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Electric Vehicle Checkpoint: Cramer on Tesla, NIO and Plug Power

See the latest news for the top stocks in the electric vehicle space including Ford, General Motors, XPeng, and more.

General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report remains hot as bulls continue to ride the electric vehicle trend higher in the stock.

While Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report remains the EV king, it’s clear that GM, Ford  (F,) - Get Ford Motor Company Report and others are coming for the crown. Of course, Tesla may remain atop the throne - but that won’t stop others from trying, wrote TheStreet's Bret Kenwell

Electric Vehicles will account for three out of five new cars on China's roads by 2030, according to a forecast by UBS. The Swiss bank expects China to sell 6.6 million electric cars in 2025, about 25 percent of all new cars, rising dramatically to 18 million, or 60 percent, by 2030, South China Morning Post recently reported.

Velodyne Lidar  (VLDR) - Get Velodyne Lidar Inc. Report stocks were higher this past week after unveiling a multi-year agreement with AGM Systems, a maker of unmanned aerial vehicles. Lidar, or light detection and ranging sensors, create 3-D maps of an environment, Velodyne explains. 

Velodyne is also set to provide its sensors to firms in the autonomous-driving industry. The company is currently working on a deal with the Chinese tech brand Baidu  (BIDU) - Get Baidu Inc. Report, the publication added.

For more in-depth coverage of the electric vehicle sector including trading recommendations and investment strategies, follow the experts on Real Money.

Here is a list of the technology stocks to watch and their performance by percentage change over the past five days through the close of trading on Wednesday, April 7:

Tesla | +5.77%

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares surged higher Monday after the clean-energy carmaker topped Wall Street forecasts with a record first-quarter delivery tally of nearly 185,000. Analysts at Wedbush boosted their "bull case" price target on the stock to $1,300 a share.

Tesla delivered 184,800 new cars over the three months ended in March, the company said in a statement this past week, up more than 100% from last year and largely ahead of Wall Street estimates of around 177,000 vehicles

The company recently announced better-than-expected first-quarter deliveries, which helped launch the stock higher by 4.4% on Monday.

Jim Cramer said investors should buy Tesla but also cautioned them not to blindly invest in lesser-known EV stocks or companies that make EV parts in the hopes of finding some kind of derivative of Tesla. 

"Stop looking for the derivative; just go buy Tesla!" Cramer says.

Tesla's founder and CEO Elon Musk secured the second spot on Forbes' 35th annual billionaires' list released Tuesday with a net worth of $151 billion. He was ranked No. 31 last year with a net worth of $24.6 billion.

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

Ford | +2.01%

Despite ongoing semiconductor shortages and the resulting plant shutdowns, both Ford Motor Co.  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report and General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report continued to rally, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives also had positive comments on Ford and General Motors as the two automakers continue to advance their electric plans.

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Ford EV sales are up 74% on strong sales of the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid, according to the company's reported first-quarter 2021 U.S. sales results.

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

General Motors | +4.27%

General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report confirmed plans to produce an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck at a flagship assembly plant that it's building in Detroit.

The plant, which GM renamed Factory Zero last year, will also produce the recently unveiled electric Hummer SUV and an autonomous multi-passenger shuttle the company calls the Cruise Origin. 

The pickup is part of GM's $2.2 billion investment in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan, which will be the company's first plant completely devoted to all-electric vehicles. 

Shares of General Motors were rising slightly this past week after the carmaker reported that first-quarter U.S. sales rose 4% year-over-year as vehicle demand increased sharply.

GM sold 642,250 vehicles in the quarter in the U.S., with retail deliveries climbing 19% and fleet sales falling 35%. 

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

NIO | -1.39%

NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report and Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get Xpeng Inc Report were climbing this past week after the Chinese electric vehicle makers both reported big gains in their first-quarter deliveries. NIO was advancing 7.9% to $42.06. 

The company said it delivered 20,060 vehicles in the first quarter, up a record 423% from a year ago. The company delivered 7,257 vehicles in March, a new monthly record and up 373% year-over-year.

"This one needs to come down. These stocks are too expensive," Cramer said Monday during the "Mad Money Lightning Round."

