The Many EV Startups That Were Supposed To Threaten Tesla But Didn’t

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Over the years, as we’ve noted several times, certain electric vehicles from traditional automakers have been hyped as “Tesla killers” (mostly by members of the media and Wall Street, not the automakers). Those EVs have not turned out to be Tesla killers. On the contrary, the Tesla Model 3 is the top selling EV in the world and several of these “killers” have very limited sales.

However, it is not only EVs from traditional automakers that have inspired many in the media to write “Watch Out, Tesla” or “Move Over, Tesla.” There have been a handful of younger EV startups that certain people in the media and the investment world have hyped as major threats to Tesla.

No offense is aimed at these startups — starting a company is easy, getting a company off the ground is hard! In the auto manufacturing world, I assume you have to put a 10× weight on that statement. However, the narrative that these companies were “coming for Tesla” was a major one in the overall Tesla press narrative, and still is from time to time, so a recent tweet from The Short Shorts Historian both caught my eye and inspired this article.

The tweet quotes a Seeking Alpha article from 3 years ago that stated, “In various stages between 2018 and the end of 2019, they should all have their U.S.-market vehicles launched.” This forecast was in regard to NextEV, Lucid Motors (aka Atieva), and Faraday Future. It’s almost the end of 2019 and none of them have an EV on the US or European market, or about to arrive on the market.

Producing cars is hard. Producing cars that are cost competitive with what’s on the market is harder. Replicating Tesla’s success and threatening it are quite possibly impossible.

Take that for what it’s worth. Hindsight is 20/20. But also keep this in mind if Tesla haters and naysayers try to scare you with the imminent arrival of another EV startup that will supposedly give Tesla a run for its money. At 100,000 vehicles a quarter, we can only hope that another EV startup will get to that level within 5 years and give Tesla some support!

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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