For some observers, the run-up in electric vehicle stocks seems like irrational exuberance and proof of a mania. Nikola, which hasn’t sold a production vehicle yet, was briefly valued at more than Ford this June.
Karl Brauer, an executive analyst at the car search engine iSeeCars, said that GM’s involvement with Nikola highlights what’s unfolding.
Good intentions may be driving the excitement. Mark Frohnmayer, founder of the Oregon-based electric vehicle company Arcimoto, believes the pandemic was a wake-up call for many, that society needs to change and embrace better transportation.
He said electric vehicle companies like his have benefited from new retail investors, who he says turned to the popular investment app Robinhood early in the pandemic. Arcimoto’s stock has grown ten times this year to hit record highs, something Frohnmayer didn’t expect when the pandemic hit.
“People were laid off from work, no sports were on,” Frohnmayer said. “They’re betting with their ethics for the future of the world.”
“For a company as conservative and historic and foundational to the auto industry as General Motors to have been on the verge of highly integrating with Nikola, I don’t think you can question there’s some electric car mania,” Brauer said.