It's not too late to play the electric vehicle boom, according to one fund manager. Investing in infrastructure networks that support electric vehicles could be one way to ride on the EV boom, said Tim Campbell, co-founder and chief investment officer of Longlead Capital Partners. "Consumers want to be able to buy a car and know that they can charge it easily. Our view is there will be a premium placed on full charging networks," Campbell told CNBC "Street Signs Asia" last week. "If you buy an EV car today – range anxiety is top of the list for consumers," he said, referring to how EV drivers often worry about getting stranded because their car batteries may run out of charge and there are no charging stations nearby. Longlead picked out two stocks set to benefit. "We have a long position in Travel Centers America (TA US) but have spent a lot of time studying Couche-Tard and their motives in the space," Campbell subsequently explained in an email. TravelCenters of America Nasdaq-listed TravelCenters of America is a truck-stop operator with a nationwide network of over 270 locations in the United States. In April this year, the company announced plans to set up a new business unit and supply drivers with alternative energy. It also teamed up with electric truck maker Nikola to install hydrogen fueling stations for heavy-duty trucks. As a first step, they would do so at two sites in California. TravelCenters of America "has an enviable network across America particularly along key highway routes," Campbell told CNBC. "With 75% of the gross profit being generated from Non Fuel (food / drinks), we think the strategic appeal to rebrand their sites with EV charging is extremely undervalued." The company's new management team has done a good job growing its revenue and controlling costs, he added. Campbell said he's bullish on the business for at least the next two years. His fund has a long position on the stock, implying that it owns the stock and expects prices to go higher. Shares of TravelCenters of America have gained over 12% year-to-date. Alimentation Couche-Tard Toronto-listed Alimentation Couche-Tard is another stock Campbell highlighted. The Canadian multinational operator of convenience stores has businesses in North America, Europe and Asia. The company owns brands such as Couche-Tard in Canada, Circle K in the U.S. and Ingo in Sweden and Denmark. Circle K has an electric vehicle lab in Norway where the local team spent years learning EV charging and consumer behavior. Its management said earlier this year that it's ready to take the know-how to the U.S. and other markets. Norway has the world's highest EV penetration rate , at nearly 75% in 2020. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced a national target for electric vehicles to make up 50% of all new vehicles sold by 2030 . That rate was just 2% last year, according to data from the International Energy Agency. "Couche-Tarde, the leader in this space with a cashed-up balance sheet, could also be a likely acquirer of TravelCenters of America's unique network," Campbell added. Couche-Tard shares have gained about 19% so far this year.
It's not too late to play the electric vehicle boom, according to one fund manager.