Back in December 2022, InvestorPlace‘s Luke Lango described electric vehicle (EV) producer Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) as a “Tesla-killer” that would be ready to soar in 2023. In his view, Rivian has the unique ability to dethrone Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as leader of the EV race.
As it turns out, though, Lango isn’t the only one who believes Rivian may overtake Tesla. One analyst from Barclays also just highlighted the EV startup’s progress and strengths.
Does this mean that Tesla will lose its crown within the EV sector in 2023? Let’s take a look at these expert takes and what investors can expect from RIVN stock.
Rivian in a Tesla-Driven World
This week’s biggest Tesla news story has been the company announcing plans to open its Supercharger network to other electric vehicles. The development probably won’t have a significant impact on TSLA stock. But it did recently prompt Barclays analyst Daniel Levy to lay out a bullish case for Tesla.
Levy still sees Tesla as the leader of the pack among EV producers, due to its strong financials and software progress. However, the analyst also says Rivian has significant potential in the EV race:
“We are hard-pressed to see any company in the auto landscape as the ‘next Tesla,’ as Tesla has been quite unique in its accomplishments. That said, if we were to identify any of the start-up EV automakers as the closest to Tesla, we believe it would be RIVN.”
In particular, Levy thinks its important that Rivian operates in the lucrative electric truck and adventure vehicle niche. Of course, he believes the company will have to expand beyond this portion of the market, too. But Levy notes that Rivian’s “early feedback on product has been rather encouraging.”
With this in mind, the analyst set a bullish price target of $28 per share on RIVN stock. Levy is less bullish on automakers Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM), however, noting that they do not yet satisfy the same criteria as Tesla.
More recently, Lango issued another take on RIVN as well, calling it one of the best EV stocks to buy to dethrone Tesla this year. He points to Rivian’s brand equity and high levels of support and partnerships. Like Levy, Lango also sees the company’s status in its EV market niche as a reason to bet on shares:
“Presently, there is no clear leader in that market. But Rivian has a promising early start with a fantastic first-to-market truck that has among the best specs in the industry. This electric trucking market will support multiple winners, and we’re confident Rivian will be one of them.”
The Road Ahead
Investors should be listening closely as multiple experts flag Rivian as the next Tesla. RIVN stock has been gradually rising so far in 2023 — up about 15% year-to-date (YTD) — but it has also fallen considerably over the past six months. That makes now a prime opportunity to buy shares on the dip before a possible market turnaround takes effect.
As both Lango and Levy have highlighted, Rivian may be the best candidate to potentially overtake Tesla in 2023. Recent declines shouldn’t distract investors from the significant potential here.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.