Elon Musk’s nightmare – a company with 156 cars sold, but worth 120 billion dollars

A company with only 156 electric cars sold, but already worth at least $ 120 billion (87 billion euros), raised on the stock market in a few days. Meet the American electric car brand Rivian, Tesla’s new rival. Although the founder, Robert Joseph (RJ) Scaring, is the exact opposite of Elon Musk. The 38-year-old avid vegan is a happily married father of three, but is also already one of the richest people on the planet.

In recent days, Rivian has fulfilled only a few more orders for its new electric pickup, but the company reported a 22% jump in its shares on its second day after going public. This made the small startup, the second most expensive carmaker in the United States after Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Shares of the Irvine, California-based company rose $ 22.26 to $ 122.99. This raised its market capitalization to $ 120.5 billion, allowing it to overtake companies such as General Motors with a market capitalization of $ 89.8 billion and its investor Ford, valued at $ 78.1 billion.

This is despite the fact that these car giants sell millions of cars around the world, have tens of factories and hundreds of thousands of employees. Tesla alone, which also sells a very small portion of the cars GM and Ford manage to produce, has a higher market value of $ 1.07 trillion.

Rivian’s initial public offering (IPO) was the largest in the United States since Facebook’s listing in 2012, when it raised about $ 12 billion in additional capital.

Interestingly, the rise in shares of Rivian coincided with the decline in shares of Tesla this week, which began after Musk said he would sell 10% of his stake in Tesla. This decision of the eccentric billionaire was partly influenced by the need to pay a tax on securities.

The company plans to use the money to expand its production capacity and be able to assemble 1 million vehicles a year by the end of this decade.

The carmaker’s products currently include the R1T electric pickup and an R1S electric SUV, which can also be transformed as a courier machine for Amazon and other commercial customers. So far, only pickups have left the factory ready, and the electric crossover is expected to debut on the market early next year.

Mercedes, Porsche, BMW or other luxury cars were not so much discussed at the exhibition in Los Angeles in November 2018. Everyone was talking about the little-known electric car maker Rivian Automotive, based in Plymouth, Michigan. After spending nearly a decade developing technology for electric cars, the company introduced its first two battery-powered vehicles: the seven-seater R1S crossover and the R1T pickup.

Designed for active people, Rivian’s adventure cars are stylistically reminiscent of the Range Rover – strong, powerful and comfortable. They are literally packed with technological innovations such as internet connectivity and a variety of standalone devices designed for safe driving.

The first buyers received the version of the pickup Launch Edition, which has the highest level of equipment. The eco-bike has 4 electric motors with a power of 765 hp. and 1120 Nm of torque, being able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in just 3 seconds. This is 0.1 seconds faster than the Tesla Cybertruck, which has 3 electric motors and has not yet debuted on the market.

However, Launch Edition is not the version with the highest mileage. It is equipped with a battery with a capacity of 135 kW / h, which provide 480 km. The maximum range of 645 km is for the modification with a 180 kWh battery, which will appear on the market next year along with the base R1T. The same features apply to the company’s second model – the all-terrain crossover.

From a technical point of view, R1T and R1S are very similar. They have the same chassis, similar to a skateboard (that is, all mechanical components – battery, transmission, suspension – are housed in it). The company claims that the models work perfectly, have about 650 km mileage or almost 120 km more than any other electric vehicle on the road. Rivian promises cars to have the capabilities of real off-roaders, something Tesla can’t offer. The base price of the pickup is about 68,000 dollars, and the crossover will cost about 72,500.

Scaring’s romance with cars began as a child when he helped a neighbor repair a Porsche 356 in his garage in Melbourne, Florida. In high school, he is already obsessed with the idea of ​​creating his own car brand. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Launched in 2009, the then-small startup Rivian began developing an electric sports coupe that closely resembles Tesla’s Roadster, Scaringe admits. “We realized that we were not creating something that the world really needed and something that was different from other products on the market,” explains the 38-year-old American. The young entrepreneur does not give up after the first failure and focuses on luxury vehicles, which are suitable for both the city and high-quality off-road.

To secure his electric dreams, Scaring has raised $ 450 million from three major investors: the Saudi-based investment group Abdul Latif Jameel, which has strong ties to the University of Michigan, Japan’s Sumitomo (also owner of Bulgaria’s Moto-Pfohe), and bank from London.

Rivian employs approximately 700 people. The workforce will increase over the next two years as the company begins to increase production at the Illinois plant, which Rivian acquired from Mitsubishi in 2017 for $ 16 million.

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