Stocks to sell

Although electric vehicle stocks have become far less hot during this bear market, the pivot towards vehicle electrification keeps moving forward. Even so, that doesn’t mean every EV stock is a buy. In fact, there are plenty of names one should consider EV stocks to sell. Why? The overall trend may be favorable, but in the case of several publicly-traded EV makers, there’s a headwind that far outweighs this tailwind: rising competition. Since the start of the year, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has shored up its leading position in the global EV market, by slashing vehicle prices.

In addition, incumbent automakers around the world are moving into EVs in a big way. Tesla may be able to stay ahead, but these “old school,” suddenly “new school” competitors could leave plenty of EV upstarts in the dust. With rising competition potentially limiting their chances of reaching big success, consider it best to steer clear of these seven EV stocks to sell.

GOEV Canoo $0.59
LCID Lucid Group $8.19
MULN Mullen Automotive $0.11
NIO Nio $9.07
RIDE Lordstown Motors $0.64
RIVN Rivian Automotive $13.62
XPEV Xpeng $9.62

Canoo (GOEV)

Source: Shutterstock

As a maker of EVs primarily for the commercial market, at first Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV) may seem more immune to competition compared to the EV makers focused on the passenger market. However, while the company may be having little trouble securing orders (given its more than $2 billion backlog) for now, competition could start having an impact, as “old school” automakers move into the electrified commercial van market. That said, the biggest concern with GOEV stock continues to be this early-stage EV company’s high levels of cash burn.

In order to stay in business, and to finance its expansion, Canoo has depended on dilutive capital raises. The most recent one (raising $52.5 million) occurred in Feb. Canoo may have a better shot of success than many of the other names listed below, yet with high dilution, this may not translate into big gains for investors.

Lucid Group (LCID)

Source: Shutterstock

Two years ago, Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) may have been successfully selling itself to investors as a “Tesla killer” in the making, but as I argued recently, this EV maker has since lost its “young gun” reputation.

With underwhelming production and delivery numbers, the company has fallen from top contender to also-ran, in the EV pecking order. With all of this competition, atop the market’s more cautious view on EV stocks, it’s not surprising that LCID stock has fallen by more than 68% in the past year.

Worse yet, competition keeps standing in its way. Lucid’s reservation numbers keep dropping. This may be a sign that affluent EV buyers are taking a pass on the Lucid Air luxury sedan, opting instead for comparable offerings from Tesla, as well as from established automakers. Add in its own big dilution risk, and LCID is clearly one of the EV stocks to sell.

Mullen Automotive (MULN)

Source: Shutterstock

Trading for well below $1 per share, the market has obviously made up its mind about Mullen Automotive (NASDAQ:MULN). Perceived positives such as the company’s controversial battery claims at one point wowed investors.

But after a year of zero sales, heavy losses, and high levels of shareholder dilution, few are buying into the MULN stock story anymore. Yes, Mullen has reached the production stage, and is securing orders for its vehicles. However, Mullen needs cash to scale up production of its existing and planned offerings, including its Mullen Five crossover model for the premium passenger EV market.

Raising this capital will result in additional heavy dilution. With regards to competitive risks, by the time it starts rolling Mullen Fives off the assembly line, the premium EV market will be a crowded field. By then, several of the passenger EV upstarts will be much further ahead.

Nio (NIO)

Source: Shutterstock

Slowing growth has been a key reason why Nio (NYSE:NIO) shares have underperformed over the past twelve months. In early 2022, the China-based EV maker’s management was touting a big production ramp-up at the end of last year.

Yet due to the impact of China’s Covid lockdowns on the country’s supply chain, this big ramp-up failed to arrive. Thus far this year, growth challenges have persisted, placing more pressure on NIO stock. The end of China’s EV subsidies have likely played a role, but the impact of Tesla’s price cuts has also been a big factor.

Nio’s management is still arguing that it can sell 250,000 vehicles this year. That’s more than double last year’s figure. However,  competition is likely to make achieving this sales goal easier-said-than-done. NIO could experience yet another big plunge, if actual results fall short, making this another of the EV stocks to sell.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE)

Source: Shutterstock

As I put it recently, Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE) has clearly reached the end of the road. One of the first electric truck startups to go public, this EV stock once traded for more than $30 per share, as the market at the time believed it has a shot of becoming a major name in this space.

Today, you can buy RIDE stock for just 67 cents per share, but even at a nearly 98% discount to its all-time closing high, it’s far from a bargain. Pausing production/deliveries in February, due to quality issues, Lordstown’s management is searching for a strategic partner, in order to enter the mass-production stage for its Endurance electric pickup truck.

The problem? Based on the fact that basically every major pickup manufacturer has its own EV pickup on the road or in the works, the chances Lordstown secures a partner appear to be slim-to-none.

Rivian Automotive (RIVN)

Source: Shutterstock

Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN), in contrast to Lordstown, is an electric truck maker that has made major progress getting towards the mass production stage. However, that doesn’t mean it is being incorrectly placed on this list of EV stocks to sell.

In recent weeks, investors have bid down RIVN stock. Its progress notwithstanding, the company’s growth has fallen short of expectations. Cash burn has also been significant, raising concerns about (you guessed it) future dilution from likely equity raises down the road. That’s not all. The impact of competition could affect Rivian’s future performance, and put more pressure on RIVN’s stock price.

Why? Ford (NYSE:F), which before selling its stake was a large backer of Rivian, is now outselling it, based on recent F-150 Lightning sales numbers. Through tactics such as vehicle price cuts, it may not take much for Ford to leave Rivian completely in the dust.

Xpeng (XPEV)

Source: Shutterstock

Tesla’s China vehicle price cuts have hurt Nio, yet they’ve had a greater impact on Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV), another major Chinese EV maker. In response to lower Tesla prices, and disappointing 2022, Xpeng implemented its own vehicle price cuts.

While this led to disappointing outlook for the first quarter of 2023, the company’s management believes that these price cuts, plus the planned launch of new vehicle models, will result in a growth resurgence. XPEV stock has rallied in recent weeks. This suggests the market is also bullish that a comeback is in store.

But while Xpeng may have a game plan, this may not be enough to spark a sales rebound. According to a Chinese EV industry expert, Tesla has lowered its prices in China enough to make them affordable for mass market EV buyers in China. This unexpected mass market competition could quell an Xpeng comeback.

On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Thomas Niel, contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.

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