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

Nikola | -12.32%

Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Nikola Corporation Report shares moved lower Wednesday amid reports that a key executive in charge of the electric truck maker's fuel cell development had left the company earlier this month.

Industry veteran Jesse Schneider, who was hired as the group's vice president of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in 2018, left Nikola on April 1, Bloomberg reported. Schneider's verified Linkedin account suggests he is now the founder, CEO, and CTO at Zev Station, a "fast-moving startup to fuel ZEV vehicles" based in California.

The company's shares previously fell sharply on Monday after the electric truck maker disclosed that its founder, Trevor Milton, last week sold $48.6 million of its stock. He sold 3.5 million shares for $13.89 apiece, the company said.

The stock recently traded at $12.94, down 7%. It has dropped 47% over the past six months.

That drop came after Hindenburg Research in September published a report arguing that the company and Milton misled investors. Milton resigned as chairman shortly afterward. In February, Nikola said that Milton made some inaccurate statements, but that Hindenburg did as well. Interestingly, Milton didn’t receive cash for his stock sale. 

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for Nikola.

XPeng | +1.45%

XPeng  (XPEV) - Get Xpeng Inc Report stocks climbed this past week rising 6.4% to $38.86 in premarket trading after the Chinese electric vehicle maker reported big gains in its first-quarter deliveries.

The company said it delivered 13,340 Smart EVs in the first quarter of 2021, a record 487% increase year over year. In March, Xpeng delivered 5,102 Smart EVs, a 384% increase year over year and a 130% increase month over month.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for Xpeng.

Plug Power | -6.74%

Plug Power  (PLUG) - Get Plug Power Inc. Report, Baker Hughes  (BHGE,) - Get Baker Hughes, a GE Company Class A Report and Chart Industries  (GTLS) - Get Chart Industries, Inc. Report said they'd be cornerstone investors in FiveT Hydrogen Fund, “dedicated to delivering clean hydrogen infrastructure projects at scale."

The fund will be denominated in euros. Plug Power intends to commit 160 million euros ($200 million), and Chart Industries and Baker Hughes each will put in 50 million euros ($60 million). 

The hope is to ultimately raise 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion), and the fund plans to finance projects that produce, store and distribute clean hydrogen, they said.

"I love hydrogen power but we need them to come on and tell us what's going on," Cramer said of Plug Power Monday during the "Mad Money Lightning Round."

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

QuantumScape | +7.67%

QuantumScape  (QS) - Get QuantumScape Corporation Class A Report shares soared this past week after the electric vehicle battery maker said it met conditions for Volkswagen  (VWAGY) - Get Volkswagen AG Report to invest another $100 million in it.

“The milestone required Volkswagen to successfully test the latest generation of QuantumScape’s solid-state lithium-metal cells in their labs in Germany,” QuantumScape said in a statement after the close.

“This will be the second and final closing under the May 14, 2020 stock purchase agreement between VW and QuantumScape that provided for a total $200 million investment," the company added.

QuantumScape recently traded at 50.94 and it has skyrocketed 420% over the past year amid investor mania for all things electric vehicle-related.

TheStreet Quant Ratings doesn't have a rating for QuantumScape.

Canoo | +2.04%

Shares of Canoo  (GOEV) - Get Canoo Inc. Class A Report this past week lost more than a quarter of their value after the electric vehicle maker did not report revenue for the December quarter and was downgraded at Roth Capital.

The Dallas company said that it planned to deemphasize its contract-engineering-services line, which led Roth analysts to downgrade the stock to neutral from buy. They slashed their price target on the stock to $12 from $30. 

"Another EV play. This group has become very tough and there are easier ways to make money," Cramer said of Canoo Monday during the "Mad Money Lightning Round."

TheStreet Quant Ratings doesn't have a rating for Canoo.

Fisker | -4.49%

Fisker FSR was included in Cramer's list of top electric-vehicle plays in March.

TheStreet Quant Ratings doesn't have a rating for Fisker.

Lordstown Motors | +2.07%

Investors were reminded this past week that Lordstown Motors RIDE is being sued for misleading shareholders. A purchaser of Lordstown Motors filed a class action complaint against the Company and its officers and directors for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between October 26, 2020, and March 17, 2021.

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

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