Stock Market

7 Stocks to Watch as Electric Vehicle Adoption Takes Off

Electric vehicle adoption is taking off and is poised to keep climbing tremendously in the coming years. First of all, New York, California, and the EU have all banned the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035, and the governments of those jurisdictions will all take steps to boost the sale of EVs in the coming years. Secondly, the Biden administration is moving to deploy EV chargers around the country, eliminating the “range anxiety” issues that have inhibited the sale of EVs. And finally, given the lower, much more stable cost of electricity compared to oil and the new 30% tax credit for many EV purchases, EVs, on the whole, have much cheaper total ownership costs than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Given these points, it makes sense to find stocks to watch to prepare to benefit from the EV boom.

Of course, EV makers won’t be the only companies to get a big lift from EV proliferation. Among the other types of companies that should get a considerable boost from the trend are companies that produce and facilitate electricity, along with those that secure EVs from hackers and companies that can help build factories that manufacture battery components and process lithium.

Here are seven stocks to watch as EV adoption takes off.

Ticker Company Price
BB BlackBerry $4.15
STEM Stem $8.30
FLR Fluor $36.65
GE General Electric $83.04
SOLO Electrameccanica $0.93
XPEV XPeng $9.53
OXUS Oxus Acquisition Corp. $10.39

BlackBerry (BB)

Source: Shutterstock

I recently read that EVs include many more high-tech innovations than gasoline-powered vehicles because, once automakers redesign their vehicles’ propulsion systems, it becomes easier for them to upgrade all of their other systems simultaneously.

Of course, these days, high-tech devices tend to be connected to the internet, and automobiles are no different. Moreover, just like all connected devices, connected vehicles can be hacked.

BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) has taken advantage of that reality by successfully selling its highly secure operating system, QNX, to most EV makers. In fact, “24 of the top 25 electric vehicle makers use QNX,” BB has reported.

In BlackBerry’s fiscal third quarter, the revenue of its Internet of Things unit, which QNX dominates, climbed to $51 million from $43 million during the same period a year earlier, while the unit’s gross margin increased to $41 million from $35 million.

But BlackBerry is moving beyond QNX, as it has created, in partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), IVY, a software platform that will, using artificial intelligence, collect data about EVs and allow developers and automakers to sell subscriptions to drivers easily. IVY, unlike QNX, generates one-time fees for BB and creates recurring revenue streams for the company. BlackBerry recently reported that there has been “a lot of demand” for IVY, which is entering proof-of-concept trials.

And, in a sign that IVY could become huge in China, one of the country’s largest automakers, Dongfeng (OTCMKTS:DNFGF)recently committed to utilizing the platform.

Stem (STEM)

Source: shutterstock.com/Nadya C

As I explained in an August 2021 column, “Stem’s AI platform, Athena, increases the efficiency of energy storage systems that work in tandem with renewable energy ‘by automatically switching between battery power, onsite generation and grid power.’”

As the utilization of EVs increase, companies’ electricity costs will jump. Consequently, finding ways to cut electricity costs will become much more important to companies, and more of them will be willing to utilize Stem’s (NYSE:STEM) AI.

In  fact, that trend is already materializing, as Stem’s top line is soaring. Last quarter, for example, its revenue soared an incredible 195% year-over-year to $156 million. For all of 2022, its sales jumped 186% to $363 million. And its Q4 EBITDA loss, excluding certain items, came in at a manageable $10 million, better than the $12 million adjusted EBITDA loss it generated in Q4 of 2021.

Additionally,  the company’s recently announced collaboration with ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT), America’s leading EV charger operator,  should be a game changer for Stem’s financial results and STEM stock.

Fluor (FLR)

Source: Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

As I noted in the introduction to this column, electric vehicles will require much more electricity and batteries. One way to play those trends is with Fluor (NYSE:FLR), which provides engineering, procurement, and construction services. In other words, Fluor designs and builds facilities for other companies.

With renewable energy not yet ready to handle all of the world’s electricity needs amid the proliferation of EVs, the demand for natural gas will likely jump, benefiting Fluor’s significant liquid natural gas business. And the company also develops facilities to process polysilicon, an essential raw material for solar panels and battery chemicals.

Both raw materials will be critical as the world looks to step up its electricity generation. Also noteworthy is that in November, Fluor completed a “Lithium Conversion project” for lithium miner Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) in China. With lithium production jumping, Fluor is well-positioned to obtain many more such projects.

In the third quarter of last year, Fluor’s backlog soared 30% versus the previous quarter. Thus, it is among the top EV stocks to buy.

General Electric (GE)

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Like Fluor and Stem, General Electric (NYSE:GE) is well-positioned to benefit from the significant increase in electricity production needed to support EVs. That makes it among the top EV stocks to buy in my book.

