NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- There's no denying that 2020 was an incredible year for electric vehicles…And Elon Musk was the man of the hour. Never in the history of wealth accumulation has anyone shot up the ladder so quickly. In fact, Musk's net worth skyrocketed by well over $60 billion since Tesla was included in the S&P 500 index in late December. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO), Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS), Plug Power (NYSE: PLUG), Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE), FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL).
Tesla is now the 6th largest publicly traded company in the United States by market cap, overtaking stock market staples such as Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Walmart, and even Johnson & Johnson. It's already worth over $834 billion and it's showing no signs of slowing. And its founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has become the world's richest man in the process, climbing from $22 billion at the end of 2019 to today's net worth of $190 billion.
While Tesla's incredible rise has dominated headlines…It's been paramount in making electric vehicles sexy. And the entire industry has reaped the benefits.
From EV producers and battery makers to companies building charging infrastructure, any and every company with a tie-in to electric vehicles has gotten the Tesla-bump. But this boom is just getting started.
If you thought 2020 was good for EVs, 2021 is already looking even more promising - and profitable. So what's the best way to get in on this exciting new industry?
The Chinese EV Giant
It wasn't so long ago that analysts and investors alike were ready to write off their losses and give up on electric vehicle manufacturer Nio Inc. (NYSE:NIO). In fact, there were even rumors that the automaker was on the brink of bankruptcy. But the Chinese Tesla rival powered on, blew away estimates, and most importantly, kept its balance sheet in line. And its efforts have paid off - in a big way.
On January 1st, 2020, Nio was trading at just $3.24 per share…But after reporting a record number of deliveries, launching its revolutionary "Battery-as-a-service" platform, and a multi-billion-dollar bump from Chinese investors, the company's stock price skyrocketed by 1604%, starting off the year at $59 per share.
Nio has made all the right moves over the past year to turn heads on the streets and in the marketplace... From its stunningly beautiful - and fast - EP9 supercar to its new line of family-friendly high-performance sedans, Nio is well on its way to retaking control of its local market from Elon Musk's electric vehicle giant.
And as Chinese EV sales continue to soar…Nio's already-impressive ascension to electric superstar is only going to accelerate from here.
An Entire Electric Ecosystem
Facedrive (FD,FDVRF) was one of 2020's most interesting stock stories. It's not an electric vehicle manufacturer...And it's not building EV infrastructure…It's creating its own, entirely new, ecosystem within the industry.
It's the tie-in of tie-ins because it's aiming at the pulse of consumer demand. Facedrive already made headlines as the world's first-ever carbon-offset ride-sharing and food delivery platform…But its ingenious big-picture outlook is where it truly sets itself apart from the competition.
It's the recent acquisition of a little-known company with incredible potential for large-scale auto industry disruption that should position Facedrive perfectly for what's to come. With Washington DC based Steer, an electric vehicle subscription service under its wing, Facedrive is now able to offer its customers their own virtual gallery of electric vehicles.
Teslas, Porsches, Audis, and more…Customers can choose any vehicle in the roster with a click of a button and the car will be personally delivered in no time at all.
Better still…This "EV on-demand" subscription allows customers to take any of the available luxury top-tier vehicles for a spin without having to worry about maintenance or insurance. Customers don't even have to pick just one of the vehicles, they could drive a different car to work every day of the week if they chose to.
This simple - but groundbreaking - idea is important because it is exactly what many modern consumers are looking for. It's convenience, freedom, and variety all rolled into one eco-friendly easy-to-use package.
Driving--and "having" an EV ride--has never been more accessible. And this is exactly what promises to help push EVs over the mainstream dividing line. More significant, however, it is set to challenge the very idea of car ownership as we know it. Combine this game-changing idea, its innovative ride-sharing platform and booming delivery business with the "electrification of everything" push that is already sending any and every stock in this burgeoning new sector into the stratosphere and it's clear that Facedrive (FD,FDVRF) is a company with lots of potential.
Nothing Can Slow The Delivery Boom
Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS) is another company that has taken a unique approach to the budding electric vehicle industry. Instead of producing consumer-facing cars, it's looking to become to go-to supplier of delivery vehicles. And that's not a bad thing.
