SAN FRANCISCO, March 1 (Reuters) – U.S. electric vehicle startups are seeing an unsettling trend, with demand evaporating as potential customers look for deals or hold off on purchases altogether.
Quarterly reports from several companies indicated weakening interest for many of their newer products, a bad sign for companies wrestling with high costs.
Luxury sedan maker Lucid (LCID.O), pickup and SUV maker Rivian (RIVN.O) and electric semi truck maker Nikola (NKLA.O) all flagged economic pressure, with industry experts saying price cuts by industry behemoth Tesla and the availability of cheaper EV models from traditional automakers sapped demand for the startups’ new vehicles.
An exception was Fisker (FSR.N), which has barely kicked off production of a $37,499 SUV. That is one of the cheapest prices in the EV group, and Fisker, which has produced only 56 vehicles so far, saw orders improve.
The Model Y from Tesla <TSLA.O> retails for at least $54,990 after recent price cuts, Rivian’s R1S SUV is priced around $78,000 and Lucid sells its Air Pure sedans for about $87,400.
Shares of Rivian fell about 13%, while those of Lucid, Nikola and Fisker were down between 2% and 4%. Tesla was trading 1.3% lower.