Going by traditional metrics, the valuations of electric vehicle (EV) stocks don't make sense right now. The latest example of this trend is Rivian (RIVN -2.37%), whose mega IPO has garnered lots of attention from investors. But with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion, the stock is already priced for perfection.
Here are two EV stocks that look like better investment options than Rivian right now.
1. Lucid Group
Two top reasons to like Lucid Group (LCID -5.04%) from a product standpoint are the industry-leading range its vehicles can reach on a single charge and the attractive designs of its vehicles. The Lucid Air Dream Edition offers a range of more than 500 miles -- 100 miles more than Tesla's Model S, which was until now the longest-range EV model available on the market. Though Rivian is the first company to fully launch an electric pickup truck, it isn't clear if its vehicle offers any significant advantages over the upcoming electric pickup trucks from General Motors, Ford, Tesla, or Lordstown Motors.
Lucid's superior technology and sleek designs have attracted potential vehicle buyers, and it now has cancellable reservations for 17,000 vehicles. Lucid plans to deliver 20,000 vehicles in 2022, generating $2.2 billion in revenue.
By comparison, Rivian expects to fulfill its preorder backlog of around 55,400 vehicles by the end of 2023. Even if we assume that it delivers half of this in 2022, and assuming an equal split between the R1T model (starting at $67,500) and the R1S model (starting at $70,000), Rivian may generate around $1.9 billion in revenue. Despite lower expected sales in 2022 than Lucid, Rivian stock's market capitalization of around $105 billion as of this writing is higher than Lucid's market cap of around $90 billion. Notably, both companies face significant risks and may not deliver vehicles according to their plans.
Lucid plans to launch newer versions and models systematically in the coming years, with three new versions of the Lucid Air -- Grand Touring, Touring, and Pure -- in 2022. In 2023, it plans to launch a luxury SUV called Gravity. Overall, Lucid looks like a better bet based on the industry-leading range of its vehicles as well as its slightly better valuation compared to Rivian.
Chinese EV maker Nio (NIO 2.86%) sold 66,395 vehicles in the first nine months of 2021. In terms of sales, the company is more established than both Lucid and Rivian. Yet Nio stock has a much lower market capitalization compared to Lucid or Rivian.
Nio operates in a fast-growing market for electric vehicles. In the first half of 2021, China accounted for 42% of all EV sales globally. Nearly 1.1 million EVs were sold in China in the first half of this year -- roughly equal to the EVs sold in the country in all of 2020.
In the third quarter, Nio's revenue grew 117% year over year and 16% sequentially. The company's October deliveries fell due to some planned downtime as it prepares for the production of its new models.
Nio is on course to start deliveries of its new luxury sedan, the ET7, early next year. Beyond the domestic market, Nio is planning to target the European market as well. The company has started deliveries in Norway, a leading market for EVs, and it plans to start selling in Germany by the end of next year. Moreover, Nio plans to launch lower-priced models in the future to cater to the mass markets. Overall, Nio investors can look forward to continued growth in the years to come.
In short, Nio looks like a better bet than Rivian right now.