business

3 electric vehicle stocks to sell before they crash


One of the defining market trends in 2022 has been the rise of the electric vehicle (EV) sector. What started as an entire industry centered around a single company has become a staple of the stock market. Despite a turbulent year, You’re here (NASDAQ:TSLA) has retained its place at the top of the EV race, though competitors old and new have risen to challenge it. Supply chain constraints have made it more difficult for some companies to produce vehicles. But through it all, demand is steadily increasing. 2023 is set to be an even bigger year for the industry. But there are still some businesses that should be avoided or given up altogether. Therefore, investors should consider the best EV stocks to sell.

It’s easy to ignore the red flags of certain stocks when a sector is hot. But while some electric vehicle producers brace for more growth, others face an uncertain future. These companies are not struggling due to the same supply chain issues that Elon Musk highlighted. On the contrary, they face stiff competition and declining market share as more established rivals step up their game faster.

The industry may also face monumental change. InvestorPlace Senior investment analyst Luke Lango predicts that the number of companies in the electric vehicle sector is about to start to decline as bigger companies start buying up their smaller counterparts. If this happens, it will likely push the less stable companies in the industry out of business. Let’s take a look at the companies with the worst growth prospects.

STROLL Lordstown Engines $1.69
NKLA Nikola Corp. $2.93
WKHS workaholic group $2.33

Lordstown Motors (STROLL)

Source: Postmodern Studio / Shutterstock.com

This electric vehicle producer has a memorable commercial symbol, but these days that’s all it has to offer. Lordstown Engines (NASDAQ:STROLL) spent the year battling severe macroeconomic headwinds and failing to demonstrate sustainable growth.

The stock rose in August after posting its first quarterly profit. As InvestorPlace Contributor Josh Enomoto, however, reported that he still faced significant challenges, primarily a ramp-up in production likely to leave him behind his competitors. More recently, Lordstown announced the start of commercial production of its Endurance pickup truck. But even this news couldn’t help the RIDE stock back into the green.

InvestorPlace Contributor Larry Ramer named RIDE as an electric vehicle stock that “won’t exist by 2024”. According to him, Lordstown has given investors plenty of reason to worry and none to be optimistic. His partner, foxcon, has no experience in the production of electric vehicles. But that’s not the worst.

On the company’s second quarter earnings call, chairman Edward Hightower noted that Lordstown had a “limited number of anchor customers for the first vehicle to be produced with Foxconn through our joint venture”. Starting commercial production means little if an automaker doesn’t have a solid list of customers committed to buying the new product. InvestorPlace Contributor Muslim Farooque flags Lordstown as a likely candidate for bankruptcy, advising investors to sell it short.

Nikola Corporation (NKLA)

Image of NKLA logo on phone screen

Source: Stephanie L Sanchez / Shutterstock.com

Like Lordstown, Nicholas (NASDAQ:NKLA) is unable to demonstrate growth, even after announcing good news. The struggling company saw its shares surge after completing its acquisition of the battery producer Power of Romeo (NYSE:RMO). Unfortunately, they quickly began to lose momentum after a court found Nikola founder Trevor Milton guilty of securities fraud and wire fraud. It’s hard to trust a company whose former leader defrauded investors to artificially boost share prices.

Although NKLA’s actions attempted to turn around in the face of Milton’s sentencing, it’s important to see the big picture. Nikola’s problems didn’t start with Milton’s legal troubles. Stocks peaked in June 2020, nearly three months before Hindenburg Research released the damning short report accusing the company of illicit activities.

Since then, the stock has only struggled, losing more than 71% of its value as electric vehicle stocks have soared this year. The Inflation Reduction Act offered federal incentives for electric truck buyers, but even that couldn’t help Nikola rise. Today, the competition is fiercer than ever, as many electric truck producers have growth catalysts to look forward to in 2023. Nikola has a tough road ahead and there are no signs he is ready.

A workhorse (WKHS)

Image of a Workhorse (WKHS) logo and drone on the side of a truck.

Source: Photo by WorkHorse.com

Battle horse (NASDAQ:WKHS) operates in a fairly unique niche within the EV industry. It produces electric vans and drones, but specializes in last-minute delivery services. This business model looks good, but no amount of drones have helped the company take off.

Workhorse is best known for bleeding money and recalling vehicles. In November 2021, it reported significant losses and lower revenue after having to recall its C-100 vans due to safety concerns. While the company promised to redesign the vehicles, it faced a very difficult road to make up lost ground and restore its damaged reputation.

Because of this, Ramer also sees WKHS as an EV stock that simply won’t exist in 2024. He’s also worried that Workhorse doesn’t have any partnerships with companies in the delivery industry. However, Ramer isn’t surprised by this, given the reputational issues Workhorse has caused itself. He adds: “Unlike competitors Rivian (NASDAQ:SHORE) and Arrival (NASDAQ:ARVL), I have seen no evidence that Workhorse has a reassuring backlog of tens of thousands of reservations for its trucks.

Workhorse clearly has a lot in common with fellow struggling automaker Lordstown. Both failed to attract a significant customer base while their competitors did. For this reason, both are EV stocks to sell before markets turn sour.

At the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient held (neither directly nor indirectly) any position in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com Publication guidelines.

Samuel O’Brient has been covering financial markets and analyzing economic policy for over three years. His areas of expertise are in electric vehicle (EV) inventory, green energy and NFT. O’Brient enjoys helping everyone understand the intricacies of economics. He is ranked in the top 15% of stock pickers on TipRanks.

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