Two of the most high-profile US electric vehicle (EV) startups have signalled 2024 could be a dire year, announcing job losses and production cuts due to cooling demand for battery-powered vehicles.

    Reuters reports Rivian – partially owned by technology giant Amazon – announced it would cut its workforce by 10 per cent, while estimating it wouldn’t exceed its 2023 production output of 57,232 EVs in 2024, and well short of the 81,700 unit figure predicted by analysts.

    Rivian currently sells just two models, the R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV, both based on the same platform and largely sharing the same equipment. It also manufactures an electric delivery van.

    Unlike EV giant Tesla, Rivian doesn’t build any mid-sized models, limiting its share of the market, however it’s aiming to launch a smaller Model Y-sized SUV, called the Rivian R2, in 2026.

    The publication also reports Lucid Motors – long touted as a potential rival to Tesla with its flagship Model S-sized Lucid Air sedan – will miss estimated production targets previously forecasted by industry experts.

    While Wall Street analysts expected Lucid to produce approximately 22,500 EVs in 2024, the company says it only expects to build 9000 Airs this year, an improvement on its 8428 built last year but still well short of expectations.

    Lucid’s lineup is currently limited to the Air sedan, though it’s also planning to launch a new EV in the Gravity SUV later this year.

    A smaller mid-size electric model has been teased for 2026, however given Lucid’s current situation it’s not clear whether this target will be met.

    At present, neither Rivian or Lucid sell vehicles in right-hand drive markets such as Australia.

    Rivian and Lucid are the latest brands to adjust production plans due to slowing EV demand, with Ford and General Motors both announcing increased investments in hybrids.

    Despite this, EV sales reached an all-time high in Australia last year, with 87,430 battery-powered vehicles sold throughout 2023 – an increase of 161 per cent on the year prior.

    While sales only rose by 0.8 per cent in January 2024 compared to the same month a year prior, this was attributed to market leader Tesla – which accounted for more than half of all local EV sales in 2023 – experiencing shipping delays for its incoming vehicles.

    MORE: Everything Rivian
    MORE: Everything Lucid

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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