Chinese EV companies are ‘just scratching the surface’ of total addressable demand in China, say Wedbush analysts
Electric-vehicle stocks have lost their charge in recent weeks, with Tesla shares down more than 23% over the past month.
According to tech analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe of investment firm Wedbush, the EV stock slump has been largely caused by the more general “risk-off” mood in markets, compounded by sales weakness in the key Chinese market in January.
But investors have no reason to unbuckle yet, the analysts said, because “the EV party is just beginning,” they wrote in a note on Thursday.
While the global chip shortage has “modestly impacted production capacity” at the likes of Tesla TSLA, -4.86% and Nio NIO, -5.42%, the Wedbush analysts believe this will be normalized throughout the course of this month.
Tesla stock has also been hurt by contained recalls in China, which has drawn the ire of regulators in Beijing, they said.
And shares in Nio slipped after the company’s recent results. In large part this was because investors were disappointed by the growth trajectory for the first quarter of the year, despite a 100% year-over-year increase, Ives and Backe said.
EV stocks lose charge. There has been a selloff in electric-vehicle stocks over the past month.
The selloff in EV stocks has mostly been focused on Chinese companies, the Wedbush analysts said, pointing to Xpeng XPEV, -2.23% and Li Auto LI, -1.98% stocks, as well as U.S. electric-vehicle battery company QuantumScape QS, -9.33%, which is backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Volkswagen VOW, 0.84%, among others.
Despite the recent headwinds, Wedbush remains bullish on electric-vehicle stocks, projecting a $5 trillion market opportunity over the next 10 years. This is based on a growth in EV market penetration from 3% today to 10% by 2025, with much more to come.
The analysts pointed to established automobile makers, like Volvo 0MHW, +0.67%, GM GM, -1.59%, and Ford F, -1.97%, getting into the electric-vehicle business as substantive evidence that there is pent-up global demand for EV technology.
So look beyond just auto stocks, Wedbush advised, to the wider ecosystem, which includes QuantumScape as well as other companies exposed to the sector, like sustainable battery recycler Li-Cycle — which intends to list in New York via a merger with Peridot Acquisition PDAC, -1.12%.
The analysts also project that there will be a “green tidal wave” driven by President Joe Biden’s administration, with tax credits and incentives around electric-vehicles.
In the short term, however, Ives and Backe said that China will be “the linchpin of growth” for the EV market, with “eye popping demand” in 2021 and 2022 giving Tesla, with its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, a major competitive advantage.
Domestic players Nio, BYD, Xpeng, and Li Auto are also “firing on all cylinders and just scratching the surface” of total addressable demand in China, the analysts said.