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Stocks of electric-vehicle makers tumble back to earth

July 13, 2020, 9:11 PM UTC

In a rapid turn of fortune, the stock prices of electric-vehicle makers including market leader Tesla stumbled to losses on Monday afternoon after hitting record-high levels earlier in the day.

The sudden swerve came despite no specific news about the sector, which has been red-hot in the stock market for weeks, but followed the overall market’s afternoon downturn after California announced new measures to fight COVID-19.

Initially, Tesla’s share price peaked at $1,794.99, reflecting a 16% gain and an all-time high. The jump came after the company set the date for a new battery tech announcement and an analyst who had recommended selling the stock switched his opinion to “hold.”

But by the closing bell, Tesla had dropped to $1,497.06, down 3%. Still, Tesla’s shares have gained 60% over the past month and 258% in 2020.

The same was true for another early Monday leader, electric-van maker Workhorse Group. The company said it had received a positive executive order for its C-Series electric delivery trucks from the California Air Resources Board, a step toward gaining acceptance in the state’s zero-emission subsidy program. In early trading, the shares hit $17.68, a 16% gain on the day, though it wasn’t an all-time high.

But by the close, Workhorse shares slumped to $15.44, gaining just 2% on the day. The share price has still more than quadrupled over the past month and fivefold on the year.

Other recently hot electric-vehicle maker stocks also dropped.

Shares of Chinese EV maker Nio lost 8%, sliding to $13.84 after reaching an all-time high of $16.44 earlier in the day. The stock is still up 79% in the past month and 244% this year.

Chinese electric-scooter maker Niu lost 6% after hitting an all-time high earlier. It’s up 32% over the past month and 148% this year. Meanwhile, U.S. upstart electric-car maker Nikola, which went public in June by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, lost 1%, dropping to $53.95. That’s well off its all-time high of $79.73 from a few weeks ago; the stock is actually down 20% over the past month.

Some previously hot EV stocks had a bad day on Monday from the start. Three-wheeled EV maker Arcimoto, which sold $10 million worth of new shares to investors last week, crumbled 24% on Monday to $5.38. It’s still up 73% over the past month. And Canadian startup ElectraMeccanica Vehicles lost 18%, sliding to $3.60. It’s now up 112% in the past month.

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