The Lucid Air EV is coming soon to America’s roads.

Along with Spaces, Two CEOs Vie to Produce the Next EV Superstar

You’ll probably hear the names Rivian and Lucid if you are in the market for an EV in the next year or so. If you aren’t familiar with them, published a quick review of the two companies expected to compete as the next Tesla.

That is to say, they’ll be producing desirable Electric Vehicles. One of the up-and-comers is run by a former employee of Tesla. So it’s a bit like a football game where the teacher-coach has to play against one of his former assistants.

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 some of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

After spending two-and-a-half years developing a sports car, Rivian was struggling to raise money, Scaringe told Business Insider in 2018. Scaringe said he scrapped the vehicle after realizing that it didn’t stand out from its competition.

“In those early years, I was failing to answer the most fundamental of questions, which is why we exist,” Scaringe told Business Insider.

Once Scaringe settled that question in his mind it got easier. It’s said he wanted to build automobiles since he was a kid, and he launched Rivian at the age of 26.

Now Rivian is set to build a fleet of vehicles for Amazon and that should put them in a very secure position to get this company moving in a forward direction.

Amazon, which ordered 100,000 of Rivian’s vehicles, took a stake in the startup in 2019. The companies unveiled the vans in October of 2020, and the first ones could hit the road as early as 2022.

And if that isn’t enough, even Ford Motor Company is on board. Ford invested in Rivian in 2019 and plans to make an EV using Rivian’s platform, which includes a vehicle’s motors, battery pack, and suspension.

Rivian R1S

Lucid Keeps Pace with Major Investment

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.

Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson says the EV company is in an “enviable position,” when its stock popped on July 26, 2021. Rawlinson worked as an engineer on the Tesla Model S before founding Lucid. According to the company, the $77,400 base-model Air, before tax credits, will be able to drive 406 miles between charges and will have a claimed 480 horsepower. Those specs would make the Air competitive with the Model S.

California-based Lucid expects to deliver its new electric vehicle in the second half of this year after delays largely due to the Covid pandemic. Rawlinson previously told CNBC he expects the Air to pave the way for a lineup of future all-electric vehicles, including an SUV, starting production in early 2023, and more affordable vehicles down the line.

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.

There are other start-ups as well. with names like Lordstown Motors, and Nikola, and they are finding it tough going for many different reasons. Some of them appear to have very questionable futures.

These startups are fighting to prove that Rivian and Lucid aren’t the only EV-makers with a shot at becoming the next Tesla. But the odds are very much stacked against you unless you have the capital and the work ethic that Elon Musk has displayed over the last decade getting his company in the position so many others are trying to reach.