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Electric Vehicle Nightmare: 3 EV Stocks Struggling to Disappear Before It’s Too Late

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While we cannot underestimate the long-term potential of the EV market, the sector has been battered from all sides in recent quarters. Declining demands, declining government support and a complicated macro environment have pushed the industry into a total ‘survival of the fittest’ landscape. Continued losses, unmet delivery expectations and negative press are leading to a growing number of troubled EV stocks.

Based on these criteria, the following three companies were chosen. Negative profits or operating losses indicate that companies are struggling to become profitable. And negative news or scandals show that companies’ future growth is hampered by high-risk risks such as fraud and product problems.

It’s always wise to get ahead of a sale. So let’s take a look at some EV stocks you might want to remove from your portfolio.

Nikola (NKLA)

Nikola (NKLA) company logo on a website with blurry stock market developments in the background, seen on a computer screen through a magnifying glass.

Source: Dennis Diatel / Shutterstock.com

Despite market expectations, it’s not a good idea to have one of your top executives accused of fraud.

And so conditions became difficult Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA) when founder and ex-CEO Trevor Milton was sentenced to four years in prison for bank and securities fraud. Although he has already been replaced, the ripple effect of the incident is haunting the company.

You can say that Nikola has taken extra steps to renew its leadership team. But it’s still wading in murky waters. Nikola’s financials don’t look too rosy either.

Nikola ended 2023 with revenue of $35.8 million. Unfortunately, it’s a small amount compared to the staggering $214 million loss recorded this year. This resulted in a negative gross margin of 597%, a huge drop from 173% in fiscal 2022.

Not only that, Nikola still provides no guidance. However, it did state that it is “focused on optimizing revenues and costs in our business (by 2024) as we look to scale up production of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks, secure additional modular refueling locations and deploy fuel systems to support fleets and deliver the battery-electric product back to the market.”

That statement and the addition of two new board members with “deep experience in trucking and energy” are the only tangible things we have for the company’s path to recovery.

Additionally, the company had to recall 209 electric semis due to battery faults. With catastrophic financials and two delisting warnings in eight months, NKLA applies the “struggling EV stock” category to a T.

VinFast Auto (VFS)

Vinfast (VFS) cars during test drive event in Vung Tau Beach.

Source: PhatTai / Shutterstock.com

VinFast Auto (NASDAQ:VFS) is a Vietnamese EV manufacturer that exports electric SUVs, e-buses and e-scooters to the US and Vietnam.

It was one of the best-performing EV stocks in 2023, rising more than $90. However, it lost steam and fell lower than its original offering price of $10.

Some investors might look at VinFast Auto’s financials and see signs of a turnaround. A 91% year-over-year revenue increase for fiscal year 2023 is certainly a good sign, right?

Not exactly. Increasing sales must go hand in hand with increasing profitability or reducing losses. However, VinFast Auto posted a staggering $2.4 billion loss for the year, up 14.7% from 2022.

The company also missed delivery guidelines. The inability to achieve its own internal target has eroded its profit margin. In a highly competitive EV market that revolves around very thin margins, it’s pretty clear that VinFast is one of the EV stocks struggling to build traction.

Given the current situation, it is unknown whether investors would hold on or simply run for the nearest exit if the next set of problems were to come to light.

Rivian Automotive (RIVN)

A new Rivian R1T truck is seen at a Rivian service center in South San Francisco, California.  Rivian Automotive, (RIVN) is an electric vehicle manufacturer.  RIVN stock price predictions

Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

Last but not least, we did just that Rivian car industry (NASDAQ:RIVN), a company that was once one of the most promising players in the EV market food chain. The Amazon partnerships boosted investor hopes for its potential.

However, one partnership does not make a company. RIVN stock took a nosedive after its disappointing February 2024 report. The company didn’t just miss targets.

It also laid off employees and cut guidance. These potential problems clearly point to more problems ahead.

Looking at Rivian Automotive’s numbers, it reported a whopping $5.7 billion operating loss in financial year 20’23. Meanwhile, net losses reached $5.4 billion.

Even with enough money under the mattress, it will be difficult to keep the company afloat at the current level of losses. Furthermore, extended interest rates, the macroeconomic environment, and declining vehicle demand mean that Rivian Automotive’s prospects for becoming profitable are bleak.

With the deteriorating dynamics in the industry, I won’t be surprised if RIVN moves into penny stock territory if it fails to improve its financials. That’s why it’s one of the stocks I think every investor should sell right now.

On the date of publication, Rick Orford had no positions (directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com Publication Guidelines.

Rick Orford is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, investor, influencer and mentor. His work has appeared in leading publications including Good Morning America, Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC News.

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