QOTD: Which EV Startup Will Fail?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I've been in the automotive media since late in 2007, and over the course of all that time, I've seen EV-focused startups come and go. Some went and came back, even.

To be clear, as provocative as that headline is, I am not anti-EV nor anti-startup. I don't want ANY of these companies to fail.

But reality is harsh, and the truth is, most automotive startups fail. It's a minor miracle, really, that the likes of Tesla, Fisker, Lucid, and Rivian have gotten this far.

So, I ask of you -- will any of these companies fail? If more than one does, who will go down first?

Or will they stick around and become players in the industry for a long time, even if they don't become giants like certain legacy OEMs?

I mean, we saw this week that Fisker is struggling, but Lucid seems on solid footing, and Rivian is unveiling new models today.

I think we can count Tesla out for this question -- despite the company's problems, and despite the many very valid criticisms leveled at its boss, I think the brand is well established by now.

With that in mind, sound off below.

[Image: Rivian]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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7 of 55 comments
  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Mar 08, 2024

    Amazon needs Rivian in order to claim carbon offsets via Rivian EDV delivery vans. Once the vans are accepted by other delivery services, it will generate necessary cash flow and economy of scale to sustain the division. The new R2 and X3 are leveraged off existing platforms (just like the GM of old). Rivian is a valid contender.

    Someone needs to put a muzzle on Elon before he sinks Tesla. In the auto business, economy of scale rules supreme. Plants in the US, China, and Europe help. Now, get your quality scores and Customer Support (ie: spare parts) in order before you alienate customers, insurance carriers, suppliers, and the public in general.

    As for the rest, don’t have the volume to sustain profits. Think Lordstown. Best to be absorbed by an existing manufacturer and share your technology. The EVs could be moved into a premium division while cherry picked by the remaining divisions for best in class technology.

    • See 1 previous
    • AMcA AMcA on Mar 08, 2024

      Rivian has a very solid identity - outdoorsy. Very up to date design cues - Chilwich floor mats, this apparently cork trim? Pitch perfect. The R1 was too big for this crowd. This thing is PERFECT. I hope they can survive financially to make this happen.

  • Ryan Knickerbocker Ryan Knickerbocker on Mar 08, 2024

    Elio will fail LOL

  • Carson D Carson D on Mar 08, 2024

    Rivian halted plans to build a lower cost, taxpayer-subsidized factory in Georgia yesterday, which seems relevant to the question of EV startup viability.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 08, 2024

      That's not accurate. They are continuing with the factory building, which is vital to scaling the business. They simply plan to build the new stuff in Normal first, rather than tooling up inside a new plant construction simultaneously.


      I don't know if 'construction' is the same as 'tooling', however.

  • Honda1 Honda1 on Mar 09, 2024

    Rivian will fail, and screw Georgia out of 32 million tax payer dollars.