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Rivian, the Amazon-backed electric vehicle (EV) automaker, has been getting a lot of press recently, especially since the automaker’s first project, the RT1 electric pickup truck received certification from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Now that the pickup truck is heading to consumers who ordered the Launch Edition, Rivian is in talks of going public and making investors holding stock millionaires. With the automaker having filed for a confidential initial public offering (IPO) in August and publicly submitting paperwork in September, here are a few things to know about the automaker.
Competing with Tesla
Any automaker that becomes the next “all-electric” automaker will have Tesla in its sights, especially a startup like Rivian. Founder and Chief Executive Robert “RJ” talked about how he started from scratch with no money or team, no technology or suppliers, no brand or production infrastructure – not a single thing. Now, investors have helped to raise $10.5 billion in funding, allowing Rivian to make exclusive and expensive models. Initially, Scaringe was going to go the sports car route of Tesla, but decided to switch over to electric SUVs and pickup trucks to fit multiple lifestyles.
However, like Tesla, these EVs start at a pretty high price, with the pickup truck starting at $67,500. Consumers may sneer at this, but Rivian plans to sell the vehicle straight from the factory and into the hands of its consumers. By skipping the dealership, Rivian also skips some fees that the consumer usually needs to pay when purchasing a new vehicle. With the R1T, a two-row, five-seat pickup truck already launched, the lineup will soon expand, with an SUV already in the works, so if a truck isn’t your style, just be a little patient.
Along with skipping the dealership, Rivian will be hosting “experience spaces” for prospective consumers. These spaces are used to bring potential and current customers together to socialize, work, and experience current models or view upcoming concepts. Built into three phases – (1) Hubs at permanent and temporary locations that act as stores, (2) Outposts to offer gear and vehicle rentals, and (3) Preserves where the company plans “to conserve and save” areas while also using them as areas consumers can drive their Rivian for specialized experiences like rock-crawling and other off-road mobility.
Highs and Lows
Speaking of production, Rivian makes its vehicles at a factory in Normal, Illinois. The plant was purchased back in 2017 and can currently handle the production of 150,000 vehicles per year. By 2023, the automaker wants to double that number to expand across domestic and international regions. With more than 300 suppliers and able to cut down costs, Rivian has gone from nothing to something in just a few years. Even with the semiconductor chip shortage, and facing the same problems as other automakers, Rivian is still able to meet its goal.
There have been some losses, though. The automaker lost almost half a million in 2019, and $1 billion in losses in 2020. In fact, Rivian has seen nothing but expenses and doesn’t intent to turn a profit anytime soon. Funding from investors and that application to go public and convert some debt into stock could be what the automaker needs to keep it afloat. Until we see the success of Rivian and the RT1, there is no telling what the future for the automaker will be.
Interested in more Rivian? You can keep up with all the latest updates from this EV automaker when you follow NowCar social media.