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The battle of the electric cars in 2021 – who will rival Tesla?

  • Lucid shares skyrocketed 345% in 2021 as the company began delivering EVs.
  • Rivian beat all electric vehicle companies to deliver an electric pickup truck in 2021.
  • Tesla remains the leader of the EV market, delivering over 240,000 vehicles in Q3 alone.

Tesla’s share price rocketed 62% in 2021 as the electric vehicle (EV) leader benefited from a global shift to a greener, more sustainable future, especially through the COP26 conference.

But a number of rivals around the world and market newcomers are ready to give Tesla a run for its money in 2022.

Lucid shares topped the EV charts for growth in 2021, skyrocketing 345% after a big year of milestones including the company’s Air being named as the ‘best car of 2022’ by MotorTrend, and the delivery of its first vehicle in October, which is the world’s first electric car with a range over 500 miles.

Since going public on November 10, 2021 Rivian’s share price has climbed 15% to sit around US$116/share. Rivian beat all other EV manufacturers, including Tesla, to deliver the first fully electric pickup truck, the R1T, to customers. Rivian also boasts a backlog of 55,400 orders for its R1T and R1S vehicles in 2022.

China-based EV manufacturer Nio’s share price remained relatively stable throughout 2021 as record vehicle delivery milestones were offset by a number of delays in production due to the global chip shortage crisis.

Looking at EV deliveries, Tesla still remains on top but Chinese rival Nio increased its vehicles delivered YTD by 120.4% YoY to 80,940 vehicles by the end of November. For the month of November, Nio reported a record 10,878 vehicles delivered, while Tesla reported delivering over 240,000 vehicles in the third quarter alone.

While Tesla’s rivals still have a long way to go to catch up to Tesla’s top spot, surging demand for EV cars in 2022 will provide an added boost for the underdogs. With countries like Greece banning fossil fuel cars from 2030, and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill including US$7.5bn to build an estimated 400,000 new electric charging stations, electric vehicle sales are expected to surge over the coming year.

But racing to take market share has proven costly for Hyundai after the company had the biggest vehicle recall in history worth A$1.2bn early in 2021, and Tesla after the leader faces ongoing quality issues and controversy with its Full Self-Driving (FSD) after rushing to deliver vehicles around the world in 2021.

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