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Tesla, Nio, Lucid: What to Expect from EV-Makers in 2022

Electric vehicles bounced back in 2021 after a pandemic-fueled dip in 2020.

After a rocky 2020 for the entire auto industry, electric vehicle sales rebounded in 2021 amid high demand for vehicles and a shortage of actual cars to buy. Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report, to be fair, never really suffered the way many traditional automakers did. The EV-maker led by CEO Elon Musk found ways to keep vehicle deliveries at steady, record levels even as chip shortages caused some automakers to cut production goals.

Part of that, of course, comes because Tesla's overall volume -- while steadily growing -- remains much smaller than the higher-volume traditional automakers. But, it's a tribute to the company's innovation that it managed to grow despite a global chip shortage that impacted the entire auto industry.

EV rivals NIO (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report and Lucid (LCID) - Get Lucid Group, Inc. Report are in a much earlier phase of their journeys, but all three companies have major plans for 2022.

EV sales. DBK

What Will Tesla Do in 2022 (and Beyond)?

In the coming year Tesla will expand its capacity as new factories come online. The EV leader now has four factories online -- Fremont, Shanghai, Austin, and Berlin. CFO Zach Kirkhorn laid out where the company stands and where it's going in his remarks during the company's Q3 earnings call with investors.

"Over the last 12 months, we've done about 430,000 cars of production. And based upon everything that we know in the factory, where the bottlenecks are, what the potential is, we're targeting to increase that another 50%," he said. "I think that will be a difficult goal but that's the goal that the internal team has, and they're going to continue to push on that."

Tesla has ambitious plans to grow how many vehicles it can produce, according to its CFO.

"You know, we're trying to get to 5,000 cars a week as soon as we can," he said. "And then we'll continue to push beyond that, potentially even getting to 10,000 cars per week at those factories. And then we'll add Cybertruck here in Austin and continue to grow from there. So, you know, our goal is to get to millions of cars per year over the next couple of years and then ultimately, in the long term, be able to achieve 20 million cars per year."

Lucid Looks to Ramp Up in 2022

Lucid delivered its first vehicles in the third quarter of 2021. The company plans to increase that in the coming year by closing out this one strong. The company has added 2.85 million square feet to its Arizona manufacturing facility and it plans to have 20 studios and service centers open by the end of this year.

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"So you can see acceleration as a theme in the second half of 2021," CEO Peter Rawlinson said during the Q3 earnings call. "We also continue to increase our service footprint across the U.S., not just with physical service centers but also with the roll-out of our mobile service program. We expect service centers to continue opening in North America and we anticipate hiring a significant number of additional service technicians as we expand our capabilities."

Lucid plans to be able to sell more vehicles in 2022, Those goals include expanding beyond the U.S.

"Lucid continues to grow its operations in the U.S. but as part of our growth strategy, and more specifically, our international strategy, we intend to expand our sales, maintenance, repair services, and manufacturing activities outside of the U.S.," according to Rawlinson. " ...On the retail and service front, we're looking to expand our footprint in Europe and the Middle East, and we expect to enter these markets in 2022."

The company expects to sell 20,000 vehicles in 2022.

Nio Has Big Plans for 2022

A Chinese EV company, NIO has made some moves, including listing a number of jobs, that suggest it plans to enter the U.S. market in 2022. The company also said that it will enter Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden in 2022, and reach 25 countries by 2025, at its annual Nio Day event.

Nio delivered 24,439 vehicles in the third quarter of 2021. That roughly doubled its total from the previous year. The company closed the year with over $7 billion on its balance sheet. It expects to deliver between "23,500 and 25,500 vehicles, representing an increase of approximately 35.4% to 46.9% from the same quarter of 2020," the company said in its Q3 earnngs report.

“Despite the continued supply chain volatilities, our teams and partners are working closely together to secure the supply and production for the fourth quarter of 2021," said CEO William Bin Li in the earnings report. "Meanwhile, we are fully dedicated to accelerating our products and technologies development and bringing the three new products based on NIO Technology Platform 2.0 to users in 2022 to lead the smart EV transformation and adoption.”

Nio has not confirmed that it plan to enter the U.S. market.