The Next Tesla? Investors Bet Big on Electric Truck Maker Rivian


Rivian is completely different from Tesla in a number of respects. Tesla thus far has grown by promoting sporty sedans, a kind of auto that’s falling out of favor with customers. Tesla intends to start making an oddly angular, futuristic pickup, the Cybertruck, later this yr. However it hasn’t but put heavy give attention to the vans and S.U.V.s that make up 75 % of the passenger automobile market in america.

Rivian, alternatively, is targeted on producing “journey” autos that house owners can take off-road, an strategy which means Rivian gained’t typically compete head-to-head with Tesla. “There’s a notion that that is winner take all, and that’s simply fallacious,” he mentioned. “Shoppers must have completely different manufacturers, completely different flavors. Our success is in no way mutually unique to others’ success.”

Rebecca Puck Stair is the type of automotive purchaser Rivian hopes to draw. A film location scout in Albuquerque, N.M., she has been fascinated about shopping for an electrical automobile for a number of years, however wants excessive floor clearance and four-wheel drive functionality for assignments that take her into the desert. “That didn’t exist available in the market,” she mentioned. “A Tesla doesn’t match my wants.”

A few yr in the past, she heard about Rivian for the primary time and put a deposit down on an S.U.V. the following day — like Tesla, the corporate doesn’t plan to promote via sellers. Ms. Stair has seen the Cybertruck, however the design is just not for her. “It simply screams ‘obnoxious man truck,’” she mentioned laughing.

Rivian’s truck and S.U.V., which begin at $67,500, look extra typical, as if they may have been designed by Land Rover.

Not like Tesla, which is attempting to develop rapidly, Rivian is taking measured steps. Final yr, earlier than the pandemic struck, it mentioned it deliberate to make round 20,000 pickup vans and S.U.V.s in 2021 and a few 40,000 in 2022. It has not but supplied an up to date outlook. It’s aiming to have manufacturing capability in Regular of 250,000 autos a yr by the center of the last decade. The corporate has not disclosed what number of orders it has taken, however a spokeswoman mentioned it has prospects lined up for all of the autos it expects to make this yr.

And at the same time as different auto start-ups go public by merging with shell companies which have bundles of money and inventory market listings, Rivian is just not keen to take action. “We need to launch, reveal {our capability} and let our efficiency converse for itself earlier than we will look into being public,” Mr. Scaringe, 38, mentioned.



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