As Tesla's Semi Stalls, This Auto Giant Makes Electric Truck Push

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Volkswagen (VLKAY) plans to roll out electric trucks and buses in a few years, as Tesla (TSLA) puts off an unveiling of an electric semi-truck that was set for this month.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe German carmaker's truck and bus unit said Wednesday that it will invest 1.4 billion euros, or $1.7 billion, on electric drives as well as autonomous vehicles and cloud-based systems.

Volkswagen and affiliated heavy-truck maker Navistar International (NAV) are targeting the debut of a medium-duty electric truck in North America by late 2019 or early 2020. Volkswagen bought a stake in Navistar in 2016.

The announcement follows Tesla's recent decision to push back the launch of the Tesla semi-truck to November as it grapples with production bottlenecks on its mass-market Model 3 electric sedan.

Volkswagen stock rose 1% to 35.19 on the stock market today, pegging a fresh 52-week high. Shares have now advanced 3% from a 34.22 buy point off a cup base since their Sept. 22 breakout. Tesla stock eased 0.4% in Wednesday trade as it continues to test the 50-day moving average following a failed September breakout from a 370.10 buy point.

Among other auto stocks, General Motors (GM) nudged up for a new high of 45.59 and is well extended past a 36.73 saucer-with-handle buy point. Ford Motor (F) dipped 0.3% as it eyes a 12.56 entry from a cup-with-handle base. Fiat Chrsyler (FCAU) edged up 0.5% and is now extended 53% from a July breakout past 11.75. Toyota Motors (TM) eased 0.4% but is still within buy range following its breakout Tuesday.

IBD'S TAKE: General Motors stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 93, meaning GM has outperformed 93% of stocks in the recent past. Here is a list of stocks, like GM, with Relative Strength lines making new highs.

Another German automaker, Daimler (DDAIF), has also committed to electric trucks and buses, introducing last month what it described as the first fully electric light-duty truck in the world.

"Until just a short while ago, the use of all-electric drive systems in trucks seemed unthinkable — above all because of the high costs for the batteries, coupled with a limited range," Daimler said, while making the announcement. "Technology has now moved on significantly."

Vehicle makers are betting big on fuel-efficient cars, as nations around the globe ramp up efforts to combat polluted cities by eliminating traditional fossil-fuel cars.

China, the top auto market in the world, recently said it will ban the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars at an unspecified date. Meanwhile, it's calling for 1 out of every 5 cars sold in China to run on alternative energy by 2025.

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