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Electric-Vehicle Startups Promise Record-Setting Revenue Growth

Companies with little revenue today project explosive growth in short time; some investors are skeptical

March 15, 2021 5:30 am ET

It took Google eight years to reach $10 billion in sales, the fastest ever for a U.S. startup. In the current SPAC frenzy, a spate of electric-vehicle companies planning listings are vowing to beat its record—in some cases by several years.

Among the most ambitious are luxury-car maker Faraday Future, U.K.-based electric-van and bus maker Arrival Group, and auto maker Fisker Inc. Each has disclosed plans to surpass the $10 billion revenue mark within three years of launching sales and production.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google was followed by Uber Technologies Inc., which hit that mark within nine years of its first revenue, and then by Facebook Inc. and auto maker Tesla Inc., which surpassed $10 billion in revenue within 11 years of first generating sales, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data provided by research firm Morningstar Inc.

Two other companies, Israel-based electric-vehicle component supplier Ree Automotive Ltd. and Archer Aviation Inc., which intends to make an electric helicopter-like vehicle, plan to hit the mark within seven years of launching their products. Those two—like Faraday, Arrival and Fisker—have completed listings or are in the process of going public by merging with special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

The forecasts for record-setting growth illustrate the extent of the fervor for electric-vehicle startups, particularly for those going public by merging with SPACs, which are shell firms that list on a stock exchange with the sole purpose of acquiring a private company to take it public. More than 10 electric-vehicle or battery companies that struck deals with SPACs have been valued in the billions of dollars before producing any revenue, as amateur traders and many traditional investors have flocked to the buzzy sector.

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