E-car manufacturers: Rivian, Lucid, Fisker and Canoo: the new Tesla challengers can do that

What is behind the record rating? More and more investors believe in the electric future of the automotive industry and are looking for a similar hit after the fabulous rise in Tesla shares. In addition, investors in general are paying more and more attention to the sustainability of their investments.

But Tesla boss Elon Musk warns the competitors: “I hope they have a high pain tolerance,” he wrote on Twitter. Starting up production, mastering supply chains, logistics and services is “a world of wounds”. An overview of the four main rivals.

Rivian – the new pursuer

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Founder Robert Scaringe initially wanted to manufacture sports cars and passenger cars before switching to the more popular segments of SUVs and pick-up trucks a few years ago. Rivian currently works with its 9,000 employees at seven locations and two models: the R1T pick-up and the R1S SUV. The truck promises a range of 640 kilometers. Its specialty are the four motors, which are each placed on one of the wheels and are computer-controlled to offer better traction than the competition.

With a base price of around $ 75,000, the acquisition costs are quite high compared to the competition. To date, Rivian has had 55,400 non-binding orders from the USA and Canada for its two models. The company also builds delivery vans for corporate customers: Amazon not only invested in Rivian. The online retailer also ordered 100,000 delivery vans. 10,000 should be on the streets by 2022, the rest by 2030.

Due to the high investments in the new models and factories, Rivian is in the red: In the first six months of this year, Rivian made a loss of 994 million dollars – after a loss of 377 million dollars in the first half of 2020. Rivian even expects production to start in the third quarter a loss of $ 1.28 billion.

Lucid – a serious competitor

A few days ago, Lucid delivered its first vehicles in California. The Lucid Air Dream Edition costs $ 169,000. Investors were enthusiastic and drove the market value to around $ 60 billion.

Lucid has an experienced management team, some of whom are Tesla veterans like CEO Peter Rawlinson. Another key figure used to work at Tesla and is a German: Production Manager Peter Hochholdinger.
The Lucid Air is praised by experts and analysts for its design, its high acceleration and the range of a battery charge of up to 830 kilometers – more than any Tesla model to date.

Lucid was founded in 2007 as Atleva, the largest shareholder is the Saudi Arabia Pension Fund. The company renamed itself Lucid in 2016 and employs 2,000 people. The start-up is following the example of Tesla in its market strategy. With the Roadster and the Model S, this brought high-priced models onto the market in order to transfer their aura to mass-produced models such as the Model 3.

The Lucid Air Dream Edition is also a status symbol and eye-catcher with almost 1100 hp, a limited edition and a high price.

New vehicles are to come onto the market every quarter, especially cheaper versions of the Lucid Air. So far, Lucid has recorded a total of 13,000 pre-orders for all four planned Lucid Air versions. In just five years, the company aims to generate sales of around $ 23 billion. In three years’ time it wants to be profitable and achieve a pre-tax, interest, depreciation and amortization profit of nearly $ 600 million.

Fisker – less capital, less risk

In a few days, Fisker will present its Ocean‧ SUV at the Los Angeles auto show. Production and delivery of the electric off-road vehicle are scheduled to start a year later. The company, with a current market value of more than five billion dollars, is Henrik Fisker’s life project. The Danish designer is known for luxury models for BMW and Aston Martin. His vision: to develop a “classless car” like the VW Beetle or the Mini Cooper that costs little and has a timeless design.

Fisker pursues a fundamentally different strategy than Lucid or Tesla in that production is outsourced. The planned mass vehicle is to be built by Foxconn, a company that previously produced iPhones for Apple. The Ocean SUV is built by the Canadian car supplier Magna Steyr in Austria, who has a lot of experience in car manufacturing. With an announced starting price of $ 37,500, the Ocean is in a price range with Tesla’s Model 3 and below VW’s ID. 4.

Henrik Fisker has failed several times with electric vehicles. But that doesn’t deter Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, who considers the strategy to be “one of the most convincing” in the growing jungle of e-car start-ups. Fisker’s capital investment is low, and so is the risk. Other experts are more cautious and point to the growing competition from manufacturers who will long have been in the market by 2023.

Canoo – the skateboarder

Similar to Lucid and Fisker, the start-up Canoo in Los Angeles has close ties to the German auto industry. At least they were: The former Deutsche Bank CFO Stefan Krause and the former Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann were on board. Another co-founder was Ulrich Kranz, who developed the i3 and i8 models at BMW.

But with the IPO in 2020, Tony Aquila took over as chairman of the supervisory board. The Texan pushed the last of the founders out of the company with Kranz last April. The core of the conflict: Aquila wants to build a fundamentally different vehicle. Instead of a minibus, the Texan is now relying more on an electric pick-up.

With a market capitalization of around two billion dollars, Canoo is valued almost modestly compared to the competition. The “Lifestyle Vehicle” is scheduled to hit the market at the end of 2022, followed by a delivery van and the pick-up. According to HC Wainwrights analyst Amit Dayal, the start-up’s great strength is “skateboard technology”.

This means a scalable electrical platform. Canoo calls this a “skateboard”, in which, unlike conventional manufacturers, the electronic components are more strongly integrated. The advantage: the interior of the vehicle can be designed more flexibly.

More: Tesla rival Rivian plans to raise $ 8.4 billion in an IPO

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