Rivian, an Electric Truck Maker, Files for an I.P.O.

Auto analysts consider the company to be one of the few electric vehicle start-ups that are likely to succeed in what is expected to be a competitive market.


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Rivian, an electric truck maker backed by Amazon and Ford, files for an I.P.O.

Rivian’s production facility in Normal, Ill.Credit…Lyndon French for The New York Times

Aug. 27, 2021Updated 11:39 a.m. ET

Rivian, a promising and well-funded electric truck maker, said on Friday that it was planning to sell shares through an initial public offering. The company, which has raised more than $10 billion from investors that include Amazon and Ford Motor, provided few details about its confidential filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, founded in 2009, is building an electric pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle at a former Mitsubishi plant in Illinois. Its founder, R.J. Scaringe, told customers last month that the company expected to ship the truck in September and the S.U.V. soon after. Rivian is also developing delivery vans for Amazon.

Auto analysts consider the company to be one of the few electric vehicle start-ups that are most likely to succeed in what is expected to be a very competitive market. In addition to Tesla, the dominant maker of electric cars, large automakers like General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford plan to introduce dozens of new electric cars and trucks in the coming years.

If Rivian’s electric pickup truck do roll out this September, it would beat the electric GMC Hummer pickup truck from G.M. expected by the end of the year and Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning. The gas-powered F-150 has long been America’s best-selling vehicle and the electric version is due out in spring 2022, according to the automaker.

“You’ll start to see Rivian charging sites and service centers being built in your local communities; and as we head into the end of the year, you’ll also start to see events, programs and spaces where we’ll be able to bring our Rivian community together,” Mr. Scaringe, an engineer who has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in the July email to customers.

Rivian’s decision to pursue an I.P.O. is notable. More than two dozen companies producing electric vehicles, batteries and chargers have gone public or intend to by merging with special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, according to Dealogic, a research firm.

Deals with SPACs are considered a fast-track to public markets, while an I.P.O. is a more rigorous process that tends to take more time and comes with greater scrutiny. In a public offering, existing investors of a company tend to retain more control and ownership of their business than in a deal with SPACs, the sponsors of which generally take a large chunk of the stock as their compensation.

“We want to launch, demonstrate our capability and let our performance speak for itself before we can look into being public,” Mr. Scaringe told The New York Times earlier this year.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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