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“Arriving in 2021, the Lucid Air, an elegant battery-powered sedan from Newark, California-based Lucid Motors, promises to be the first true competitor to Elon Musk’s electric vehicle empire. Developed by Peter Rawlinson, the ex-Tesla chief engineer who was instrumental in creating the company’s breakthrough Model S, Lucid’s $77,000 luxury car may outperform Tesla’s best in range, power and amenities,” Forbes wrote.
It was not just the Lucid Air that caught a win in Forbes’ 2020 Transportation Awards. William Li, the 46-year-old founder and CEO of NIO and a man dubbed as the “Elon Musk of China,” was deemed by the publication as the “Most Intriguing Newcomer” of the year. Forbes cited Li’s thriving electric car business in China as a driver for his award. NIO stock, similar to Tesla shares last year, also saw a massive surge during the year, rising 1,000% since the start of 2020.
“Chinese entrepreneur William Li made a fortune with an online car-selling website. Now, NIO, his Shanghai-based electric vehicle startup, is making steady sales gains in China for its battery-powered crossovers and cars. NIO’s continued success in that market could undermine Tesla’s Middle Kingdom aspirations and elevate the Musk-admiring Li into a major rival. NIO’s shares, which are traded in the U.S., are up 1,000% since the start of 2020,” the publication noted.
A discussion about the transportation sector in 2020 would not be complete without mentioning Tesla, the world’s largest automaker by market cap, as well as Elon Musk, the man that led the company to where it is today. It was then unsurprising to see the publication giving Tesla CEO Elon Musk its “Forbes Person of the Year in Transportation” award for 2020. Such an award seems warranted considering Tesla’s dominance and sustained growth at a time when the automotive market was practically brought to its knees by the pandemic.
Amidst this growth, Elon Musk’s net worth also skyrocketed, allowing him to take his place just under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the second-richest person in the world.
“Love him or hate him, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk dominated transportation in 2020 in much the same way Donald Trump loomed over U.S. politics. Neither can stay out of the news cycle (or off social media) for long. But while Trump’s wealth slipped during the year, Musk’s skyrocketed to $143 billion, up 440% over just 12 months, as gains in Tesla’s surging share price and profitability unlocked a string of massive stock awards,” Forbes noted.
The full list of winners in Forbes’ 2020 Transportation Awards could be viewed here.