Luke Lango’s “#1 Electric Vehicle Stock of the Decade”

What's being pitched in ads for Luke Lango's Innovation Investor?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, September 8, 2021

This teaser pitch has been around for a while, but I haven’t looked at a Luke Lango teaser ad yet, and he’s been around for a few years now, so it seems time. Lango has been contributing articles and running some services at Investorplace for a few years, but really got more attention when they started touting him as “America’s Best Stock Picker” in the last year or so, and when they handed him all of Matt McCall’s subscribers when McCall left the company… so now Lango is part of a lot of the “summit” infomercial presentations highlighting growth stock picking, often paired with Investorplace’s most established star, longtime newsletter guy and veteran quant Louis Navellier.

I’ve read a bunch of Lango’s teasers and free articles over the past few months, so we know that he’s very focused on popular new-era tech stocks — Electric Vehicles, 5G, AI, proteomics and genomics, etc., all the buzzwords, and I’ve seen him freely reveal some favorites in the past like Opendoor (OPEN), Schrodinger (SDGR), and a bunch of the SPAC names like Joby Aviation (JOBY), Stem (STEM), Volta (VLTA), Virgin Galactic (SPCE), etc. That’s not a criticism of those stocks specifically (I own SDGR in my $100K Lock Box Portfolio, just FYI), if you want to buy the future those are some of the kinds of stocks you’re buying, and Lango seems to have a long-term focus on buying these ideas, which means he’ll be counting on something like the David Gardner approach to make it work out (having a few 1,000%+ winners who make up for the failures) — that strategy, buying growth and optimism at almost any price, has been spectacular for a few years. Whether or not it’s worth paying the current price for any specific one of the ideas he touts, well, time will tell.

But today, we’re looking at what seems to be Lango’s July 2021 update of an older Matt McCall teaser pitch about the “#1 Electric Vehicle Stock of the Decade.” I don’t know whether he likes the same stocks as McCall did back in 2019 when a similar ad, in that case highlighting the “Jesus Battery” and the “Quantum Glass Battery” began circulating (I last looked at that ad about a year ago, if you want to look back and compare), and we should always be mindful that the most heavily promoted ad for a newsletter is not always teasing the editor’s favorite stock, (it’s often just the ad that has proven to work best at recruiting subscribers — what you can sell matters more in this business than how well your picks do, at least in the short term), but still, I’m curious. So let’s see what’s up.

The intro tells us that Lango is a stock-picking genius…

“One of America’s Top Tech Futurists: The #1 Electric Vehicle Stock of the Decade

“He’s the 25-year-old stock-picking genius who forecasted the rise of Shopify, AMD and Square before they were household names…

“He called the stratospheric rise of GameStop that occurred in 2021…

“He predicted the electric vehicle boom back in 2017 and recommended NIO Workhorse and Tesla before they each soared over 1,000%…

“Also, the rise of telehealth, virtual work and entertainment…”

So what’s this EV technology he’s touting? Like McCall before him, this is still about the solid state battery… though they called Matt McCall “America’s #1 Tech Futurist” and Lango, in this reboot is just “One of America’s Top Tech Futurists”…

“It’s called SSBT.

“And although most people have never heard of SSBT, Luke says it will soon be one of the biggest stories in America.

“Insiders in technology labs around the country are already using words like “Holy Grail” … “revolution” … and “paradigm shift” to describe the impact it’s going to have.

“That’s because it could change your daily life… the way you work, live and travel…

“It will change the appearance of virtually every small town, suburb and big city in America…

“While redefining how much you pay for utilities … insurance … even fuel .

“He will even show you how it could put as much as $14,500 back into the pockets of ordinary Americans like you and me.”

And most of the next swathe of pitching comes directly from McCall’s old ad, so it’s pretty clear this is an update of an ad that “worked.” It’s still quite generic, though, with the references to the idea of a solid state battery, so it could apply to lots of different companies (especially now, with more and more new battery companies coming public in recent years). Here’s a little taste of that:

“Insiders are calling it a “paradigm shift” in energy technology…

“A “forever battery” that will usher in the next great energy revolution.

“Even going so far as to call it the “Jesus Battery” because the properties it exhibits are so miraculous.

“Imagine soon being able to fully charge your smartphone in the same time it takes to flip on a light switch—just a fraction of a second.

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“Now imagine a charge that lasts NOT for a few anxiety-filled hours, but for nearly TWO WEEKS.

“Now imagine a battery that doesn’t degrade over time—one that can be recharged, get this… over one hundred thousand times – without losing strength.”

But the real focus of the pitch, of course, is on the car — that’s not where most batteries are used these days, but it’s the dream of the future, and it’s clear that battery technology and recharging technology are a big part of what will be needed for electric vehicles to meet the goals the car companies (and governments) are setting to fully electrify over the next ten or fifteen years.

More from the ad:

“Fully Charges Cars in Just 60 Seconds

“Already companies have begun ripping out outdated lithium-ion batteries in today’s electric and driverless vehicles and are replacing them with the ground-breaking new Solid-State Battery technology…

“And the results are nothing short of earth-shattering…

“According to automotive industry insiders, one creation using SSBT can fully charge an electric car in as little as 60 seconds.”

There are even some charts that show the theoretical advantage, with “SSBT” getting 1,000 miles to a charge while the Tesla Model X or S top out around 350… which is absurd, of course, because SSBT is a pre-commercial technology, not attached to a specific vehicle yet, and the Tesla is an actual car you can buy, one of several now that have a range something close to 300 miles or more.

But yes, that is the hope and promise of solid state batteries, those that use usually thin films or sheets of metal instead of liquid electrolyte — they can last through more recharge cycles, they can theoretically charge much faster, they can work in many different shapes, and they don’t catch on fire. Seems ideal for cars, naturally, but the development timeline has been long and onerous, and changing the chemistry of batteries and getting to the point where you can produce that new chemistry or format at massive industrial scale is hard.

The basic idea of a solid state battery is that you replace lithium salt electrolytes with lithium metal as the electrolyte, and lots and lots of labs and research companies are trying to do that. Some are going straight to thin film metals, some are using polymers or gels that are something of a “semi-solid” middle ground, there are lots of different ideas and chemistries and metallurgies at work. There are commercially available solid state batteries (though generally very small in size), so there’s some clear hope that those technologies can be scaled up over the next 5-10 years to EVs, though it’s impossible to predict exactly which direction the science will lead us, or which lab or startup has the best design.

That’s one of the larger challenges in this space for investors, the fact that while there are plenty of publicly traded battery technology companies, a huge amount of the work is also being done in labs you can’t invest in — whether that’s SAFT, one of the leaders in battery production now but a small division within French oil giant TotalEnergies (TTE), or the work being done within large battery industry leaders like Panasonic (PCRFY), which has been a major Tesla supplier, and LG Chem (LGCLF), which builds a lot of EV batteries with GM, who also have lots of other divisions… or, of course, the hundreds of university