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US startup Rivian Automotive revealed stronger-than-expected production numbers a day after its biggest rivals Tesla and BYD announced strong deliveries, sending shares of the companies soaring Monday.
Rivian said it built 13,992 trucks and vans at its Normal, Illinois, plant in the second quarter, well above Wall Street’s forecast of about 11,000, according to analysts polled by FactSet. The California company has reaffirmed its guidance to manufacture 50,000 vehicles this year.
The update came after Tesla, the US leader in electric cars, said Sunday that it delivered a record 466,000 vehicles in the second quarter, up 83.5 percent from a year earlier. Sales increased after Tesla cut prices in January and March.
“Tesla and Rivian were major good news for the electric vehicle sector, where production and demand are picking up despite many skeptics on the street,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “This was a great quarter for Tesla, and Rivian has added to the fireworks with very impressive results for the June quarter.”
BYD, Tesla’s main competitor in China, announced that sales volume nearly doubled in the first half of 2023, selling 1.26 million vehicles in the six months to the end of June.
Rivian shares closed up 17.4 percent in New York on Monday, in a brief session before the Independence Day holiday, while Tesla rose 6.9 percent. BYD shares closed up 4.5 percent in Hong Kong.
Electric vehicles accounted for 8.6 percent of new car sales in the United States in the first quarter of 2023, compared to 5.9 percent for the same period a year earlier, according to the trade group Alliance for Automotive Innovation. More than 305,000 electric vehicles were sold in the country between January and March.
Competition in the electric vehicle market is getting more and more intense, with General Motors, Ford and startups like Rivian trying to challenge Tesla’s dominant position. But even as more US car shoppers opt for electric vehicles, the number of public charging stations has lagged. The Alliance for Automotive Innovations said that in the first quarter, 39 electric vehicles were registered for each new public port.
Growing demand for fast public charging has prompted Tesla to open its Supercharger network next year to drivers of cars and trucks made by other automakers, including Ford, GM and Rivian. Rivian said last month that it will make trucks and vans that use Tesla’s North American charging standard for connections starting in 2025.
The 12,000 superchargers in Tesla’s network account for about 60 percent of all fast chargers available to electric vehicle drivers in the United States, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Emanuel Rosner.
Rivian said it will report its full results for the second quarter on August 8. The company delivered 12,640 vehicles to customers during the second quarter, compared to 4,401 vehicles in the same quarter of 2022.
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