Revamping the pickup truck has become a $70 billion business

Formerly known as Ellsworth Industries, Rivian has completed its IPO in a deal valued at nearly $70 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times. Rivian’s business is the hybrid pickup truck called the Model Y. The I.P.O. of the Tuscon, Ariz.-based company also gave it a valedictory grant of $2.5 billion.

Rivian CEO Sam Obst has said in the past that he expects to build 5,000 vehicles per year and launch in 2021.

Rivian uses a rear wheel drive platform, and a hybrid motor (which consists of a battery pack and a gasoline engine) to drive a new type of pickup truck. The aim of the vehicle is to increase the average fuel economy of a pickup truck to 40 miles per gallon.

Like the Tesla Model 3, the Rivian pickup will cost around $40,000. That would make it a new entry-level Tesla competitor. The Rivian vehicle will also have a seven-passenger body, as Tesla’s Model 3 does.

Rivian says it will improve on the Model Y. In a letter to its shareholders, Obst and Rivian Chief Operating Officer Brian Kenney wrote that the Model Y will be its “only hybrid and all-electric vehicle available at launch.” They said the lithium ion battery cells “are more efficient and perform better than larger, older generation lithium ion cells in today’s conventional vehicles. They will offer a significantly lower weight combined with significantly lower levels of waste heat as compared to conventional lithium ion cells.”

Ethicon, another company that uses safer and longer-lasting battery cells in medical devices, is listed as a “wholly owned” subsidiary of Rivian. Ethicon is based in West Covina, Calif.

In June, Rivian received a $5 billion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its own equity infusion. Like Tesla, the Rivian battery will use what are known as energy storage devices that store the electric power generated at photovoltaic solar cells. The battery can produce 300-600 watts of electricity, which can power eight homes.

Rivian generated revenues of $33.7 million for the year ending Sept. 30, 2017. The company finished 2017 with $33.3 million in revenue and a net loss of $49.7 million.

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