- Lucid and Rivian are two of the best-suited startups to challenge Tesla.
- They both seem to have hit their stride.
- The two companies are about to deliver their first vehicles.
Tesla has dominated the U.S. electric car market for years as the only startup that has successfully mass produced electric vehicles and kept the lights on. Today, Elon Musk’s automaker is no longer called a startup (it’s worth some $ 750 billion), but a growing number of new manufacturers believe they can replicate Tesla’s success.
Two contenders have climbed to the top of the rankings as their multi-year efforts finally begin to pay off. Lucid Motors and Rivian have both made progress in recent times and are expected to start delivering their first vehicles in 2021.
Rivian, who works on a Range Rover luxury pickup truck and SUV, announced on Tuesday that its vehicles are certified for sale in all 50 states and that its first customer-ready R1T pickups have rolled off the production line at Normal, Illinois. Rivian’s first marketable vehicle comes more than a decade after CEO RJ Scaringe founded the company in 2009.
Earlier in September, the Environmental Protection Agency rated Rivian’s SUV and pickup at an impressive range of 316 and 314 miles, respectively.
Rivian plans to start shipping R1T Launch Edition trucks to pre-order holders by the end of September, followed by its first R1S SUVs later this fall. It confidentially filed for an IPO in August and aims to be made public around November, Bloomberg reported.
He would be looking for a valuation of around $ 80 billion, more than Ford or General Motors.
Lucid, for his part, recently kept his long-standing promise to build the longest-range electric vehicle on the market. The EPA gave its first vehicle, the Air Dream Edition R sedan, a range of 520 miles on Wednesday. That’s a staggering rating, and no production electric vehicle has even come close to providing that kind of mileage between charges.
The Tesla Model S, which has dominated the battery range market for years, can travel 405 miles on a full battery, according to EPA estimates.
Lucid has already started building pre-production cars at his plant in Arizona and says he will start shipping the $ 169,000 Air Dream Edition to pre-order holders later in 2021. The company is pulling a page from the playbook from Tesla by starting with a super premium vehicle and working towards more affordable offerings, including a base $ 77,400 model of the Air and a small SUV called Gravity.
Some on Wall Street are optimistic about Lucid’s potential to challenge Tesla and mainstream automakers. In a note to investors on Wednesday, analysts at Bank of America called Lucid potentially the next Tesla or Ferrari, noting that it is “a relative competitive threat to the world of historic automakers, with a innovative technology, an attractive product, a compelling brand, a clean manufacturing approach. , and impressive management experience. “
Lucid shares are up 18.5% since Wednesday and are up about 130% year-to-date.
Yet mass production of cars is a notoriously delicate and expensive endeavor. And just because Lucid and Rivian are able to start delivering vehicles to customers does not necessarily mean that they will be able to do so for a long time. Tesla has seen many financial failures and catastrophes on its way to the top.