While Tesla has become a success story, many electric vehicles attempt to follow in its footsteps. However, EV manufacturing is not an easy path to making a fortune, as Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, will testify. The sobering fact is that not all of these startups will survive or become worthy competitors to Tesla. This is not a new concept because the auto industry passed the same coalescing process at the turn of the 19th century.
In this article, we look at the EV startups most likely to give Tesla a run for its money.
Rivian made a splash with its IPO 2021, catapulting to a market capitalization of more than $100 billion. While that valuation did drop significantly, the company reached an even more crucial milestone; delivering production-worthy vehicles to paying customers.
With years spent in the background polishing and teasing the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, manufacturing targets got pushed back a few times, due in part to the pandemic. However, the big moment arrived in August when the first set of pre-order holders got delivery of their R1Ts.
The pickup’s reviews have been very positive, with users gushing about the high build quality, performance, and practical features, making it great for off-road uses. The decent 300-plus miles range also impresses.
Looking to the future, Rivian is sitting on more than 70,000 pre-orders for the R1T and R1S, meaning it is not short of buyers for the next few years. It is also on contract to deliver 100,000 battery-powered delivery vans to Amazon, 10,000 of which are due in 2022.
While Lucid shows promises of competing with Tesla, there is a direct link between the two companies; the former’s CEO used to be an employee of the latter. Perhaps that explains why Lucid is following Tesla’s playbook closely.
Lucid also made the first delivery this year after years spent optimizing the components. The result was the Lucid Air Dream Edition wrestling the title of the EV with the most-extended driving range from Tesla. The Lucid EV is certified by the EPA to go 520 miles on a single charge.
Like Rivian, Lucid also went public in 2021, adding $4.5 billion to its war chest. Some of its models have been oversubscribed, including the Air Dream Edition that costs more than $160,000, and 2022 is set to be a busy year for the startup. Tesla should keep an eye on this company.
The last EV startup on our admittedly short list of EV startups that can stand their own against Tesla is NIO, based in China. Like the other two startups, NIO has been delivering EVs to customers, and on a bigger scale. In the 12 month period that ended in October 2021, NIO delivered over 140,000 cars.
NIO is confident of the future, with its blend of decent performance and price. It also has a rather unusual ace up its sleeve, battery swapping. The automaker already has more than 500 stations.
NIO is expanding, with its first port of call Norway where it has set up a battery swapping station. It also targets Germany, where Tesla will soon open a new production factory. Both companies will have to coexist in China and Europe.