From Tesla to XPeng—we round up the top five electric vehicle producers that should be on your radar this year.
Business and political conversations in recent years have shown that you simply cannot talk about progress without mentioning sustainability. Startups and big corporations are having to upgrade their business models to factor in climate change and the environment. Shoppers have taken notice, too. That’s why many are shifting to driving electric cars to reduce their carbon footprint and encourage the use of green energy. If you are planning to switch too, check out our lowdown on the top five electric car companies in the world.
On January 3, 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fortune crossed US$300 billion, thanks to Tesla’s shares rising 13.5%. Tesla has been touted as the pioneer of electric cars in the world. Founded in 2003, the company rose to fame with the world’s first ever premium all-electric sedan named Model S. From a startup to a benchmark, the company’s progression has been an inspiring one.
In an interview with Time magazine, Musk said, “Our intent with Tesla was always that we would serve as an example to the car industry and hope that they also make electric cars, so that we can accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.” In 2023, Musk plans on launching a US$25,000 self-driving electric car without steering wheels or pedals.
“They may be beautiful, but you can’t wear them every day,” Nio CEO, William Li, remarked on Tesla cars during an interview, comparing the cars to high fashion. Li, dubbed the “Elon Musk of China”, launched the Shanghai-based electric car company Nio in 2014, aiming for it to become a “customer-based company”. The company is among the most coveted electric vehicle producers in the world. In December 2021, Nio revealed an all-electric ET5 sedan, its second car, along with augmented reality (AR) glasses to replace in-car screens. The company plans on dominating the world by reaching 25 countries by 2025.
Founded in 2007, this Silicon Valley startup is known for its luxury electric vehicles. As of January 5, 2022, the company was valued at US$65 billion. Lucid Motors is also renowned for housing the best battery technology. However, the startup’s journey has not been without its challenges. In an interview, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson said about their debut model Air Sedan, “The biggest challenge I’ve always faced was getting money, not going bankrupt [and] having that investment as a startup to develop this.” Of its future plans, the company tweeted, “Expansion to European markets will begin this year. Stay tuned for country-specific delivery information.”
This Amazon-backed electric truck startup was valued at greater than US$100 billion in December 2021. Rivian’s journey has been a long but rewarding one, having launched in 2009 and gone public in 2021. The company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) turned out to be the sixth largest one on a U.S. stock exchange, achieving an overall valuation of US$80 billion. On the inspiration behind Rivian, Founder and CEO, RJ Serange, revealed, “I started to realize that vehicles are at the center of so many of the challenges we have—local air quality, climate change. And I became really bummed that these things I loved are such a source of problems for our planet. And that was the reason I started Rivian.” The company plans on building a second factory worth US$5 billion in Georgia.
XPeng Motors, one of China’s top electric carmakers, was founded in 2014 in Guangzhou. Backed by Alibaba and Foxconn, the startup is known for its driverless system Lidar, the light detection and ranging technology supported by the advanced driver-assisting application XPILOT. During an interview, the Vice President In-Charge of Autonomous Driving at Xpeng, Xinzhou Wu, mentioned, “We are definitely a few steps ahead, you know, as compared to most of our competitors. So we are pretty confident that we can win this race even with more newcomers into this space.” In 2022, the company plans on entering Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. “As a company that focuses on global opportunities, we want to be balanced with our contribution of delivery—half from China, half from outside China—in the long run,” Vice President and Chairman, Brian Gu, told CNBC.
These top five electric car companies are not just great for those wishing to purchase a more eco-conscious and future-forward car in 2022, but, for electric vehicle startups who want to up their game this year, they are also noteworthy examples to pay heed to.
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