Rivian Automotive closed Friday night with a one-day gain of over $100 million in what will undoubtedly become another positive outcome for the 6-year-old company whose I.P.O. caught the attention of auto investors in September.
The move came just before it announced the details of the formal merger between its independent engine plant in Barriere, Alberta, and the parent company to consolidate its efforts in a joint powertrain plant near Kansas City, Missouri. The plant closure is effective March 30.
An I.P.O. last year has generated a lot of interest in the electric car startup in its first three years and has been its most intensive public challenge to date. The company and its team are charged with manufacturing electric pickup trucks, which go from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds and turn zero to 60 in 12 seconds with an electric motor as large as a trailer hitch in size.
The Rivian C-Bed Pickup Sets Speed Record, Arguably
Last week, Rivian posted a video of a record-setting run of the C-Bed pickup truck accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in around 9 seconds. The acceleration is led by an electric motor with a capacity as large as a trailer hitch, a 20.5kW maximum.
Company co-founder Jason Rivian has always said the C-Bed would have four-wheel drive, but without the wheels going all the way up to the cabin. The drivetrain conversion (less weight, and bigger battery capacity) also must be complete by March 31. The transformation could put a little pressure on the factory, where a team has developed parts that will allow to the drivetrain system and the body. The Rivian is much more complex in its design and construction than earlier electric trucks from larger manufacturers such as Tesla.
With the Barriere plant closed, The C-Bed installation will be isolated, unlike previous efforts at consumer trucks where the powertrain shifted into production mode in the factory.
The development and building of the powertrain technology is still in progress, and if results match the video, Rivian will have its answer to the new Ford Raptor Raptor Pickup truck when it releases the full specs this summer. But those specs will eventually show off the confidence among industry analysts in Rivian’s ability to not only engineer powerful and powerful (small, long-reach) diesel powertrains, but do so on a modern basis.
It’s another great day for Rivian, and one that certainly calls up memories of Tesla’s I.P.O. when it scored its first $40 million offering (which was followed by another $60 million the following month). At least one Tesla investor noted the events, and noted the similarity between Tesla’s share price rise and Rivian’s. “The contrast with the miserable performance of Tesla can not be overstated,” one investor noted on Rivian’s website.
The electric cars that initially have some promise don’t always live up to expectations. Others have major issues with the warranties and so far haven’t found any near-term market for their cars. One major company pioneered electric cars and has since fallen into mediocrity. But Rivian has hired the right people and shown more ambition than others in the space.
Electric vehicles and the technology that powers them still have plenty of development ahead of them. But things are looking increasingly positive for Rivian, and electric vehicles are the long-term solution for how we have been driving for the last century or more, not to mention the times we have already lived. And that could be good for the world–and also for Rivian investors.
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