EV Startups Navigate Cash Crunch as Tesla’s Price War Takes Toll

The electric vehicle (EV) industry is going through a tumultuous period as EV startups face a funding drought and grapple with the impact of Tesla’s price war. Traditional automakers, including Ford Motor, are also feeling the squeeze, with losses mounting in their EV divisions. This challenging landscape has already claimed its first casualty, with electric truck maker Lordstown Motors filing for bankruptcy. As several EV startups prepare to report their quarterly results, investors are eagerly awaiting details on how these companies are managing their cash flow amid these challenging times.

Tesla, the market leader in the EV industry, has also warned of “turbulent times.” Even established automakers with deeper pockets are struggling to turn a profit on EVs. This situation has led to intense competition and price wars in the market. As a result, EV startups are feeling the pressure and are expected to report steep cash burn rates in their upcoming earnings reports.

Companies like Lucid and Nikola are likely to report another quarter of substantial cash burn as they continue to face production and demand challenges. Lucid, which is majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is expected to report deepening losses due to supply chain problems that affected its April-June production. However, the company’s cash balance is expected to improve for the same period, thanks to a recent $3 billion fundraising.

Nikola, which raised concerns about its ability to continue as a going concern in May, is expected to report a decline in revenue and widening losses. Although the company has taken measures to reduce cash burn, such as layoffs and the liquidation of a recently acquired battery business, it may still struggle to meet its funding needs.

One standout in the EV startup landscape is Rivian Automotive, a company backed by Amazon. Rivian is expected to report a three-fold surge in revenue for the April-June quarter, reaching $983.1 million. The company’s cash outflow is also expected to have slowed down compared to the previous quarter. These positive results can be attributed to Rivian’s competitive advantages, such as being a demand creator and attracting buyers who have never owned a pickup truck before.

Fisker, another EV startup, is anticipated to report its first revenue from vehicle sales. The company recently started delivering its Ocean SUVs in the June quarter. However, Fisker faced challenges in meeting its production targets due to a parts shortage. Investors will closely monitor Fisker’s reservation numbers, as the Ocean SUV does not qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit.

Analysts have been closely following the EV industry’s developments and have provided their insights and expectations for these EV startups. Thomas Hayes, chairman of hedge fund Great Hill Capital, believes that besides Tesla, only legacy auto providers have a chance of success in the EV market. However, many of these established automakers are also losing money as they struggle to compete in the EV space. Despite the challenges, some analysts have raised their price targets for Rivian’s stock, which has already gained about 40% year-to-date.

The EV startup landscape is facing significant obstacles, including funding challenges and intense competition. As the industry evolves, it remains to be seen which companies will successfully navigate these hurdles. Startups will need to find ways to manage their cash flow effectively and address production and demand constraints. The ability to secure funding and meet investors’ expectations will be crucial for their survival and growth in this highly competitive market.


Q: What is causing the cash crunch for EV startups?

A: The cash crunch for EV startups is primarily a result of intense competition and price wars in the industry. Tesla’s aggressive pricing strategy has put pressure on other companies, leading to lower profit margins and cash burn rates.

Q: How are traditional automakers faring in the EV market?

A: Traditional automakers are also facing challenges in the EV market. Many of them are losing money on EVs, despite having deeper pockets compared to startups. The transition to electric vehicles requires significant investments in research, development, and production, which can strain their finances.

Q: Which EV startup is showing promising results?

A: Rivian Automotive, backed by Amazon, is showing promising results. The company is expected to report a three-fold surge in revenue for the April-June quarter. Rivian’s competitive advantages, such as attracting buyers new to the pickup truck market, have contributed to its success.

Q: What are the funding challenges faced by EV startups?

A: EV startups often face funding challenges due to the high costs associated with research, development, and production. They rely on external investments to support their operations, and securing funding can be challenging, especially during a funding drought.

Q: What does the future hold for EV startups?

A: The future of EV startups remains uncertain. While the industry holds immense potential, startups will need to overcome funding challenges, manage cash flow effectively, and address production and demand constraints. The ability to secure funding and meet investors’ expectations will determine their success in the competitive EV market.

EV startups are facing a cash crunch as they navigate the impact of Tesla’s price war and intense competition in the industry. While traditional automakers are also feeling the squeeze, startups are particularly vulnerable due to their reliance on external funding. Despite the challenges, there are some bright spots, such as Rivian Automotive, which is showing promising results. The future of these startups will depend on their ability to manage cash flow, address production challenges, and secure funding in this highly competitive market.

First reported by REUTERS.