Guidehouse Insights Names Rivian, NIO, and Nikola the Leading Electric Vehicle Upstarts

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Despite industry challenges, opportunities are emerging for new competitors to establish a footprint in the future automotive marketJuly 01, 2020 05:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new Leaderboard Report from Guidehouse Insights evaluates the strategy and execution of 21 electric vehicle (EV) upstarts, with Rivian, NIO, and Nikola ranked as the leading market players.

Interest in and adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) continues to grow globally, driven by declining costs from battery innovations and supportive government policies. However, challenges remain concerning costs, limited model availability in certain vehicle classes, and gaps in charging infrastructure solutions. These challenges may be limiting in the near term, but they present opportunities for new competitors to establish a footprint in the future automotive market. Click to tweet: According to a new Leaderboard report from @WeAreGHInsights, Rivian, NIO, and Nikola are the leading EV upstarts.

“Leading upstarts have distinguished themselves within the industry in a first mover capacity and have either deployed EVs or are near to deployment,” says Scott Shepard, senior research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “Rivian is a first mover in the North American pickup truck market and has secured significant partners and investors including Ford and Amazon, while NIO has produced the most vehicles of all competitors and has innovated solutions for battery swapping and mobile charging services. Nikola is the only competitor among those examined in this report looking to deploy both FCVs and BEVs.”

Although global EV market momentum has been strong, that strength has relied heavily on government support and been buoyed by years of growth in the overall vehicle markets. These conditions are changing. EV markets have grown to substantial penetration rates in many regions, and governments are beginning to revise policy support. At the same time, global automotive markets hit a peak in 2017-2018, and before the coronavirus crisis, it was not expected to regain this peak until 2021-2022. With the coronavirus crisis persisting, regaining the peak will likely take 1-2 additional years. In the long term, market players that survive will likely do well because governments (primarily local) are expected to increase scrutiny of vehicle emissions impacts on local air quality following the crisis.

The report, Guidehouse Insights Leaderboard: EV Upstarts, looks at the field of upstarts across light, medium, and heavy duty vehicle classes producing BEVs, PHEVs, and FCVs. The companies included within the analysis are manufacturers that have launched their first vehicle in the past 3 years or are working toward production launch of their first vehicle. These companies have been analyzed and compared across the following areas: differentiation, go-to-market strategy, partners, investments, geographic reach, performance, portfolio, marketing, innovation, and staying power. An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Guidehouse Insights website.

About Guidehouse Insights

Guidehouse Insights, the dedicated market intelligence arm of Guidehouse, provides research, data, and benchmarking services for today’s rapidly changing and highly regulated industries. Our insights are built on in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research, and demand assessment, paired with a deep examination of technology trends, to provide a comprehensive view of emerging resilient infrastructure systems. Additional information about Guidehouse Insights can be found at

About Guidehouse

Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public and commercial markets with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting. We help clients address their toughest challenges with a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change, technology-driven innovation and significant regulatory pressure. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and technology/analytics services, we help clients create scalable, innovative solutions that prepare them for future growth and success. Headquartered in Washington DC, the company has more than 7,000 professionals in more than 50 locations. Guidehouse is led by seasoned professionals with proven and diverse expertise in traditional and emerging technologies, markets and agenda-setting issues driving national and global economies. For more information, please visit:

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Guidehouse Insights Leaderboard: EV Upstarts, is a summary and reflects the current expectations of Guidehouse Insights based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Guidehouse Insights nor Guidehouse undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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