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Electric Vehicle Checkpoint: Tesla May Be Losing Its Lead in the EV Market

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

Bitcoin bounced from multi-month lows Wednesday after Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report founder and CEO Elon Musk indicated his clean energy car company could hold its billion-dollar position in the world's biggest digital currency.

Musk tweeted Wednesday emojis of so-called "diamond hands", images that are typically interpreted as indications of a "hold" strategy for key assets. 

Tesla shares fell 4.21% on Wednesday, raising concerns that the world’s biggest EV maker may be losing its grip in the world’s biggest market for battery-powered cars.

Data released last week showed Tesla sold 25,845 Chinese-made vehicles in April, down from 35,478 units in March, according to China’s Passenger Car Association. Of the April sales, 14,174 EVs were exported, due in part to demand from the European market, the CPCA said.

Musk, who began accepting bitcoin as payment for Tesla vehicles in March, said he was concerned about the "rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions", citing the use of coal to power the controversial process. The company recently announced that it will no longer be accepting bitcoin as payment. 

"The overall impact is that you need to accept the beatdown for some greater good in all of the specs but buy the most solid companies, like April of 2000, and you should come out ahead but the vast bulk of capital, with the possible exception of MUSK, the four-letter symbol for Tesla, the rejector of Bitcoin as a currency," said Jim Cramer, in his Real Money column Wednesday

"[Tesla] should be considered a drag on the market no different from the undisciplined capital that had been full of those with conviction that betrayed them in the middle of March of 2000," he added.

Cramer's game plan started Monday with two electric vehicle stocks, Lordstown Motors  (RIDE) - Get Report and Fisker  (FSR) - Get Report. Lordstown has come under fire for overpromising, but Fisker has a better story to tell, according to Cramer. 

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

Tesla

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report was under pressure Wednesday after a report said new registrations in China for its electric vehicles took a sharp downturn last month.

Shares of Tesla were down 3.95% at $555.06 after data from state-backed China Automotive Information Net showed that 11,949 China-built Teslas were registered in the country last month, down sharply from a record 34,714 registrations in March.

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

Ford

Declaring that the "American auto industry is at crossroads," President Joe Biden on Tuesday toured the Ford Motor  (F) - Get Report plant in Michigan, one day before the automaker unveiled its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

During his visit, Biden made the case for his $174 billion electric vehicle plan, calling for government grants for new battery-production facilities. 

Ford has a secular electric-vehicle story that will be big in 2022, but the hurdles the carmaker must face will be skyrocketing commodities and the semiconductor shortage.

The carmaker will trim the output of its vehicles, including its top-selling F-150 truck, intermittently through June at eight North American plants, due to the semiconductor shortage, the company told CNBC. Other vehicles that are part of the manufacturing suspension include the Mustang, Escape crossover, and Bronco Sport SUV.

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

General Motors

Shares of General Motors  (GM) - Get Report were rising 0.9% Wednesday after Japan's Toyota Motor Co.  (TM) - Get Report hit a record high in Tokyo trading amid optimism that traditional automakers can weather the global semiconductor shortage.

General Motors posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings while confirming its full-year profit guidance even as chip shortages bloated its overall inventory and clipped free cash flow.

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

Nikola

Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Report was moving into high gear this past week after the electric truck maker posted better-than-expected first-quarter results. The company said that during the first quarter, it commissioned the first batch of five Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicles.

Last month, Nikola unveiled plans with Iveco and OGE to transport hydrogen from production sources to fueling stations that support fuel-cell elective vehicles.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for Nikola.

NIO

NIO  (NIO) - Get Report plans to set up and sell its electric vehicles in Norway, rolling out its EVs beyond China. The car marker will begin delivering the latest version of its ES8 all-electric six- and seven-seat sports utility vehicle to Norway in September, NIO CEO William Li said at an event in Shanghai this past week.

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Norway last year became the first nation in the world to see EVs account for the majority of its annual vehicle sales, thanks to green-friendly government incentives and an extensive charging infrastructure. The country wants all cars sold there to be zero-emission by 2025.

Preorders for the ES8 are expected to begin shortly. Its first EV sedan, the ET7, will launch in the second half of 2022.

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

Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors  (RIDE) - Get Report slumped this past week after Goldman Sachs recently downgraded shares of the electric vehicle maker over concerns about an increasingly competitive EV market. Analyst Mark Delaney cut Lordstown Motors rating to neutral from buy, while cutting his price target to $10 from $21.

The company suffered a setback last month after its pickup truck, Endurance, failed to complete a race in Baja, Mexico. Delaney said the recent issues with the Baja race "suggests to us that there could be more development work to do on the powertrain than we had expected."

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

XPeng

Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get Report shares rose this past week after the Chinese electric-vehicle maker reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter results, including a sevenfold surge in revenue.

The Guangzhou company's net loss widened to 786.6 million yuan (US$120.1 million), or 0.99 yuan a share, from 649.8 million yuan, or 5.16 yuan a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for Xpeng.

Plug Power

Plug Power  (PLUG) - Get Report jumped this past week after the fuel-cell maker said it completed the restatement of its financial statements for the past three years. The company said the restatements had no effect on its cash position, business operations, or economics of its commercial arrangements.

Jim Cramer says Plug Power stock is up too much.

"For those who like hydrogen, the stock to like is Plug Power," Cramer added. "The company has been getting breakout orders, which I like. But at the same time hydrogen is at 60 bucks; it needs to be competitive with oil. 

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

QuantumScape

Shares of QuantumScape Corp.  (QS) - Get Report dropped premarket this past week after the electric-vehicle-battery maker reported first-quarter results that missed estimates.

The San Jose, Calif., company reported a net loss of 20 cents a share, compared with a 6-cent loss in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 7 cents a share for the latest period. 

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

Canoo

Canoo Inc  (GOEV) - Get Report announced earlier this month that it was appointing Tony Aquila, its executive chairman and one of its largest investors, to the role of chief executive.

"That's dead money. I'm sorry," Cramer said this past week during the "Mad Money Lightning Round."

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

Fisker

Fisker  (FSR) - Get Report shares soared this past week after the electric carmaker said it has expanded its working relationship with Hon Hai Technology Group, better known as Foxconn, to continue building out its offerings of electric vehicles.

The deal includes building a new U.S. factory that will be able to support the projected start of production in the final quarter of 2023.

Fisker shares were up 6.02% at $10.56 at last check after the company said it has expanded a joint development and manufacturing deal related to the so-called Project PEAR – Fisker’s under-wraps efforts to produce a new type of electric vehicle.

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

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