Late last weekend, Rivian applied for an initial public offer. The 12-year-old electric vehicle maker, backed by Amazon and considered the biggest threat to Tesla, is looking to set a price target of up to 80 80 billion. That would make Rivian one of the most valuable car makers in the world, billions upon billions more than Ford or GM – and its trucks are still not on the road. The Revian’s first car, a আ 73,000 pickup, is expected to begin shipping in September, and the second model, a সি 75,500 seven-seater SUV, is set to be released next year.
In some ways, the time of revision is good. President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order calling for electric vehicles to halve all new auto sales in the U.S. by 2030, and a growing number of successive carmakers have pledged to shift their production to electric vehicles over the next two decades.
But as the world continues to fight the epidemic, Rivian faces some serious challenges. Delays and shutdowns in the motor industry due to lack of semiconductors. There aren’t many charging stations available in the United States, which makes some potential EV buyers worried about not running out of juice.
“It’s a big issue that more public infrastructure is available,” Jeremy Michalek, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon, told Rekod. “Probably the first priority is to make sure that the highway rest stop has a fast enough charger to take you wherever you want to go.”
Like Tesla, Rivian is selling home chargers and building a nationwide charging network. The company plans to have 10,000 stations by 2023, many of them in remote areas. Also as Tesla has done, Rivian is adopting an AI-centric approach to its cars. Rivian has invested heavily in its hands-free, semi-autonomous driving technology with a feature called Driver +, which sounds a lot like a Tesla autopilot. In one case, Tesla even accused Rivian of stealing his trade secrets after hiring his former employees.
But a big difference between Rivian and Tesla is the two companies that are selling that type of electric vehicle. Founded in 2009 and after years of secrecy, Rivian2018 announced in 2018 that its first models would be a pickup truck and an SUV for off-road driving. This is a significant difference from Tesla, which is mainly focused on car and crossover sales. (Tesla announced its first pickup truck, the CyberTrack, in 2019, but delivery has been delayed until 2022.)
Rivian is also appealing to commercial clients, including his own influential supporters. After participating in two funding rounds for startups, Amazon pledged to buy 100,000 electric delivery cars from Rivian by 2030 last year. Jeff Bezos, the former chief executive of Amazon, and three other passengers on the first flight of Blue Origin even rode in a Rivian SUV with people to the launch site.
Ford, which has its own plans to release an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck next year, has invested more than half a billion dollars in electric car startups.
The complicated time of Rivian’s IPO
There is no doubt that President Biden is passionate about electric vehicles. The Biden administration has already begun electrifying the entire federal car, SUV and truck, more than 600,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, the White House and congressional Democrats are pressuring the Postal Service to buy 165,000 electric delivery trucks. Biden wants to allocate 17 174 billion to build 500,000 electric car chargers across the country. (Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised to open Tesla superchargers for electric vehicles from other manufacturers.)
But while EVs are becoming more popular worldwide, the United States is experiencing slower growth than China or Europe. Last year, global electric vehicle sales grew 41 percent, according to the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental energy policy consulting firm. While sales of electric vehicles in the U.S. are higher than in China and Europe, sales of hybrid cars are on the rise, a sign that more consumers may be heating up electric vehicles.
In a recent Pew survey, 7 percent of Americans said they owned an electric or hybrid car and percent said they would consider buying one. The high price of EVs is certainly a contributing factor to the slow adoption rate in the United States. But the most expensive part of electric vehicles, batteries, are falling in price, so Americans will see cheaper EVs in the future.
Epidemic-era barriers have plagued the auto industry as well. Rivian, which was originally scheduled to abandon its pickup truck in July, twice suspended delivery of the vehicle. Late last month, RV Scarring, founder and CEO of Rivian, told customers who had pre-ordered that the Covid-1 had “interfered with everything from building facilities, installing machinery, to supplying vehicle components (especially semiconductors).” The lack of the same chip has forced Tesla to rewrite the code for its vehicles, and experts worry that the lack of a semiconductor could delay production of the new electric Ford F-150.
Still, if Tesla’s escape success gives any indication, Rivian stands to find interested, external customers who want an EV that closes a road. Considering the current challenges, the company is taking a hard line to stay away from the growing number of legacy automakers that want a slice of the Tesla and EV market. The Jeep 202 is expected to release an electric version of its Wrangler by the year. President Biden has already given a test drive.