That’s because GE sells gas turbines that are integral to natural gas electric plants and wind turbines that generate electricity. Moreover, GE’s Grid unit sells products that enable electrical grids to be upgraded and modernized.

In positive signs for GE’s Power and wind businesses, Power’s orders soared 29%, excluding acquisitions and divestments, last quarter versus the same period a year earlier. In contrast, the orders of the company’s Renewable unit, excluding acquisitions and divestments, climbed 7% year-over-year. Power generated a free cash flow of $1.9 billion in Q4. Also noteworthy is that the conglomerate’s grid unit achieved profitability in Q4.

GE reported, “Long-term, Renewable Energy is firmly positioned to lead the energy transition, building on advanced technologies and external growth catalysts, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, while taking action to improve performance.”

GE’s Power, Renewables, and Grid business will be spun off from GE into a single company called Vernova in 2024. So investors who buy GE stock in 2023 will get shares of a pure-play electricity player next year.

Electrameccanica (SOLO)

Source: Luis War / Shutterstock.com

Electrameccanica (NASDAQ:SOLO) manufactures and markets a three-wheeled electric vehicle that carries one person. Called the Solo, the regular version of the EV costs just $15,500 and has a range of 100 miles and a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour. A larger version of the EV, called the Solo Cargo, costs $24,500.

Intriguingly, in September 2022, a Pizza Hut franchisee that owns 230 restaurants in Southern California began a 13-week trial of 14 Solo Cargo EVs. The franchisee’s interest in trying out the Solo indicates that the low-cost EV, which requires very little power, could appeal to restaurant owners.

Also noteworthy is that, for those who commute to cities, the Solo is very easy to park and maneuver in crowded urban areas.

In an October 2022 review of the EV, CleanTechnica reported that the EV is “easy to maneuver around the city streets here in San Diego and…it fits well into this type of environment.” It added, “The Solo interior has all of the basic essentials you need for a vehicle.”

Finally, Electrameccanica provided ten Solos for use by the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, which facilitated 2023’s Big Game. The move likely generated a great deal of publicity and buzz for Solo, making it among the top EV stocks.

EV Stocks: XPeng (XPEV)

Source: shutterstock.com/helloabc

Chinese automaker XPeng (NYSE:XPEV) expects to deliver 200,000 EVs this year, up from 120,000 last year. Among the trends that should help the company meet its goal are China’s reopening, its expansion in Europe, and its new G9 SUV, which has received very favorable reviews.

Moreover, the G9’s autonomous-driving systems are so good and so complete that they became “the first mass-produced vehicle to” be tested “as an autonomous vehicle” in China. So, in addition to boosting the G9’s sales, the EV’s advanced autonomy software could enable it to become a lucrative robotaxi for XPeng down the road. Another intriguing project that XPEV is working on is a flying car.

Changing hands for just 1.5 times analysts’ average 2023 revenue estimate for XPeng, XPEV stock is definitely one of the top EV stocks.

Oxus Acquisition Corp. (OXUS)

Source: MarySan / Shutterstock

Oxus (NASDAQ:OXUS), a SPAC, was launched by Kenes Rakishev, an investor from Kazakhstan, who was one of the first financial backers of Israeli battery maker StoreDot.

Subsequently, the Israeli company has received funds from multiple big-name companies, including BP (NYSE:BP) and Daimler (OTCMKTS:DDAIF), and StoreDot is partnering with a major Chinese EV battery maker, EVE Energy.

Moreover, StoreDot’s batteries “are now being used and tested by over 15 global automotive brands,” Inside EVs reported last month., And very impressively, the Israeli firm expects to “mass produce battery cells capable of 100 miles of range in five minutes of charge by 2024, 100 miles in three minutes by 2028 and 100 miles in two minutes by 2032.”

Given Rakishev’s prior connection with StoreDot and the fact that StoreDot has reportedly considered merging with a SPAC previously, there have been rumors that Oxus would merge with StoreDot.

Alternatively, Oxus has been rumored to be looking to merge with a nickel and cobalt miner in which Rakishev has invested. Since nickel and cobalt are both major components of EV batteries, those who buy OXUS stock now could potentially benefit from booming demand for those minerals.

Oxus may name its merger partner soon, triggering a huge rally by OXUs stock. That’s because, on Feb. 6, the company disclosed in an SEC filing that it would seek the approval of its shareholders at a Feb. 28 meeting to delay the deadline by which it must merge with a company until Dec. 8, 2023. The previous deadline was Mar. 8, 2023.

As of the date of publication, Larry Ramer owned shares of STEM, BB, XPEV,GE,OXUS, and SOLO.  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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