Things are quite different on the EV front compared to a few years ago when Tesla Inc TSLA was all there was. Now, there is a mixture of reimagined legacy companies and innovative newcomers who are transforming the entire industry. The industry feels more crowded and competitive than ever before with infrastructure companies like ChargePoint CHPT, the largest Level 2 (240 volts) charging network in North America, joining the EV revolution.
Rivian Automotive RIVN received the Motor Trend 2022 Truck of the Year award for its R1T truck and Lucid Group LCID was the recipient of the Motor Trend 2022 Car of the Year award. Both companies had their public debuts this year and their combined market value adds up to $150 billion, despite practically not generating any actual revenue.
Both companies have plenty of cash and impressive technology under their sleeves, with ambitious plans to disrupt the industry. Lucid's competitive advantage is its battery technology, which has allowed it to achieve a longer range and faster charging from a compact configuration compared to Tesla's Model S and other luxury sedans.
Rivian has a large existing manufacturing capacity with ambitious expansion plans and strong demand for its vehicles that promise to disrupt the electric van, truck, and SUV market. Although it already began deliveries, its third-quarter results came in lower than Rivian expected. But it has over 71,000 reservations for its R1T truck on top of R1S reservations and the 100,000 delivery vans Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN pre-ordered with 10,000 vans expected to be in use by next year.
Speaking of electric pickup trucks, 2022 has an exciting lineup. Atlis Motor Vehicles will release the XT-1 which promises to change the EV world and Hercules Electric Vehicles will bring luxury into the equation with Hercules Alpha. Both vehicles will be equipped with groundbreaking solar technology TerraVis from Worksport Ltd WKSP. But the most eagerly anticipated electric truck is certainly Ford Motor's FM Lighting, the electric version of its legendary F-150 which is America's best-selling vehicle.
But the key to global EV adoption is the charging infrastructure. ChargePoint is growing its network of Level 3 DC fast chargers while looking for ways to monetize its subscription business.
Legacy Automakers Are Going Full Speed Ahead
The legacy automaker that has arguably done the best job in transforming its business model is Ford F with its heavy EV investment. Besides its aim to dominate the electric truck niche and compete in electric SUVs, it will also be making its own batteries in Tennessee and Kentucky at its new mega factories.
Tesla is Tough to Beat
Despite the advantages of legacy automakers in terms of scale and brand history, EVs are more about software than the hardware which is why Tesla's business success is difficult to replicate. Tesla is the industry king and is probably going to remain the most valuable automaker for a while.
Its first-mover advantage, technology, and years making mistakes it learned from have made it earn its title of a battle-hardened veteran with one of the highest operating margins in the industry. Although it may not produce the most cars, it is converting more revenue into actual profit compared to its competitors.
EV Era is in the Making- 2022 is the Delivery Chapter
No one knows which company will emerge victorious, how long it will take for EVs to surpass ICE vehicles. While there may never be another company quite like Tesla, it is certain that the auto industry will probably look very different a decade from now. If 2021 was the year for EV stocks, 2022 promises to be the year when actual deliveries will take place.
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