In 2020, e-commerce sales soared above the $4 trillion-dollar mark, and that number is expected to grow to over $6.5 trillion in the next two years. That means there are a lot of deliveries being made…And lots of vehicles making those deliveries.
Coupled with growing global pressure to go green, electric delivery vehicles are quickly becoming a must-have for the biggest online retailers on the planet...and that demand is set to grow exponentially in the coming years.
This is Workhorse's ace-in-the-hole. And it's not limited to the highways, either. Workhorse's HorseFly unmanned aerial delivery vehicle is poised to change the way we receive packages...And it's already drawing a lot of attention.
In fact, even the United States Postal Service is showing interest. Though the contract has been delayed, briefly weighing on Workhorse's stock price, shareholders still see the value in its efforts, and more importantly, the market it is looking to capture.
In 2020, Workhorse saw its share price skyrocket by over 658%. The USPS delay on its orders aside, that's still a pretty hefty return and sure to keep shareholders at bay for the time being. And analysts seem to agree.
Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch notes, "As the only US-based full EV supplier remaining in the bid, we believe the company remains well positioned to win a sizable portion of the contract. At the same time, we believe activity among buyers of last-mile delivery vehicles is accelerating and that WKHS could see additional customer wins before year-end."
BONUS: Infrastructure And Energy
Plug Power (NYSE:PLUG) is one of those plays that defines speculation. But here's the thing: it's based on an industry that's on track to be worth $11 trillion. This is a hydrogen fuel cell play, and the massive money inflow around hydrogen could keep PLUG--a highly volatile stock of late--pumping along nicely.
In Q2, it delivered an earnings surprise of 66.67%. It's outperforming the market wildly, so why did investors get cold feet on November 10th, after piling into it hours before? Quite simply: This run on hydrogen is a new thing and no one can pinpoint what might come next for this stock. If investors are getting cold feet, all it takes is a bit of a reminder as to how much money is pouring into hydrogen right now.
Plug is riding high the hydrogen hype. Its share price is up over 1200% since last January, and it's showing no signs of slowing. Hydrogen is already being touted as the fuel of the future, and a vital component in the world's race to reduce carbon emissions.
California-based Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE), for its part, designs, manufactures and sells solid-oxide fuel cell systems. And, yes, there's been a ton of cash burn up to this point, but it's heralding massive innovation--and that's what tech startups are all about. Growth runways, not immediate profit. That's why the world is willing to throw tons of money at our innovative future. Eventually, the narrative changes and for the successful companies, the cash burn stops and there starts to be payback for investors. Anyone who didn't get in on time got left in the innovation dust.
That's what's already happening with Bloom. Savvy investor patience is paying off. Bloom is now on track to be the first fuel cell maker to become cash-flow positive. And this could all be about to get even bigger. Why? Because this relatively small company is thinking in huge terms: We're not just talking about fuel cells for construction vehicles or to power remote electricity generation … Bloom is thinking far bigger than that. It's targeting utility-scale applications of fuel cells and industrial-scale applications, and drawing in some very big names in the process.
Thanks to Bloom's forward-thinking approach to this burgeoning market, it has seen its share price soar from $7.88 at the start of the year to $34.74 at the time of writing. In the stock world, a 310% return is never a bad thing. But as this sector grows, so to could Bloom's market cap.
FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) is another alternative fuel stock that has turned heads on Wall Street. Up over 219% year to date, FuelCell has been one of the biggest winners over the election season, with President-elect Joe Biden campaigning for a carbon-free America. In fact, analysts even estimate the U.S. could spend as much as $1.7 trillion on clean energy initiatives over the next 10 years. And that's great news for companies like Blink, Plug and FuelCell.
Though many expect FuelCell to return to earth in the short-term, its long-term trajectory is solid. It has spent years building a patent moat and developing solutions that will tie into the energy transition perfectly.
FuelCell may be expected to see a hit due to its looming Q4 earnings report, which is expected to go poorly, but the company has managed to take advantage in its earlier rally, raising net proceeds of over $150 million in a public offering of 25 million shares. And as more money piles into the industry, companies like Plug, Bloom and FuelCell are set to win big.
By. Nick Shaw
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