Shares in electric vehicle makers Rivian and Tesla surge after strong volume data

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US electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive revealed stronger-than-expected production numbers a day after larger rivals Tesla and BYD reported robust deliveries, sending shares of the companies up sharply on Monday.

Rivian said that it built 13,992 trucks and vans at its factory in Normal, Illinois in the second quarter, well above Wall Street expectations of about 11,000, according to analysts polled by FactSet. The California company reaffirmed guidance for manufacturing 50,000 vehicles this year.

The update came after Tesla, the US EV leader, on Sunday said it delivered a record 466,000 cars in the second quarter, up 83.5 per cent from a year before. Sales increased after Tesla cut prices in January and March.

“Tesla and Rivian was major good news for the EV sector, as production and demand are humming despite many sceptics on the Street,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “This was a trophy-case quarter for Tesla, and Rivian added to the fireworks with very impressive results for the June quarter.”

BYD, Tesla’s main rival in China, also reported sales volumes grew by almost double in the first half of 2023, as it sold 1.26mn vehicles in the six months to the end of June.

Shares of Rivian closed 17.4 per cent higher in New York on Monday, in a shortened session ahead of the Independence Day holiday, while Tesla climbed 6.9 per cent. BYD closed up 4.5 per cent in Hong Kong.

EVs made up 8.6 per cent of US new vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2023, compared with 5.9 per cent for the same period a year earlier, according to the trade group Alliance for Automotive Innovation. More than 305,000 EVs were sold in the country between January and March.

The market for EVs is growing increasingly competitive as GM, Ford and start-ups such as Rivian attempt to challenge Tesla’s dominant position. But even as more US car shoppers opt for EVs, the number of public charging stations has lagged. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation said that in the first quarter, 39 EVs were registered for every new public port.

Increased demand for fast public charging has prompted Tesla to open its Supercharger network next year to drivers of cars and trucks manufactured by other carmakers, including Ford, GM and Rivian. Rivian said last month it would build trucks and vans that use Tesla’s North American Charging Standard for connectors starting in 2025.

The 12,000 Superchargers in Tesla’s network account for about 60 per cent of the total fast chargers available to US EV drivers, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner.

Rivian said it would release its full second-quarter results on August 8. The company delivered 12,640 vehicles to customers during the second quarter, compared with 4,401 in the same quarter of 2022.

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