Why shares of Tesla, Nio, and other electric-vehicle makers are skyrocketing

July 6, 2020, 5:33 PM UTC

Share prices of electric-vehicle makers zoomed on Monday despite little news beyond last week’s impressive quarterly results from leading players Tesla and Nio.

The stock of Tesla, which said last week that it had delivered almost 91,000 vehicles in the second quarter, jumped 13% on Monday, closing at an all-time high of $1,371.58 and marking a 55% gain over just the past month. Meanwhile, Chinese automaker Nio, which has been challenging Tesla in China with futuristic-looking SUVs, saw its shares do even better after reporting record results for June. Its stock rose 23% to $11.51 on Monday, just below its all-time high, to more than double the price a month ago.

The strong sales results from Tesla and Nio amid the COVID-19 pandemic came even as the overall global car industry suffers. Second-quarter sales for General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler slipped 33% or more. Several analysts raised their price targets on Tesla on Monday, including JMP Securities and J.P. Morgan.

The big gains in the stocks of electric-vehicle makers have pushed their market values sky-high, alarming some analysts. They’re concerned that Tesla’s shares, in particular, are in bubble territory and that they may eventually pop. “We see a lot more that can go wrong than can go right as the company transitions into Mr. Musk’s greater vision,” Cowen research analyst Jeffrey Osborne wrote. His price target of $300 for the company’s stock is more than 75% below its current price.

The stock price gains of EV makers on Monday were even sharper among less well known and less highly valued companies. ElectraMeccanica Vehicles, a five-year-old Canadian electric-vehicle maker, saw its stock price jump 65% on Monday, giving it a gain of 279% over the past month. Blink Charging, which runs networks of vehicle-charging stations, rose 59% on Monday and 282% over the past month. Arcimoto, maker of high-speed, three-wheeled electric carts, gained 6% on Monday and 165% over the past month. Kandi Technologies Group, another Chinese EV manufacturer, gained 15% on Monday and 37% over the past month.

A few recent high-fliers in the electric-vehicle sector were left out of Monday’s rally. Nikola Motor, a newer maker of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, lost 14% on Monday, although it is still up 36% over the past month. And shares of Workhorse Group, which is developing electric vans and drones, lost 16%. It’s still up fivefold over the past month.

(Update: This story was updated on July 6, 2020 with closing stock prices.)

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