With all those options out there regarding electric vehicles, how’s an investor supposed to pick which ones to put money behind? Who’s going to be the winner of this race? questions Jason Williams, editor of Wealth Daily.

And to be honest, your guess is just about as good as mine. Tesla (TSLA) makes a great car. But so did Studebaker. I’m not saying they’ll both end the same way, but does anyone really know? So instead of trying to pick the winner of the vehicle battles, I’d prefer to buy the companies that stand to benefit no matter who wins.

They’re called pick-and-shovel investments and they got the name from the folks who realized that gold was hard to find but that every miner in the California Gold Rush needed a pick and a shovel to try to find it. They sold the supplies, and it didn’t matter who found the gold.

Here are my three favorite clean transportation pick-and-shovel investments. These are the companies I see with the biggest potential for profits as the industry continues to develop, no matter who wins the vehicle race.

Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) is an American company that develops hydrogen fuel cell systems that replace conventional batteries in equipment and vehicles powered by electricity. Some of the very first “vehicles” the company helped to modify are things like forklifts and loaders at warehouses.

Those have been electric for some time to cut down on exhaust buildup in the buildings. But now, thanks to Plug’s hydrogen fuel cells, they’re even more efficient and run for far longer. But it doesn’t end at the warehouse. Far from it. Plug has over two decades of experience in the industry and has customers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Home Depot.

And Plug recently partnered with Airbus to study how its green hydrogen technology can help decarbonize air travel and airport operations. Plug’s not making the vehicles; it’s just helping provide a better fuel source. And that’s why I can see it sticking around and making investors wealthy in the process.

Blink Charging Co. (BLNK) owns, operates, and provides electric vehicle charging equipment and networked EV charging services in the United States. It’s got commercial and residential charging options that let drivers recharge at various location types.

The company has deployed nearly 17,000 stations nationwide and is inking new agreements to install more just about monthly. Blink’s residential chargers are Level 2 and are designed for overnight charging at single-family residences.

Most recently, it sold 64 residential charging stations to Rudy’s Performance Parts for resale to end consumers. In addition, Rudy’s has also installed a commercial Blink charging station at its warehouse facility in North Carolina.

Blink doesn’t have the biggest charging network in the country, but it’s racing to catch up. And I’m convinced it will reward early investors as it scoops up market share and expands its revenue streams.

Envirotech Vehicles (ADOM) is the most speculative of my top three ACT stocks. And that’s because it’s still so incredibly small. But that’s also why it could have the most potential for profits. Envirotech is a little different in that it’s making not only picks and shovels, but vehicles as well. But they’re not the kind you’re used to seeing in your neighbor's driveway.

You see, Envirotech designs and sells purpose-built electric vehicles. And it serves commercial and last-mile fleets, school districts, public and private transportation service companies, and colleges and universities. It makes heavy vehicles like buses and big trucks for schools and deliveries.

It’s got partnerships with several bus fleet companies and delivery truck rental companies. The State of New Jersey has elected to fill its Zero-Emission Incentive Program with Envirotech vehicles. So far, the state has approved the purchase of 13 vehicles valued at about $100,000 each.

And the company recently announced plans to purchase battery manufacturer ProGreens New Energy Technology Co. already offers several battery packs and systems capable of powering a broad range of vehicles from electric buses and cars to motorcycles and scooters, as well as an energy storage system that allows for the conversion and storage of unused electrical energy.

The acquisition puts Envirotech in the unique position of being a manufacturer of EVs and a supplier to the EV industry as well. That and its growing sales are likely to reward early investors with the risk appetite to back this upstart.

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