly out of favor in 2022, and QuantumScape shares dropped about 75%.

Ultimately, if its technology fails or is a commercial flop, QuantumScape's stock could become worthless. Still, this is a promising EV battery company with immense growth potential if its research and development eventually comes to fruition.

5. Microvast

5. Microvast

Microvast designs, develops, and manufactures lithium-ion battery solutions. Founded in 2006, the company went public in July 2021 through a merger with SPAC Tuscan Holdings. The deal gave Microvast over $700 million in cash to help fund its future growth.

The company is spending heavily to grow. Microvast spent $150.9 million in capital expenditures in 2022. That's a hefty amount for a company that generated just $204.5 million in revenue that year. The investments will enhance its battery production capacity and expand its range of battery solutions so it can tap into a large and growing market.

Apart from the risk associated with developing its battery technology, Microvast presents another risk. Since it's majority-owned by shareholders in China, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notified the company that it has until 2024 to comply with the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA). If it fails to meet the qualifications, Microvast's stock will be delisted from U.S. stock exchanges.

6. FREYR Battery

6. FREYR Battery

FREYR Battery is another early-stage development company working on battery technology and manufacturing processes. It also went public via a SPAC merger over the summer of 2021. It's trying to secure battery production capacity with the goal of becoming one of Europe's top battery companies for EVs and electric grid storage systems.

The company plans to redomicile to the U.S. from Luxembourg by year-end 2023. The move shouldn't affect its European strategy, but it opens the door for it to receive more government incentives. Management says it could also lead to the stock's inclusion in more index funds.

Like the other start-ups on this list, though, FREYR's future viability is far from assured. It hasn't generated revenue yet and is incurring operating losses via its research and securing of battery manufacturing agreements. However, FREYR opened its customer qualification plant in March of 2023, starting production on its first battery agreements, including with top industrial conglomerate Honeywell (HON 1.01%).

7. Solid Power

7. Solid Power

Solid Power designs solid-state battery technology. Founded in 2011, the company went public in December 2021 via a SPAC merger.

Unlike other solid-state battery competitors, such as QuantumScape, Solid Power intends to license its designs or sell its solid electrolyte for use in production at other battery manufacturers. Moreover, its technology is compatible with existing technologies, meaning its designs can get to market faster.

Solid Power is already generating a small amount of revenue, taking in $11.8 million in 2022 and $8.7 million through the first half of 2023. It's also ramping up production this year.

The company expects to receive new equipment in the back half of 2023 and plans to start producing its electrolyte at scale in 2024. It'll quickly ramp up to 40,000 metric tons by 2028. That's enough to support the production of about 800,000 EVs annually.

Since it's backed by Ford and BMW, it should have customers lined up for its batteries if it can execute on its timeline. Still, there's a risk that its technology won't work as well as expected or that competitors will come out with a better product in that time.

Related investing topics

Fully charged growth prospects

Fully charged growth prospects

Batteries are a crucial component of EVs. As sales accelerate, they will drive higher battery sales, benefiting the companies focused on making them. Forward-thinking investors might want to consider adding battery makers to their portfolio to potentially profit from this megatrend. Bear in mind, though, that these investments in an emerging technology will likely exhibit above-average volatility.

FAQs

EV Battery Stock FAQs

Is there a stock that makes electric vehicle batteries?

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Yes. There are many stocks for companies that make electric vehicle batteries. Some companies specializing in EV batteries include Panasonic, Quantumscape, Microvast, Solid Power, and FREYR Battery.

What is the best EV stock to buy?

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The best EV stock to buy will depend on your goals and risk tolerance. If you want to buy an automaker, you could invest in a company like BYD, the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles.

If you're more interested in the companies benefitting from the shift to electric vehicles, you could invest further up the supply chain. Companies like Albermarle supply the raw components for EV batteries, and Panasonic produces the batteries themselves.

Who is the leading EV battery supplier?

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Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd, commonly known as CATL, is the largest EV battery supplier in the world. Its batteries accounted for 34% of the market in 2022, and it supplies batteries to popular automakers, including Tesla, BMW, Toyota, and Honda.

What are the top 3 EV stocks?

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The top EV stocks depend on your goals and risk tolerance. For automakers, BYD is the leader in electric vehicle manufacturing, and its stock is favored by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Further up the supply chain, lithium supplier Albermarle makes a good investment, while battery supplier Panasonic could also be a great choice.

Adam Levy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends BYD, Berkshire Hathaway, Tesla, and Volkswagen Ag. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors and recommends the following options: long January 2025 $25 calls on General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.