Can Tesla Lead EV Stocks Higher in 2022?

The electric car pioneer got off to a good start.

| More on:
red tesla on the road

Image source: Tesla

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

This article was originally published on All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

2021 was a strong year for the stock market, and investors hope that 2022 can provide a repeat performance and give them double-digit returns once again. On the first trading day of the year, the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) seemed ready to keep up its momentum, with futures contracts on the index rising three-quarters of a percent as of 7:15 a.m. ET.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) put in another amazing performance in 2021, with its stock adding another 50% for the year. The growth of its electric vehicle (EV) business has been stellar, and over the weekend, Tesla reported impressive delivery numbers that complemented the numbers from its Chinese competitors quite well.

More records fall for Tesla

Shares of Tesla climbed more than 7% in premarket trading on Monday morning. The EV manufacturer's fourth-quarter delivery and production numbers came out, and they marked another high note for bullish shareholders in the stock.

Tesla's Sunday report showed it produced almost 306,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021. That brought its total production for the year to more than 930,000 vehicles, most of which were mass-market Model 3s and Model Ys. Delivery figures were even more impressive, with 308,600 cars and SUVs going out in the fourth quarter, bringing the total for the year to 936,172.

Many had thought that Tesla's initial hope for a 50% rise from the 500,000 vehicles it delivered in 2020 was overly ambitious. However, the final numbers show the huge demand for Tesla EVs as well as the company's ability to get its manufacturing capacity up. Investors are hoping for similar outperformance in 2022.

Chinese EV makers weigh in

Also on the rise were shares of EV manufacturing companies located in China. Tesla's numbers helped lift the whole industry, but its competitors also reported solid production and delivery numbers of their own.

Nio (NYSE: NIO) shares were up more than 2% in premarket trading. The company delivered nearly 10,500 vehicles in December, up 50% year over year, and topped the 25,000 mark for quarterly deliveries. All told, Nio delivered 91,429 vehicles in 2021, which was more than double its 2020 count.

XPeng (NYSE: XPEV) delivered vehicles at an even faster rate. The Chinese company reported 16,000 deliveries in December, up 181% year over year. That marked more than 41,750 vehicles in the fourth quarter, which was more than triple the year-ago figure, and total deliveries for 2021 came in at 98,155. That prompted a nearly 3% rise in the stock price in premarket trading Monday.

Finally, Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) saw its shares also rise almost 3%. Li delivered 14,087 of its electric cars during the month of December. Fourth-quarter deliveries came in at 35,221, up 144% from year-earlier levels. For the year, Li delivered almost 90,500 EVs.

The future of EVs

Despite the fundamental success of all of these businesses, stock performance among EV companies has been mixed. XPeng and Li have managed to post gains over the past year, but Nio lost 35% of its stock price as investors seemed surprised that its Chinese competitors' delivery figures raced past its own.

The growth of the entire EV industry is likely to continue in 2022, and the question will be who benefits the most from that growth. As new players like electric truck disruptor Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN) and established automakers like Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) start moving toward bringing more EVs to market, Tesla will have to maintain its immense customer loyalty and first-mover advantage to produce the sort of gains shareholders have gotten used to seeing. 

This article was originally published on All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and recommends NIO Inc. and Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on International Stock News

A young male investor wearing a white business shirt screams in frustration with his hands grasping his hair after ASX 200 shares fell rapidly today and appear to be heading into a stock market crash
International Stock News

5 proven investment strategies you can use to ride out a recession

Turn an economic crisis into opportunity with these investing strategies.

Read more »

A male investor sits at his desk looking at his laptop screen holding his hand to his chin pondering whether to buy Macquarie shares
International Stock News

Think you can’t afford to buy Tesla shares? Think again…

Tesla will be splitting its stock... again. Here's what we know.

Read more »

A young couple in the back of a convertible car each raise a single arm in the air whilst enjoying a drive along the road
International Stock News

Why Tesla and other EV stocks rocketed higher in July

Tesla surprised investors with better-than-expected second-quarter results.

Read more »

A man with a scrappy beard and wearing dark sunglasses and a beanie head covering raises a fist in happy celebration as he sits at is computer in a home environment.
International Stock News

5 tech stocks sending the Nasdaq higher on Wednesday

A combination of solid earnings and investor optimism has many of the year's losers seeing some gains.

Read more »

A woman in colourful outfit holds up a phone to take a selfie.
International Stock News

Why Apple stock popped today

The iPhone maker has its eye on another revenue stream.

Read more »

Happy woman on her phone while her electric vehicle charges.
International Stock News

Why Tesla shares bounced ahead of its stock-split vote

The market will find out Thursday if shareholders have approved the electric vehicle company's 3-for-1 stock split.

Read more »

A family of three sit on the sofa while watching television.
International Stock News

Netflix shares rose 29% last month, but the stock is still cheap

Here's why Netflix gained nearly 30% last month, and why the stock still has room to run much higher.

Read more »

a graph indicating escalating results
International Stock News

Why did the Nasdaq share price rocket 19% in July?

The financial stock surged on strong earnings, among other factors.

Read more »