Lucid is losing money, Rivian is losing money, Tesla is treading water in China, but at least the Italians are trying to make an EV.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Lucid Lost $670 Million Last Quarter
Lucid Group, maker of the slippery Lucid Air electric sedan, posted up some big numbers this quarter. On the revenue front, it pulled in $196 million, which trounces the $232,000 it made in the same quarter in 2021. The other big number? A net loss of $670 million, per Automotive News. Making cars is hard.
The numbers are extra bleak because, as Automotive News notes, Lucid now says it’ll meet its production goals despite supply chain issues. That’s a good thing, right? Well, not when the big goal is to produce 6,000 to 7,000 cars. “The automaker’s original production goal for 2022 was 20,000 vehicles,” writes the news site.
The same Automotive News piece has a quote from the company’s CEO sort of explaining what’s going on:
Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said on Tuesday’s earnings call that the automaker continues to struggle with supply-chain issues but expects to meet its 2022 production guidance despite the challenges.
“In fact,” Rawlinson said, “even now we are experiencing a challenge with one particular item that will lead to a very temporary timeout for the [production] line.” Rawlinson did not name the item in short supply but said the downtime would be used to implement changes that would ultimately increase production.
That isn’t at all crpytic.
At the moment Lucid only has the one car and, according to the company, about 34,000 total reservations. An upcoming SUV, the Gravity, is going to debut next week before the LA Auto Show.
Rivian Expected To Lose About $1.7 Billion, With A ‘B’
Electric truckmaker Rivian is poised to announce big numbers today as well, but those big numbers will be of the negative variety. In Q2 of this year the company posted a loss of $1.7 billion. What’s the guess for this quarter? According to analysts it’s about $1.7 billion. From Automotive News:
When the automaker reports third-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the market close, financial analysts are expecting revenue of about $552 million on improving deliveries of its adventure vehicles, but also another net loss similar to Rivian’s $1.7 billion loss in the second quarter.
This doesn’t mean the trucks aren’t good. By most accounts, the trucks are very good. The engineering that goes into them is also impressive. [Editor’s Note: If you want to read the most detailed, tech-heavy review of the R1T, check mine out. It’s a great truck. -DT]. It’s extremely tough out there for established OEMs with longstanding supply chains and Rivian is ramping up a new car and a new brand out of thin air. Making cars is hard.
If there’s good news for Rivian it’s that the company’s Electric delivery vans are being delivered to Amazon as expected. As Electrek reports:
According to Amazon’s latest update, the Rivian EDV rollout is progressing as planned, with over 1,000 fully electric delivery vans debuting in more than 100 US cities this holiday season. A few of the newest cities you may be able to spot one of these EDVs in are Boston, New York, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh.
Has anyone seen one on their neighborhood?
Tesla Trying To Woo Chinese Buyers As Musk Sells Stock
In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 10, 2022
Tesla is the most established of all electric automaker startups [Editor’s Note: I think we ca stop calling it that now. -DT] and even it’s having some issues, particularly in China where deliveries have been on a roller coaster ride and competition has gotten stiffer.
To try to compete in China it looks like Tesla aims to give people a break on their insurance. I’ll let Reuters explain how this works:
The U.S. automaker previously offered an insurance incentive of 7,000 yuan ($970) for orders between Oct. 1 and Dec. 30. But on Tuesday Tesla said the incentive for November was raised to 8,000 yuan and reduced for December orders to 4,000 yuan.
“As long as you like it enough, pick up Tesla immediately!” Tesla said in its official Weibo account when announcing the policy change.
The insurance incentive is a cash rebate offered to buyers to buy insurance from Tesla’s partner insurers.
Tesla having more competition is clearly good for buyers, though a little challenging for Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla and now Twitter appears to have told people in August that he was done selling shares; now it’s November and, per CNBC, he just sold $3.95 billion worth of shares. I hope he got an insurance discount.
I Like This Weird Italian EV SUV
AEHRA (pronounced:¯\_(ツ)_/¯) is a new Italian startup that’s aiming to sell a ginormous electric SUV that they call… the AEHRA SUV. The Milan-based company has Fillippo Perini as their chief designer officer and he’s got a legit resume, but there are some bonkers details in their press release about the design and basically no details about how the car is being built or powered or range so I’m just going to quote the press release:
Every single element of the SUV personifies AHERA’s unwavering determination to defy modern, mass-market automotive convention, while holding steadfast to the pure values of classic Italian design. This sentiment is instantly evident in aspects such as the glassware, which appears to flow as a single piece from the very front of the car and over the roof, before sweeping down to the rear of the tailgate in an almost liquid-like fashion. It is also dramatically expressed in the stunning elytra-like doors. Opening skywards and providing optimum ease of entrance and egress to the exceptionally spacious cabin that effortlessly accommodates four NBA-size players in complete comfort, such features are normally the exclusive preserve of supercars.
I think I know where they’re getting at (it has funky doors), but the idea of four NBA-size players in a supercar is funny to me. Here’s a quote from Perini:
“With the AEHRA SUV, we have shunned the conservative constraints that have encumbered all other car manufacturers in their approach to designing EV vehicles to date.”
Really? Someone show this dude a photo of the Cadillac Celestiq.
As with all EV startups that only have renders assume it isn’t real until they actually sell one.
Which EV car company will be the biggest EV car company in a decade: Rivian, Lucid, Tesla, or AEHRA? If you said “Tesla” then tell me how many times bigger Tesla will be than all of the others combined.