EV maker Rivian valued at more than Ford despite only having made 150 cars

Amazon-backed electric vehicle start-up Rivian is now worth more than Ford, after listing on the US stock market in the biggest initial public offering of the year so far.

Key points:Investors are betting Rivian will be the next big thing in the EV marketAmazon and Ford both own big stakes in the companySo far there are fewer than 200 Rivian vehicles on the road

Shares of Rivian surged as much as 53 per cent on its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday, giving the EV maker a market valuation of more than $US100 billion. 

It was the world's biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year and made Rivian the second most valuable car manufacturer behind Tesla ($US1 trillion), and ahead of General Motors ($US86 billion) and Ford ($US65.96 billion).   

Ford is also an investor in Rivian and owns about a 13 per cent stake in the company. 

Amazon is the biggest shareholder, with a 20 per cent stake.

Rivian is based in California and is building an electric SUV and ute fitted out with high-tech gadgets and "vegan leather."

Other big Wall Street investors like BlackRock and T Rowe Price are also betting Rivian will be the next big player in the EV market, currently dominated by Tesla. 

Rivian's share price opened at $US106.75, soaring ahead of the offer price of $US78, and rose as high as $US119.46. The success of the IPO means Rivian has raised about $US12 billion to fund the company.  

So far the start-up has only delivered about 150 vehicles to customers. It also lost about $US1 billion this year.

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But with nations like the UK pledging to ban petrol cars, the fast-growing EV market has attracted interest from big-name investors. 

Ezra Beeman, managing director of Energeia, a consulting firm that has modelled Australia's electric vehicle market for government agencies, said light trucks and utes had been the missing link in the EV market. 

Mr Beeman said Rivian was a viable threat to Elon Musk's Tesla.

"I think it has got the lead. Tesla seems to have cracked the passenger car, but to date nobody has had a pick-up truck," he said. 

"It's [Rivian] backed by one of the biggest manufacturers in the world [Ford], and it's got deeper pockets."

Gail Broadbent, a post-graduate researcher at the  University of New South Wales, said Rivian's debut was another sign the world was moving away from internal combustion engine cars. 

"What it's saying is that we are moving forward and this is the future and we are leaving fossil fuels behind," she said. 

This week the federal government unveiled its electric vehicles policy, pledging to partner with the private sector to build 50,000 charging stations in Australian homes. 

But the long-awaited Future Fuels strategy does not include subsidies, tax incentives, sales targets or minimum fuel emission standards that would make electric vehicles more affordable, according to industry groups.

Ms Broadbent said Australia's lack of policies to incentivise people to buy electric vehicles meant it would be last on the list for overseas car makers. 

"Why would they still come here? We don't have the rules around emissions standards, they will supply other markets first," she said.

"We just have to move Australia forward. None of this looking backwards. And we just have to get on board and go along for the ride."


Posted 11 Nov 202111 Nov 2021Thu 11 Nov 2021 at 2:13am, updated 11 Nov 202111 Nov 2021Thu 11 Nov 2021 at 2:41amShareCopy linkFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsApp


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