What a difference a year or two can make! For much of 2020 and 2021, the Street couldn’t get enough of electric vehicle stocks. Today, it practically loathes them. As with many things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In the case of EV stocks, some are great, some are good, some are OK and some are bad. A few of the great ones are trading with extremely low valuations, and those are exactly the ones you’ll find on my list of no-brainer EV stocks to buy.
The EV makers below have proven they can produce high-quality vehicles. They also have at least of the following characteristics: powerful partners that are ready and willing to help, huge customer bases and/or a great deal of money to promote their offerings. So, without further ado, these are my top EV stocks to buy.
General Motors (GM)
General Motor’s (NYSE:GM) is quickly ramping up its EV business. In the second quarter, the automaker delivered more than 7,200 plug-in vehicles, up sharply from just 457 in Q1. And after a lengthy hiatus due to a major battery recall, sales of the automaker’s Chevy Bolt EV are making a comeback. GM delivered over 7,000 in Q2 versus 358 during the prior quarter.
Reviews of GM’s upcoming Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV, the brand’s first electric vehicle, have been solid. “The Lyriq EV just might be the stunning, surprisingly excellent confluence of the true and alternate Cadillac timelines,” wrote MotorTrend’s Alexander Stoklosa. He called the Lyriq “as pragmatic as it is groundbreaking.”
Production of the Lyriq is currently underway and demand has been high, with the limited-run debut edition selling out in minutes. The 2023 version has also sold out, with GM now accepting reservations for 2024. GM said it is increasing production of the Lyriq in the second half of 2022, as well as the GMC Hummer EV pickup, which has also experienced strong demand.
With the automaker’s Ultium Cells joint venture starting to pump out batteries in the U.S. last month, EV production should be a lot faster, smoother and cheaper for GM going forward.
Unlike many popular EV plays, GM is profitable. It also has $2.15 billion in cash on hand, which gives it plenty of money to promote its new EV lineup. Meanwhile, GM stock is trading at a highly attractive price-to-earnings ratio of 7.5.
Rivian’s (NASDAQ:RIVN) alliance with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is very much alive and well, as the e-commerce giant began using the automaker’s delivery vans in select cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego and St. Louis, back in July. Amazon’s goal is to have “thousands” of Rivian vans across 100-plus cities by year-end.
Ultimately, Amazon plans to have 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road in the U.S. by 2030. With that kind of backing from one of the world’s largest tech companies, Rivian’s success is all but assured. Plus, Amazon owns a roughly 18% stake in the EV maker, which can only stand to make it more committed to Rivian’s success.
As I’ve pointed out in past columns, the reviews for Rivian’s R1T pickup truck have been very good. Top Gear, for example, called it “the truck market’s game changer,” giving it a rating of 9 out of 10.
Rivian has nearly $15 billion in cash on hand, giving it enough money to promote its EVs. Moreover, it’s receiving a great deal of free publicity in the media. All in all, I’d say the automaker’s $28 billion market capitalization tremendously understates its strong outlook, making it one of the top EV stocks to buy.
Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) is back on track. As I pointed out recently, “Nikola is starting to prove the skeptics wrong by successfully obtaining 134 purchase orders for its Nikola Tre electric truck and delivering 48 of the EVs.”
Nikola is expected to deliver up to 500 electric big rigs to customers this year and is also working with veteran truck maker IVECO to manufacture and sell its trucks in Europe. Six companies are currently testing the battery-electric Tre, while Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) is testing the fuel-cell version, which Nikola plans to start mass producing at the end of next year.
Nikola has an impressive new president and CEO in waiting, Michael Lohscheller, who will take over next year. An auto industry veteran, Lohscheller served as CEO of the European automaker Adam Opel. Per Reuters, “Lohscheller, 53, was instrumental in Tre battery electric vehicles’ production and in achieving development milestones for the Tre fuel-cell electric vehicles, the company said.”
As a first mover in the hydrogen semi-truck market, Nikola is well-positioned to benefit as governments and businesses throw their support behind this clean-energy technology. To that end, Nikola is partnering with industrial giant Bosch to make fuel cell modules for its hydrogen-powered trucks.
The automaker has just $456 million in cash, but it plans to raise another $400 million by selling additional stock. Its relatively low $2.3 billion market capitalization makes NKLA stock a bargain in light of the automaker’s growth prospects.
On the date of publication, Larry Ramer held a long position in RIVN. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.