Investors are 4,000% behind obscure EV maker

General Motors’ plan to introduce dozens of electric vehicles in the coming years hasn’t done much to bolster the automaker’s stock price.

But when a little-known energy company last week said it was launching a unit to design and develop EVs, its shares soared more than 4,000 percent in a single day.

SPI Energy Co. went from about $1 a share on Tuesday, Sept. 22, to nearly $47 the next day before falling back below $20. Its market cap surged from about $15 million before the jump to as high as $460 million after announcing the creation of a subsidiary called EdisonFuture to compete with Tesla and other EV makers.

“As Tesla has demonstrated, an end-to-end business model in the renewable energy space can generate significant value,” SPI Energy CEO Xiaofeng Peng said in a statement. “With the addition of EV and EV charging segments to our diverse solar business, we are positioning SPI Energy for the future of renewable energy.”

The stock experienced an increase in trading volume of more than 700 times its usual level of activity after the news, and the price volatility triggered at least seven trading halts, Bloomberg reported. SPI is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and has operations in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.