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Young upstart Rivian is still in its infancy, but it’s making waves in the electric scene.
Unlike most other well-known electric vehicle (EV) makers that focus on making cars for commuting and more traditional traveling, Rivian’s offerings are intended for getting out in nature. They build reimagined trucks, SUVs, and vans for people who want to take on the great outdoors without the carbon footprint of a standard pickup.
Rivian also has some valuable partnerships outside the nature scene. Amazon, in the next ten years, will be purchasing 100,000 electric vans for its delivery fleet. The company is also backed by Ford, and with impressive funding under its belt, is poised to be the next big thing in the auto industry.
Is Rivian making moves outside the U.S.?
At the moment, Rivian is still operating only in the U.S., but Motor Trend reported that CEO RJ Scaringe has no intention of keeping the business exclusively local. Currently, the company only operates out of one plant, located in Normal, Illinois, which it will soon outgrow. The waiting list for Rivian vehicles is long, and Scaringe is on the hunt for a second U.S. location to keep up.
But he’s also thinking beyond the Midwest, and considering global moves. Though there’s no current timeline, Rivian will at some point offer right-hand-drive vehicles, which will open up markets in Europe, Africa, Australia, and some parts of Asia and South America. This could make a huge impact on the EV scene worldwide, as the highest share of electric vehicle ownership is mostly concentrated in Northern Europe.
What are the challenges of expanding globally?
There are always challenges with expanding into a global market, but Rivian will face some interesting obstacles as it works out this new process. They offer potential customers a remote testing and purchasing experience, where Rivian vehicles can be tailored online and then shipped for testing. Upholding this process will require a robust supply chain configuration, scaled to suit an enormous, diverse, and far-flung market.
Additionally, thinking globally when your business is EVs means having charging stations available at reasonable intervals for drivers in hundreds of countries. Though its R1T pickup has an estimated range of 314 miles, this won’t get you all the way from Paris to Milan. This will mean building partnerships worldwide or heavily expanding their own network.
It’s an exciting time for Rivian, which has raised a staggering $10.5 billion and is expected to go public in late 2021 or early 2022. Though it’s not quite ready to move out of Normal, Illinois, it will be a company to watch.
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