Move over, Tesla. There’s a new electric vehicle darling on the public market.
Rivian, the Irvine, California-based electric truck maker, went public Wednesday morning in an IPO that raised $11.9 billion and that values the company at $77 billion. It was the largest IPO since e-commerce company Alibaba’s in 2014.
The company, which has funding from Ford and Amazon, launched a fully electric pickup truck in September. Rivian plans to launch an SUV by the end of the year, as well as a delivery truck in conjunction with Amazon, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Like Tesla a few years ago, though, Rivian’s valuation doesn’t represent its actual output. The company lost $2 billion between January 1, 2020 and June 2021, according to the Journal. Rivian expects to deliver about 1,000 vehicles this year–compared to 4.2 billion for Ford, which is valued at about $80 billion.
R.J. Scaringe, a mechanical engineer who earned his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded Rivian in 2009. The startup spent nine years in stealth mode, during which it didn’t have signage on its various facilities.
“We decided, given all the twists and challenges, to be very quiet in those early years,” Scaringe told Inc. at the time of its 2018 launch. “We said, ‘Let’s wait until we’re ready to show the world that we’ve actually arranged all these pieces.’ And all those pieces are now in place.”
Rivian occupies a rapidly growing space. Last month, Ford announced an electric F-150 pickup truck that will launch in 2022. GM earlier this year announced that it was developing a line of electric delivery trucks. Still, the Journal reports that electric vehicles accounted for only 3.6 percent of auto sales in October, so the opportunities are vast.
And the industry could soon get an additional jolt. The Build Back Better plan currently being debated by Congress includes a $12,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles.
Rivian has 8,000 employees around the world, including about 3,000 at its sole manufacturing plant, a converted Mitsubishi factory in rural Illinois.