These Startups Lead The EV Industry In Hirings/Growth

Rivian Automotive




You might be surprised at which EV industry startups are showing the most promise.

The electric vehicle segment has seen a push from several new startups in the automotive industry. Thus far, in the U.S. at least, only Tesla has moved from startup status to that of a consistent production automaker. We have seen continued reports of cash shortages and other speed bumps such that none of the current entrants are ready to truly move forward with mass production … or any production for that matter.

Most EV industry startups are currently in the design stages of vehicle development. Most don’t have a production facility, and most don’t even have the funds to move forward very quickly. However, there are exceptions.

Lucid’s Speed Car Group with 235 mph, all-electric Air

How can we forecast which may become a reality, and which are simply concepts that will end in vapor? NextMobility did some research to find out who is hiring and growing, and what each company’s current status reveals.

The publication looked at hiring patterns and LinkedIn company insights of seven EV industry startups to give us a better idea. Included in the report are startups including Lucid Motors, Proterra, Karma Automotive, NIO, and Rivian Automotive. Of course, for purposes of comparison, Tesla is the another automaker cited.

NIO (formerly NextEV), an EV industry startup out of Shanghai, topped the list. The company has increased its employee base by an impressive 69 percent over the last year. NIO told NextMobility that they have over 350 U.S. employees. According to LinkedIn, NIO’s global count is at 831.

Lucid Motors has cut five percent of its workers in the past year. But, the company is still actively hiring, with plans for production in 2018.

The most surprising entrant is Michigan-based Rivian Automotive. The company has been working for years under the radar, and recently purchased the former 2.4 million-square-foot production-ready Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois. Rivian only shows 113 employees, which is the lowest number of all those studied, but having a factory is huge. Rivian seems to be following in Tesla’s footsteps with purchasing an already established and functional factory, as well as not making substantial, predictive press announcements before actual progress becomes measurable.

Rivian has increased its employee base by 28 percent over the last six months. The company has received local incentives and a wealth of support from the surrounding area. According to NextMobility, a third party review of Rivian’s financial situation shows that the company has significant assets. Rivian plans to bring a vehicle to market by 2019.

No movement was reported by the publication regarding Proterra or Karma Automotive. According to a graph, Karma employs just shy of 500, while Proterra has about 226 employees.

Faraday Future is also included in the report, but even though it was just published 2 weeks ago, the news that Faraday is in deep financial trouble and has scuttled its plans to have its own production facility in Nevada on Monday pretty much disqualifies it from the list when it comes to new hirings and future growth…from the outside looking in, it now appears the head count might be going to zero.

Source: NextMobility

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17 Comments on "These Startups Lead The EV Industry In Hirings/Growth"

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Proterra is tearing it up. The adoption rate of electric and alternative fuel busses is astounding.

Will Tesla buy them as their “semi and bus” division?

Perhaps but I doubt it. I think Musk would feel Protera has no intellectual property to offer. Additionally buses are not high volume enough to justify robot assembly lines which removes one of Tesla’s stated competitive advantages.

Workhorse is a publicly traded company and hence the likely reason why it wasn’t included here, although it deserves a mention as they expand into the most important automotive market in the US (pickup trucks).

They have been selling EVs for a few years in the step van market, have a new factory for pickup production and partnerships that will likely give them a big head start in this market

The category here is “EV startups”. Workhorse Group was founded in 1998, according to its Wikipedia page. That might be stretching the definition of “startup” a bit. Even Tesla Motors was founded later than that, and I don’t think Tesla qualifies as a startup anymore, either.

Workhorse produces commercial vehicles, they should be thought of like VIA Motors…The Workhorse truck was originally planned to be a commercial enterprise, they apparently received far more interest from individuals vs fleets…

Honorable mention: Quick Charge Power. By offering JDemo, they extend the usability of older EV: fostering EV growth.

Great to see Rivian Automotive gets a shout-out here! That’s the EV startup that has me the most interested, and ironically the one which seems least interested in public attention.

I’m looking forward to the day that “Rivian” appears in the menu at the top of every InsideEVs page… and to the day that “Faraday” disappears!

Rivian is so stealth about this, I will be interested to see how they are going about this.
Personally, I hope that they will use Tesla’s SC network.
If so, it is possible that Tesla will bring more of the electronics in-house and help Revian out.

Karma is awesome and they are kicking out at least 1 car a day. I think that validates their operation.

It is a very good sign that they are actually delivering real cars to real customers. But the true measure of Karma’s success will come when they start building their 2nd car. That is supposed to be higher volume (around 50K/yr to start) and much lower priced.

If they pull that off, that will be complete validation for them.

It seems like they are taking Rivian’s approach on their next car, and are staying pretty quiet about it. Not that I blame them. Any company who announces an EV that won’t be available for purchase in 6 months or less just gets shredded now. People have gotten sick of endless concept cars and wild claims from way too many companies, and tired of waiting and waiting to buy what they want. It is better now to just spring a new EV on the market that people can buy in months, not years.

I, too, am glad that Karma seems to be making a go of it, at least so far (keeping fingers crossed!).

I’ve been quite perturbed at all the negative comments posted to InsideEVs about Karma, claiming that since the car failed once it is guaranteed to do so again.

Not so! A new management team can often turn a business around, and it looks like that might be what’s happening here. At least, I hope so.

Go Karma!

Yeah Proterra and Rivian are very interesting. Rivian has a big space and lot full of VW diesels last I heard. Curious if they are still there and why they were there in the first place.

Perhaps being converted to EV’s? I seem to remember the recalled VWs that were bought back had to have their engines rendered unusable and they couldn’t hit the streets with those engines.

slim chance of wanting to convert to EVs.
The fact is, that VWs are overweight and have loads of drag. Worse, ICE cars are poorly developed for an EV. There is no real way to turn them into skate boards and instead you have to go with junk that looks like the bolt, I3, and leaf.

SONDORS Electric? 3 wheeled car is still being developed but the company did deliver what the majority called impossible a $500 (plus freight from China) eBike…

Of the companies in this list, Proterra is the only one that has been delivering production vehicles for years. Although their employee count and production numbers are small, that is just the nature of the transit bus industry vs. passenger cars.