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Electric Vehicle Checkpoint: Jim Cramer Eyes Tesla as a Solar Stock

See the latest news for the top stocks in the electric vehicle space including Ford, NIO, General Motors, Lordstown Motors, Li Auto, and more.

Jim Cramer recommended four solar stocks, including the electric vehicle giant Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report.

Solar companies have increased power to energize your portfolio, Cramer said during a recent episode of his Mad Money show.

Musk says his company has a backlog of 80,000 orders, valued at more than $500 million, for its Powerwall home solar-energy-storage system. But Musk also said Tesla can produce only 30,000 to 35,000 Powerwalls this quarter. The company says it can't ramp up production to meet demand due to the global chip shortage. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been involved in a civil action with some of Tesla’s shareholders over the bailout of SolarCity in 2016. 

Over on Real Money, contributor Ed Ponsi says the boom in EVs is just beginning and investors can take advantage of that via lithium, a key component of EV batteries. With the demand for lithium expected to outstrip supply, Ponsi says the company to watch is Albemarle Corp.  (ALB) - Get Report. Find out why he thinks this company will power big gains.

Tesla unveiled a subscription option for its full self-driving package. The electric carmaker unveiled a $199-a-month subscription plan for full self-driving, rather than a $10,000 up-front fee, which had been the only option to enable it to date. Some Tesla drivers may have to pay an extra $1,500 for a new chip to be installed to use the feature. The hardware with the newer version of the chip has been standard in Tesla models since mid-2019, according to reports.

The subscription option addresses long-standing complaints about the up-front purchase option of FSD because the feature was tied to the vehicle rather than the owner. A number of Tesla owners took to Twitter and Reddit to express irritation or outright anger over that possibility, with some saying Tesla should pay for the upgrade cost while others called for a class-action lawsuit.

Tesla's support page said hardware upgrades aren't included with the FSD subscription.

Separately, Chinese rival EV maker Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get Report priced its new P5 sedan as low as 160,000 yuan ($24,694) days after Tesla launched a cheaper version of its Model Y sports utility vehicle.

The P5 — Xpeng’s third production model and second sedan after the P7 — was launched earlier this year.

Tesla earlier this month debuted a pared-down version of its Model Y SUV in China amid increased competition in what is currently the electric carmaker's most lucrative and important market.

Meanwhile, Nissan kicked off production of its third-generation Nissan Frontier mid-sized pickup at its $3.5 billion Canton, Mississippi assembly plant. It is the first major redesign of the popular midsize truck in 16 years.

TheStreet's Corey Goldman caught up with Nissan corporate vice president Mike Colleran to hear more about the newly redesigned pickup truck and what kind of demand Nissan expects, as well as how Nissan is navigating the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the broader movement to electrification - i.e. competing with Tesla.

Here is a list of the electric vehicle stocks to watch:

Tesla

Tesla shares are up 6.4% in the past month.

Dogecoin is one of the popular cryptocurrencies that constantly dominate headlines. Most of the time, Musk has something to do with it. This time, it's different. Axe, a popular deodorant company, is bringing dogecoin into the limelight again as it dropped Axe Dogecan on Tuesday. The company says that Axe Dogecans are not available for purchase.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Tesla as a Hold with a rating score of C.

TheStreet Recommends

Ford Motor

Ford  (F) - Get Report announced that it was recalling nearly 775,000 Explorers, along with a number of Ford F-350 Super Duty pickups and Lincoln Aviators. The company said in a statement that it was issuing a safety recall for the model year 2013-2017 Ford Explorers, with about 60,000 coming from North America.

Ford shares bounced back with the broader market Tuesday, adding 4.74% to close at $13.91.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Ford as a Hold with a rating score of B-.

Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors  (RIDE) - Get Report said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it’s the subject of an investigation by the agency. “We have received two subpoenas from the SEC for the production of documents and information, including relating to the merger between DiamondPeak and Legacy Lordstown and pre-orders of vehicles,” the company said in the filing. The electric carmaker was been informed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

TheStreet Quant Ratings doesn't have a rating for Lordstown Motors.

Li Auto

Li Auto  (LI) - Get Report, the Chinese electric vehicle maker, reported second-quarter deliveries more than doubled and topped its estimates. The Beijing company delivered 17,575 vehicles in the quarter, up 166% year over year and nearly 40% from the first quarter. The company had expected to deliver 14,500 to 15,500 vehicles in the second period.

TheStreet Quant Ratings doesn't have a rating for Li Auto.

General Motors

EVgo  (EVGO) - Get Report surged this past week after it said that General Motors  (GM) - Get Report had named the electric-vehicle-charging network a preferred provider for the automaker's Ultium Charge 360 fleet service. Last year GM unveiled its more than $20 billion plan to charge up production of electric and autonomous vehicles. In June, GM increased its planned EV and autonomous vehicle investments from 2020 through 2025 to $35 billion.

EVgo shares are up 13% in the past week, ending Tuesday at $12.89.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates GM as a Buy with a rating score of B.

NIO

NIO  (NIO) - Get Report, the Chinese electric vehicle company, said that by the end of 2025 it planned to add 3,700 battery-swap stations, which would give it 4,000. A swap station is where EV drivers go to quickly exchange their batteries for new ones, rather than waiting for a charge.  A typical electric car takes about eight hours to charge from empty to full, according to U.K. charging company Pod Point. The company is making charging stations a priority, Co-Founder and President Qin Lihong told reporters this past week.

Real Money’s Carolyn Boroden notes bullish technical factors for the company. “I have a simple symmetry setup to consider in NIO,” she wrote. 

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates NIO as a Sell with a rating score of E+.

XPeng

Chinese electric vehicle company Xpeng was added to Hang Seng Composite Index this week. Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited announced that XPeng meets the Fast Entry Rule of various indexes.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for Xpeng.

Plug Power

RBC analyst Joseph Spak initiated coverage of hydrogen fuel-cell technology company Plug Power  (PLUG) - Get Report with an outperform rating and a one-year price target of $42. Spak wrote that "Plug Power’s valuation is rich, but its long runway for growth justifies the premium." He also noted that Plug Power has a substantial amount of opportunity for growth, given the Hydrogen Council’s estimates that the hydrogen economy could bring in more than $2.5 trillion in annual sales by 2050 to the immediate industries associated with hydrogen technology.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Plug Power as a Sell with a rating score of D.