The automotive business goes electrical at a frantic tempo, with new corporations seemingly approaching the scene each day. It may be troublesome for even essentially the most devoted auto investor to maintain up with the motion.

We Fools respect in addition to anybody how robust it may be to kind via the ever-growing record of public corporations concerned in electrical automobile manufacturing and assist. With that in thoughts, we created an inventory of who’s who to assist information you (and us) via the sector. 

This is an inventory of the various choices out there to traders focused on EVs, and three shares that Silly contributors are holding their eyes on as potential long-term winners. 

EV makers (or start-ups planning to make electrical autos)

Pure-play suppliers of EV elements

  • Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN) – heavy-truck drivetrains
  • Romeo Energy (NYSE:RMO) – batteries for giant vehicles, buses, building gear
  • QuantumScape (NYSE:QS) – growing a next-generation solid-state battery
  • Ree Automotive (SPAC is 10X Capital Enterprise Acquisition (NASDAQ:VCVC)) – powertrain elements and platforms for EVs
  • XL Fleet (NYSE:XL) – EV conversions for industrial autos 

Charging networks

  • Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK)
  • ChargePoint (SPAC is Switchback Power Acquisition (NYSE:SBE))
  • EVBox (SPAC is TPG Tempo Helpful Finance (NYSE:TPGY))
  • Nuvve (SPAC is New child Acquisition (NASDAQ:VCVC))
  • Volta (SPAC is Tortoise Acquisition II (NYSE:SNPR))
A parking spot designated for electric vehicles.

Picture supply: Getty Photographs.

The inventory to personal if you would like a chunk of the world’s largest EV market

Lou Whiteman (Li Auto): Li Auto is making an attempt to dominate some of the worthwhile segments on the planet’s largest auto market. For that cause alone, the corporate belongs in your watch record.

Li makes premium electrical SUVs, one of many fastest-growing segments of the Chinese language auto market. It has differentiated itself by together with options like an onboard gasoline generator that dietary supplements the battery and acts as a variety extender. That is a giant deal in China, the place EV gross sales are getting forward of charging infrastructure, and it helps the corporate make gross sales outdoors of city areas the place charging gear might be laborious to search out.

The corporate at the moment has just one mannequin out there on the market, however analysts anticipate it to launch one new mannequin per 12 months from 2022 to 2024. That may give it a full vary of SUVs, from full-sized to compact premium, and assist it higher compete with different automakers attempting to take market share.

Li shares are up almost 80% since their debut final summer time, and at the moment commerce at a lofty 90 instances gross sales. However the firm is ready up nicely to develop into that valuation shortly. Li delivered 32,624 autos in 2020, however has the infrastructure in place to ramp as much as 500,000 deliveries yearly by 2025.

Li additionally has a administration workforce that has familiarity with U.S. public markets, and founder and CEO Li Xiang is nicely aligned with shareholders because the proprietor of about 20% of shares excellent.

The inventory isn’t with out danger, given the valuation and Li’s comparatively small variety of autos offered. However the potential is substantial. It is a firm that might stay within the quick lane for a very long time to return.

Overlook Blink Charging. This EV charging firm is best. 

Wealthy Smith (Volta): Electrical vehicles are nice and all, however they will not go far with out juice. In case you consider as I do — and as titan Basic Motors (NYSE:GM) does — that electrical vehicles are the longer term, then it is sensible that car-charging networks can be a constructing block in that future. And it additionally is sensible to attempt to discover the fitting car-charging community inventory to put money into.

Volta — the charging firm being introduced public in an IPO by way of particular goal acquisition firm Tortoise Acquisition II — simply is likely to be that charging inventory.

A Volta charging station.

Picture supply: Volta.

If you have not heard of Volta, that is no nice shock. As a non-public firm, it hasn’t been investable earlier than, and it nonetheless will not really be investable till Tortoise Acquisition II finalizes its acquisition of the corporate in late Q2 2021. As soon as that occurs, although, the businesses anticipate you will note a newly public Volta (buying and selling below the brand new ticker image “VLTA”) valued at greater than $2 billion, and possessing $600 million in money to put money into constructing out a nationwide community of charging stations.

Volta is particularly concentrating on buying facilities and different retail institutions for its charger areas, and has constructed out a community of stations spanning greater than 200 municipalities throughout 23 states. Every charging station contains a big video display screen on which retail commercials might be displayed, contributing extra income streams to the corporate on high of income from promoting electrical energy.  

In 2021, Volta anticipates the full income from greater than 3,100 put in charging stations will approximate $47 million, and the corporate is predicting gross sales development of 100% yearly from now via 2025. While you examine that to better-known, already publicly traded Blink Charging’s mere $4.5 million in trailing-12-month gross sales, it is clear that Volta stands head and shoulders above the competitors.  

This inventory is excessive danger, however the rewards could possibly be large

John Rosevear (QuantumScape): That is a kind of circumstances the place the inventory appears costly (and it is likely to be), the dangers appear excessive (and they’re), however the potential appears large (and it’s).

QuantumScape has been working for years on a “holy grail” expertise that the business has been attempting to commercialize for many years: solid-state batteries. And it might have solved a troublesome puzzle.

Merely put, solid-state batteries have the promise to be extra energy-dense, lighter in weight, cheaper, faster to recharge, and fewer susceptible to fires than present lithium-ion batteries. A solid-state battery that’s dependable and could possibly be mass produced at an inexpensive value could be a giant advance for electrical autos.

That has all been identified for a few years, however the problem has been to develop a solid-state battery that works — and holds up long run — outdoors of a lab. The small print are a bit sophisticated (you may be taught extra right here), however the gist is that solid-state batteries require a “separator” with sure traits, and no person has been capable of provide you with one which works — till (perhaps) now.

QuantumScape revealed in December that it has developed a brand new versatile ceramic materials that seems to work nicely as a separator for a solid-state battery. The corporate thinks that it may well have its batteries in manufacturing by 2024, and it already has one huge buyer: German auto big Volkswagen (OTC:VWAGY), which has invested about $300 million (and counting) in QuantumScape. 

If QuantumScape’s expertise pans out, it might turn into a significant provider to the world’s automakers simply because the world’s transition to electrical autos kicks into excessive gear. That is the massive potential, however there are dangers too: QuantumScape’s expertise may not pan out, it might take longer than anticipated to get to market, or it could possibly be crushed to market by any of a number of well-funded rival efforts.

However that stated, QuantumScape has the workforce, the advisors, the traders — and apparently, the expertise — to make it a winner. It is a dangerous guess, however should you consider within the potential of electrical autos, the payoff could possibly be large.