The race to become the next Tesla is heating up. Here’s how Rivian, Lucid, and the other top contenders are planning to come out on top.

Lucid and Rivian

  • EV startups have benefited from the hype around the industry in the past two years.
  • Some have or are preparing to release their first models.
  • There have been plenty of growing pains.

The past two years have been good to electric-vehicle startups. As Tesla’s sales and stock price have soared, the goodwill around the company has spread to just about any young competitor, no matter how far they are from delivering their first vehicle.

But now it’s time for the next generation of EV-makers to follow through on the hype. One, Rivian, has already started deliveries. Another, Lucid Motors, plans to do so soon. Both companies, though, and many of their peers, have faced growing pains.

Below, you can read more about why this generation of EV startups has excited investors and potential customers and how some have faltered, watching their founders resign amid controversy and attracting scrutiny from the US government.

Rivian is seen as the top EV startup


Rivian has attracted more hype than any other EV startup. It has raised more money than its peers ($11 billion), landed a huge order from Amazon, and was the first to start handing vehicles to customers. RJ Scaringe, the startup’s CEO, reminds at least one investor of Jeff Bezos.

But the company has already experienced production delays, and it’s acknowledged that even a much-anticipated IPO won’t be enough to make it financially self-sustaining.

Lucid Motors is another leading contender

Lucid Air Motors

If Rivian is seen as the leading EV startup, Lucid is generally considered its most promising rival. Led by a former Tesla executive, the startup is preparing to release a luxury sedan that in some ways outdoes its closest competitor, the Tesla Model S. Lucid’s June SPAC merger brought in $4.5 billion, the largest sum for an EV-related SPAC merger so far.

But like Rivian, Lucid has had to push back deliveries as it works through supplier issues.

A crowded field of competitors


Rivian and Lucid are just the leaders in a crowded field. In the next few years, consumers and businesses may have a wide range of new brands to choose from, or the harsh realities of the auto industry could winnow the pack to a select few. These startups are fighting to prove that Rivian and Lucid aren’t the only EV-makers with a shot at becoming the next Tesla.

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