The world’s biggest automakers don’t have much in common with tech companies.

Volkswagen and General Motors employ hundreds of thousands of workers and operate huge factories on multiple continents. They rely on complicated supply chains to source parts, and they sell their products through brick-and-mortar dealership networks.

But investors are starting to treat these lumbering industrial giants more like nimble startups as they make heavy investments into electric cars and autonomous driving that could pay huge dividends.

The numbers: Shares in General Motors, which is spending $35 billion on electric vehicles by 2025, have skyrocketed over the past year, rising nearly 140%. Ford’s stock has also increased 140% over the same time period.

Volkswagen shares are up 50% over the past year. Europe’s largest carmaker is putting €35 billion ($42 billion) into electric vehicles over five years. It plans to open six battery-making “gigafactories” in Europe by 2030.

Investors have long viewed electric-car pioneer Tesla as a technology company, and its stock price has been supported by continued superiority in battery costs, software and the profitability of its electric cars.

But bigger automakers including General Motors are starting to be seen in a similar light as they commit to building battery factories.

Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said on Thursday that General Motors shares should be worth $85 a piece, a 52% increase from current levels. Why? Because CEO Mary Barra is all-in on electric cars.

“While the first part of her tenure had some clear lows and major speed bumps, the laser focus on electric vehicles has given new energy and strategic focus to GM,” Ives wrote in a research note.

He said the company’s share price should continue to rise as “the Street treats the Detroit automaker no longer as a traditional auto company trading based on book value, but a broader disruptive technology play that can start to trade at multiples similar to the likes of Tesla.”

If you’re the CEO of an automaker, the thing to do now is to announce a big investment in electric vehicles and watch your share price go up.

Right on cue: Stellantis, the giant automaker formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA, said Thursday it plans to invest €30 billion ($35.5 billion) by the end of 2025 to expand its portfolio of electrified vehicles.

The company is planning for 70% of its sales in Europe and 40% of sales in the US to be either fully electric or plug-in hybrid (but with a large majority of those vehicles being fully electric) within four years, CEO Carlos Tavares said.

“[The plan] is among the most aggressive electric vehicle commitments the industry has yet seen,” said Karl Brauer, an industry analyst with

Investors, meanwhile, need to figure out which of these electric dreams will turn into reality. One factor to consider is that the biggest carmakers (General Motors and Volkswagen belong to this group) will be able to use the profits from their massive existing businesses to invest in electric vehicles.

Their smaller electric rivals might not be able to keep pace.