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Electric new companies Rivian and Lucid Air are gobbling up every one of the awards this year

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Electric new companies Rivian and Lucid Air are gobbling up every one of the awards this year

The new Rivian R1T battery-electric pickup landed one of the auto industry’s most lofty awards Monday when Motor Trend magazine named it Truck of the Year. Rivian beat down more established automakers, including Ford and Hyundai.

Taken alone, it’s a significant triumph for Rivian, which has brought billions up in capital from investors as different as Ford, Amazon, and Cox Automotive. The R1T’s success comes scarcely a month later the powerful magazine gave the trophy for Car of the Year to another EV startup, Lucid, and its new Air sedan.

Also with both the Rivian R1T and the Lucid Air among the finalists in the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards to be declared a month from now, “what we’re seeing is a response to the changes in the industry,” said Stephanie Brinley, the principal automotive analyst for IHS Markit.

”This is a reflection of what the startups have been able to accomplish,” Brinley said, adding that it “is shaking up the industry.”

A wave of new participants desires to cut out space in an automotive market that hasn’t been kind to startups since the finish of World War II. Brands like Fisker, Atlas, Byton, Canoo, and Faraday Future desire to charge better compared to any semblance of Bricklin, Kaiser-Frazer, and Vector.

The key difference: The new makers are focused solely on battery-electric vehicles. President Joe Biden expects to have EVs represent 40% to 50% of the U.S. market by 2030, and the new players are wagering that they can cut out a profitable niche. Furthermore, Tesla, which is preparing to open up its fourth get-together plant, is their role model.

Rivian is viewed as one of the organizations probably going to succeed, on account of strong support from investors like Ford and Amazon, which ordered 100,000 all-electric delivery vans for its Prime service. The R1T, Rivian’s first entry into the retail market, bowled over the editors of Motor Trend.

“The Rivian R1T is a monumental achievement and astonishes with a quality of design, engineering, materials, and technology unmatched in trucks today while providing a driving experience like that of a high-performance luxury car,” gushed Ed Loh, the magazine’s head of editorial. “As the first all-electric pickup truck to market, the R1T manages to achieve all of this without offending historic truck-buyer sensibilities.”

The R1T rides on a skateboard-like platform, its batteries and motors mounted below the load floor. The layout considers a roomy “frunk,” where gas-powered pickups mount internal combustion engines. One more enormous storage area is tucked below the cargo bed, in front of the back wheels.

The pickup will arrive in a variety of configurations, beginning with the $73,000 Launch Edition, stacked up with features from sophisticated wood and faux “leather” interior trim to a Level 2 driving help system.

Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe reacted to the Motor Trend news, tweeting, “Great work, team!”

The success makes the startup on the map, much as the Car of the Year trophy accomplishes for Lucid. Expected to contend with conventional premium luxury models like the notorious Mercedes-Benz S-Class, as well as the Tesla Model S, the Air likewise made headlines when the Environmental Protection Agency assessed its range at up to 520 miles.

Up until this point, Rivian and Lucid have delivered just a handful of retail vehicles. Furthermore, even with every one of the awards, it’s a long way from specific they’ll duplicate Tesla’s prosperity — quit worrying about match legacy makers like General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen, said Sam Abuelsamid, the principal auto analyst for Guidehouse Insights.

“It’s definitely not business as usual,” Abuelsamid said, adding that “it’s worthwhile honoring these [new] companies for what they’ve accomplished.”

“But there’s no guarantee they will succeed and thrive over the long term,” Abuelsamid said. “The established automakers have a flood of EV products coming. While they are late to the nascent market, that’s not necessarily a disadvantage.”

GM, as far as one might be concerned, hopes to sell 30 battery-electric vehicles worldwide by 2030, Volkswagen around 50. The industry overall intends to put more than $500 billion in electric vehicles this decade. However, it’s a long way from specific how the transition will fare, Abuelsamid and Brinley concurred. Even though demand for all-electric models has dramatically increased for this present year, battery-electric vehicles actually represent scarcely 3% of the total U.S. market.

The additional range, performance, and features presented by-products like the Lucid Air and the Rivian R1T should help, experts recommended. However, there are different challenges, including high costs. The Biden administration is pushing for expanded federal tax credits for EV purchasers — which could jump to $12,500 from $7,500 today — however, the bill is battling in Congress.

Biden scored a success with the section of his $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, be that as it may. The action included funding to set up a nationwide network of 500,000 EV charging stations. The White House likewise Monday revealed its “EV Charging Action Plan,” which looks to “supercharge America’s efforts to lead the electric future.”

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