Stocks to buy

The electric vehicle (EV) market is really starting to takeoff. The International Energy Agency predicts a 35% global increase in EV sales this year, following record-breaking sales in 2022. “Demand for electric cars is booming,” proclaimed the agency. Thus, I’m expected EV stocks to continue higher, as the push for electrification continues. The IEA estimates that automakers’ accelerated EV production could eliminate the need for 5 million barrels of oil per day by 2030. That’s great for this sector, and the world at large.

According to investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), half of all vehicles sold around the world will be electric by 2035. Clearly, we are in the midst of a revolution in the automotive industry. It’s arguably the biggest disruption in the sector’s history. And already, we are seeing winners and losers emerge in the highly competitive space.

With that said, here are three EV stocks positioned to thrive in an uncertain economy.

CHPT ChargePoint Holdings $8.85
TSLA Tesla $217.29
LI Li Auto $30.06

ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT)

Source: YuniqueB / Shutterstock.com

ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT), an EV charging infrastructure company, received a significant boost as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) upgraded the stock to buy, projecting a potential 65% rally in the next 12 months. Bank of America’s upgrade and “best-in-class” designation for ChargePoint led to an 11% share price surge in one trading session.

Many analysts have been pounding the table on CHPT stock, noting that the company is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the coming EV boom. ChargePoint operates the world’s largest EV charging station network, spanning 14 countries, including extensive coverage in the U.S. To facilitate the transition to battery-powered cars, EV charging stations must eventually become as widespread as gas stations.

CHPT stock is up 4% on the year, with most of that gain coming after the recent Bank of America upgrade.

Tesla (TSLA)

Source: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com

There are a lot of reasons to feel bullish on Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) right now. Perhaps the biggest reason – Elon Musk appointed a new Twitter CEO, enabling him to focus on leading the world’s top electric vehicle maker.

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, also completed his first trip to China in three years, meeting political officials, lauding his technology, and visiting the Tesla Gigafactory. China remains the world’s biggest automotive market.

Tesla is diligently working on developing new vehicle models, including the upcoming revamped Model 3 and long-awaited Cybertruck, potentially launching this year. Price discounts and other incentives offered in jurisdictions around the world are expected to boost Tesla’s sales in coming quarters. These developments have all helped to drive TSLA stock 86% higher this year. This stock price appreciation has again made Elon Musk the richest person in the world.

Li Auto (LI)

Source: Carrie Fereday / Shutterstock.com

Among Chinese EV companies, Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) is emerging as best of breed. So far this year, LI stock is up nearly 40%. That compares to a 25% year-to-date decline in the share price of rival Chinese automaker Nio (NYSE:NIO). The difference between Li Auto, Nio and other Chinese electric vehicle makers seems to do with execution. Li Auto outperformed competitors in May, delivering 28,277 EVs, almost quadruple the number of vehicles delivered by second-place Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) at 7,506.

May marked the third consecutive month in which Li Auto topped 20,000 electric vehicle deliveries. The automaker has also reported profits for the past two quarters, churning out popular new EV models and keeping costs under control. Analysts foresee significant growth for LI stock, with Citigroup (NYSE:C) projecting an 88% increase by year’s end, and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) raising its price target by more than 40%.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long positions in BAC, MS and C. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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