The first car I ever owned was my dad’s old Volvo sedan. He gave it to me when I got my driver’s license.
The box-shaped Volvo wasn’t the most exciting car for me to drive as a teenager. But as someone who was making minimum wage working part time at a pharmacy, I couldn’t complain.
Plus, I knew the Swedish automaker had a solid reputation (it’s been making cars since 1927), and it was considered one of the safest and most reliable brands.
Today, Volvo is positioning itself for the future. It announced in March that it’s committing to only making electric vehicles (EVs) from 2030 onward.
Thanks in part to the hype around EVs, Volvo is now worth $46 billion.
But Wall Street is valuing one EV startup higher than Volvo, General Motors, Ford and many other big-name automakers.
And it hasn’t delivered a single vehicle yet.
The No. 2 Automaker in America?
If you’re considering buying an EV, Rivian’s line of electric trucks and SUVs has a lot to offer.
According to Rivian, its R1T all-electric pickup truck has 300 miles of range and all-wheel drive. It also goes from zero to 60 in three seconds and can tow over 11,000 pounds.
Like the R1T, the R1S all-electric SUV also has 300 miles of range, all-wheel drive and a zero-to-60 time of three seconds.
In addition, Amazon signed a contract with Rivian to buy 100,000 electric vans as part of its push for environmentally friendly transportation.
These developments led Wall Street to value Rivian as high as $80 billion ahead of its initial public offering in November.
That would make it the second-most-valuable automaker in the U.S. behind Tesla ($729 billion) even though it hasn’t delivered any vehicles yet.
In comparison, General Motors, which sold nearly 7 million vehicles last year, is worth $71 billion. And Ford is only worth $52 billion even though it sold over 4 million vehicles in 2020.
Causes for Concern
There are some good reasons to be skeptical of Rivian’s $80 billion valuation.
For one, it has several setbacks for the launch of its R1T truck.
Deliveries were supposed to start in June, but they were delayed until July, and then delayed again until September.
Customers who didn’t preorder an R1T will have to wait until 2022 at the earliest to get one.
Meanwhile, the R1S SUV was supposed to launch in August, but deliveries are now expected to begin sometime in the fall.
In a letter to customers, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe blamed the delays on the semiconductor shortage and on production problems related to the global pandemic.
The high cost of Rivian’s EVs is another cause for concern.
The R1T starts at $67,500, while the R1S base model is $70,000. But there are cheaper alternatives.
Volkswagen’s popular ID.4 SUV only costs $40,000. Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Tesla’s Cybertruck will also cost $40,000 when they launch.
In addition, Japanese automaker Subaru just revealed an electric SUV, which will provide additional competition for Rivian’s R1S.
The EV Revolution Has Arrived
It’s difficult to tell right now how investors will react to Rivian’s initial public offering in November.
Notable EV companies such as Lordstown Motors, Nikola and Canoo have been harmed by production issues and accusations of shady business practices.
So, investors may be wary of Rivian following the struggles of other automakers.
Plus, Rivian’s customers are already losing patience with the delays on their preorders.
Any further production problems will aggravate customers and discourage investors.
But no matter which EV companies dominate the U.S. market going forward, one thing’s crystal clear: Gas-powered cars are on the way out.
And in a brand-new presentation, Ian King highlights the one company that holds the key to the entire EV revolution.
That’s because it’s the only company in the Western Hemisphere that supplies one critical material the EV industry depends on.
Ian’s presentation is completely free to watch, so you have nothing to lose.
You can check it right now by clicking here.
Assistant Managing Editor, Banyan Hill Publishing