Many companies that showed very promising electric vehicles ultimately didn’t deliver in the end, despite seemingly doing most things right. EV startups have gained a reputation for not managing to stay true to what they had promised to deliver, and even ones that appeared very close to actually starting to deliver vehicles seemed to fluster on this very important step.
Marques Brownlee, who really disapproves of what Tesla did with the Roadster announced years ago and still not out even today, says this really is a trend among EV startups. In his latest video on the matter, he of course begins by mentioning Tesla, but then extends the reach of his argument to include pretty much all the major startups that seemed like they were on track to deliver electric cars, but either went under in the meantime or they were not able to make the step to begin production.
He argues that practice of allowing people to pre-order vehicles that aren’t fully developed or the company behind them has no clear plan where and how it will build them is wrong. In his words, this is basically just interest-free loans given by the willing public to these companies to allow them to develop and that this doesn’t really benefit the end user at all.
Showing that they have a certain number of pre-orders also helps the startups look good in front of their investors, allowing them to attract even more, in spite of the fact that they don’t actually have everything covered. Then there are those companies that lied about the number of pre-orders they had, like Lordstown Motors which paid a company to make a 1,000 pre-orders so that it looked and attractive for investors.
The bottom line is that while you can get lucky and actually receive what you paid for and were promised when you pre-order an EV from a company with no track record, you should also be aware of the risks (explained in this video).