Rivian's Success Is a Tribute to Tesla
Bloomberg Businessweek|November 22 - 29, 2021
Why is a company with no sales worth $130 billion? Belief in EVs
Matthew A. Winkler, with Shin Pei and Jennifer Liu

Rivian Automotive Inc.’s blockbuster initial public offering on Nov. 9—the biggest since Facebook’s in 2012—was a sign of how far the electric vehicle industry has come. It also represented the ultimate confirmation of Tesla Inc.’s success.

Tesla, the sole trillion-dollar automaker, has had sales growth of 270 times since its 2010 IPO. Now another startup from California, where climate change is a constant calamity, is already worth $130 billion—more than Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co.—even though it’s delivered fewer than 50 zero-emission, battery-powered pickup trucks during its 11-year life. Irvine-based Rivian says the market for electric vehicles will be at least $1 trillion by 2025 and exponentially larger within a decade.

Amazon.com Inc., which in 2019 took a 20% stake in the company, became the biggest booster when founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said he ordered 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans for its logistics business. “We built a platform that is incredibly scalable,” Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said this month in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The “platform has allowed us to go really fast in building out the commercial side of our business, with our first customer really being a flagship with Amazon and their initial order” of vans.

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