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Electric Vehicle Checkpoint: EV Sales More Than Doubled in 2021

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

Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report and Rivian  (RIVN) - Get Rivian Automotive, Inc. Class A Report have mutually agreed to cancel their plans to develop an electric vehicle together.

Ford CEO Jim Farley told Automotive News that the two automobile manufacturers had decided not to enter into a joint electric vehicle development venture.

Farley tweeted on Thursday that Ford plans to be the second-biggest EV producer in a couple of years, behind Tesla, with a goal of becoming the largest EV producer in the world. Ford two years ago launched the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, which is being sold on three continents.

Ford's chief executive wrote on Twitter that the auto company expects to produce 600,000 EVs a year globally by the end of 2023, which is two times its original plan.

Over on Real Money, Bruce Kamich says the charts and indicators signal that shares of EV maker NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report are poised to rally. Check out his technical analysis and trading strategies on Real Money. 

Ford backed Rivian in April 2019 with a $500 million investment, while Amazon invested $700 million in February 2019.

Rivian, which was launched in 2009, went public on Nov. 10 with an offering price of $78 a share and has a market cap of $111.6 billion at last check.

Consumer Reports recently released its automobile reliability ratings Thursday with Toyota Motor  (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Report -owned Lexus, Mazda  (MZDAY) , and Toyota ranking as the top brands in that order.

Stellantis’  (STLA) - Get Stellantis N.V. Report Jeep, Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report, and Ford Motor’s  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report Lincoln made up the bottom three.

Tesla’s next-to-last finish matched its 2020 ranking. It had four models in the survey. “While Tesla’s Model 3 has average reliability, the Model Y still has body hardware issues with the tailgate and door alignment, paint defects, and multiple other problems,” Consumer Reports said. “The Model X and Model S both have body hardware, climate system, and in-car electronics problems.”

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Regardless of Tesla's low ranking, it's still the EV titan and there’s little doubt the electric vehicle market is on the rise. In 2021 alone, EV sales have more than doubled

Ford's electric version of its top-selling F-150 pickup truck had record-breaking pre-orders and sales, and in September the company said it would build three battery factories and an electric truck plant in Tennessee and Kentucky, creating 11,000 jobs over the next four years.

By the end of 2020, there were 1,019,260 EVs registered in the U.S., 42% of them in California. But that’s still only 2.5% of the total automotive market.

According to Kelley Blue Book, in the first three months of 2021, Americans registered new EVs at three times the rate of other types of new cars— 71% were Teslas. But with more new EV models coming on the market, others are catching up. 

Some of the bestselling EVs behind the Teslas include the Chevy Bolt by General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report, Ford's Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen's  (VOLKAY)  ID.4, and the Nissan  (NSANY)  Leaf, according to Car and Driver.

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But amid the rise in EVs, there's still a global semiconductor shortage, which Samsung Electronics announced that it plans to address by making three advanced chips tailored specifically for cars.

Reuters first broke the news that the chips will feature a 5G modem and a multi-core processor using artificial intelligence (AI) to keep the various screens and software in one's car running smoothly.

One of the three chips is built specifically for Volkswagen's infotainment system.

NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report and Li Auto  (LI) - Get Li Auto Report are trading higher on Wednesday after the two companies released their monthly delivery reports. Both companies delivered strong results.

NIO delivered 10,878 vehicles in November 2021, up 105.6% year over year. Li Auto reported 3,485 vehicle deliveries in the month, a 190.2% year-over-year increase. 

While both stocks are off the session high, investors are wondering if this report is what it will take to get these stocks moving significantly higher. After all, Tesla, Ford, and others have been enjoying a strong run lately. 

Here are the top electric vehicle stocks to watch:

Tesla

Shares of Tesla edged higher this past week after analysts at Wedbush raised their price target on the electric-vehicle maker to $1,400 a share, betting on China, which is likely to represent 40% of deliveries for the EV maker in 2022. Wedbush has an outperform rating for Tesla.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned his workers to restrain year-end spending and quell the urge to rush deliveries.  “Our focus this quarter should be on minimizing the cost of deliveries rather than spending heavily on expediting fees, overtime, and temporary contractors just so that cars arrive in Q4," Musk said. 

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

Ford

Amid the massive, worldwide chip shortage, Ford is trying to tackle the problem head-on. The automotive giant has partnered with semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries to begin developing their own computer chips. At first, the partnership was just to develop chips for Ford’s vehicles, but now the company wants to begin manufacturing chips in the United States. 

Ford offered a $2.5 billion unsecured green bond to investors, days after the American carmaker launched its sustainable-financing framework and said it would buy back higher-priced debt. The move comes as President Joe Biden is set to sign the administration's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes major funding for electric-vehicle and other clean-energy projects.

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

General Motors

General Motors extended its electric-vehicle interest to boats, saying that it bought a 25% ownership stake in electric-boat company Pure Watercraft. The Detroit auto major paid Seattle-based Pure Watercraft $150 million in cash and payment-in-kind, which includes access to the automaker's components and assistance with manufacturing.

Pure Watercraft is now valued at $600 million, it said. Last December, Pure Watercraft said it closed a Series A financing of $37.5 million. As for GM, it said it’s investing $35 billion through 2025 in electric and autonomous vehicle technology, “including work to improve performance and reduce battery costs, to become the market leader in EVs in North America.”

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

Lucid Motors

The automotive world is abuzz about electric car maker Lucid Group  (LCID) - Get Lucid Group, Inc. Report, which received the Motor Trend Car of the Year award this month, the first time an automaker's first vehicle has been given that honor. The news of the Motor Trend award pushed the stock further upward. The stock was already up more than 130% over the last six months.

Peter Rawlinson, Lucid's CFO and CEO, told Jim Cramer on a recent episode of "Mad Money" that the company's first vehicle, the Air, currently has over 17,000 reservations and the Edition R has an EPA-certified range of 520 miles, the longest range of any electric vehicle. The Air’s base price is $77,400. Lucid designs and manufactures 100% of its vehicles in-house. Rawlinson noted that they are alone with Tesla in that regard.

TheStreet Quant Ratings does not have a rating for Lucid.

Xpeng

Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get Xpeng Inc Report shares jumped higher this past week after the China-based electric carmaker and upstart Tesla rival posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter revenues amid the global shortage in semiconductor supplies.

Xpeng delivered 25,666 cars over the three months ending in October, the group said, a 200% increase from the same period last year that powered a 187.4% surge in overall revenues to 5.72 billion Chinese yuan, well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 4.8 billion. Tesla, by comparison, sold 133,238 China-made cars over the same period. 

TheStreet Quant Ratings does not have a rating for Xpeng.