The electric vehicle industry is booming, creating trillions of dollars of value. However, among some of the top electric vehicle stocks to consider, there are a few bad apples, or what we’ll refer to as doomed EV stocks. Further, the lending landscape has changed over the past year and a half. The excessively low lending rate environment that prevailed for the last decade allowed too many firms to access funding at extraordinarily low rates. That changed beginning in March of 2022 and rising rates have put extra pressure on all firms, EV upstarts included.
Doomed EV Stocks: Workhorse (WKHS)
Readers might remember what happened to Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS). Months ago, one of the now doomed EV stocks appeared to be the leading candidate to land the contract to electrify the United States Postal Service through its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV).
That award provided for the delivery of up to 165,000 EV vans over the next decade. Unfortunately, for Workhorse, Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK) was awarded the multibillion-dollar modernization of the USPS fleet. That news has catalyzed a prolonged descent for WKHS shares that continues to this day. What was once a share that traded for $30-$40 can now be bought for less than $1. The company doesn’t currently make much revenue yet its losses are substantial. That’s a recipe for a slow death. Workhorse reported under $2 million in revenue in Q1 leading to a loss of $25 million. However, management has forecast revenues for this year between $75-$125 million with very few specifics.
There is reason to be optimistic about Volcon’s (NASDAQ:VLCN) stock. The electric power sports firm has interesting vehicles that are drawing attention. Its side-by-side Stag vehicle looks the part and its Grunt and Runt fat tire bikes are reminiscent of Honda mini bikes.
That’s really it, though. The company is facing supply chain and manufacturing issues and recently entered into an agreement to have a third-party finish the final assembly. As another one of the top doomed EV stocks, it touts pre-orders valued at $113 million. However, that assumes that all pre-orders actually get fulfilled.
There’s strong reason to believe that won’t be the case. The company lost 8 dealers during the quarter and suffered a net loss of pre-orders on its Stag vehicles. In other words, pre-orders are already falling off making that $113 million in pre-orders a number that is effectively a baseless claim. The company steadily loses between $7-$8 million per quarter.
Volcon recently received a handful of orders from the U.S. Army in what could prove to be a fruitful relationship moving forward. But it is only 5 in total and the company recently had to raise funds through securities offerings.
Electrameccanica Vehicles (SOLO)
Electrameccanica Vehicles (NASDAQ:SOLO) is actually part OEM, part EV car company. The company makes a small one-seat EV called the SOLO and also provides outsourced manufacturing from its Mesa, Arizona plant.
In fact, Electra Meccanica is the third-party manufacturer providing the final assembly to Volcon, above. The problem is that Electra Meccanica has proven incapable of manufacturing good products. It recently initiated a recall of its model year 2019 and 2021-2023 SOLO vehicles for loss of propulsion issues. The company couldn’t identify the root cause of the issue and had to enact a buyback. Following that, it decided to discontinue the SOLO G2 and G3.
That means the company is issuing full refunds for buyers who request them. Not great for business. Reservations are canceled and refunds are issued there, too. What is left is primarily a failed car company with suspect manufacturing capabilities that wants to establish itself as an OEM firm in the EV sector. That’s a very tough sell.
Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) continues to wiggle and pivot while never quite finding solid ground for its business. As a result, its stock continues to trade between $1-$1.50. Nikola’s issues are well-documented so I won’t rehash them. But in summary, Nikola is competing in a capital-intensive business that hasn’t succeeded, is losing a lot of money, and is now pivoting to another capital-intensive business.
Nikola is now pivoting toward the hydrogen economy with less focus on its electric truck business. It now aspires to be a hydrogen fuel cell truck company that touches on vehicle autonomy and other business areas. The company lost $170 million in the most recent quarter ended March 31. It lost $153 million a year earlier during the same period. It is simply pivoting toward a trendy sector that offers upside in general. But its history of large losses should dissuade investors from directing their capital toward Nikola’s newest idea.
Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV) makes three-wheeled EVs, which can be used to carry two humans or modified for uses like delivery. They boast a max speed of 75 miles per hour and a range of around 100 miles. Unfortunately, the stock is falling as sales decline and prospects become bleaker.
That is sales from the first quarter… of 2022. That’s the last financial update that is given on the company’s investor relations portion of its website. At that time sales declined by 53%, falling to $653k during the quarter. That led to a net loss of $13 million. Anyway, that was a long time ago in the world of the stock market. Recency matters and the company doesn’t provide up-to-date information by which investors can judge the firm and its prospects. All we know is that Arcimoto promises trendy vehicles and buzzwords but no real, up-to-date fundamentals. It’s no wonder then that shares trade for under $2.
Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV) currently trades for 55 cents. The company designs, what in my opinion are beautiful vehicles. The truck and van that it has posted on its website look stunning. The problem is it doesn’t yet make them and everything about the company is hype without substance.
The company is approaching manufacturing and assembly at its Oklahoma plant. I’m not sure it’ll ever happen. Canoo lost $90.7 million in Q1, recorded $0 in revenue, and ended on March 31 with $6.7 million in cash and equivalents. Those are the kind of numbers that make it a going concern that can announce bankruptcy at any moment.
Supposedly the company will have the capacity for a 20k run rate at the end of 2023. It is targeting a positive gross margin by 2025. That simply means Sales will exceed the cost of goods sold. It’ll still be losing money if it even exists by then.
Faraday Future (FFIE)
In such splits, shareholders receive a single share for every X amount of shares they own. The intent is to artificially raise the value of a stock but it is almost always perceived as desperation. The announcement came with a broad range from a 1 for 2 reverse split all the way to a 1 for 90 reverse split. In short, Faraday Future is not doing well. That despite attempting to carve out a niche in what it describes as ‘Ultimate TechLuxury’ and is looking to compete with Ferrari and Maybach.
Faraday did post a net gain during the most recent quarter so it at least gets kudos for that. However, its operational losses exceeded $80 million. The company is hemming and hawing regarding the release of its flagship vehicle and all of its troubles have the shares trading for $0.20
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (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.