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Rivian Now World’s No. 3 Carmaker By Value As Post-IPO Stock Surge Rolls On

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Rivian, the best-funded electric vehicle startup in U.S. history, continued to gain stock market momentum days after its Nasdaq debut–so much so that the California company currently ranks as the world’s third most valuable automaker, topped only by Tesla and Toyota. 

Shares of Irvine, California-based Rivian jumped about 15% to close at $149.36 on Monday. That pushed its market capitalization to $146.3 billion, behind Toyota at $255.5 billion and Tesla at $1 trillion, but ahead of global giant Volkswagen at $140 billion. The shares are up 38% since trading began on Nov. 10.

The Amazon-backed startup, which only began building its battery-powered R1T pickup truck last month, won’t deliver many vehicles this year. Yet it appears investors see promise for it to benefit from greater U.S. government support for electric vehicles in the form of new funding for public charging stations in the newly signed infrastructure bill, as well as for hopes of more generous incentives to get consumers to switch to electric cars and trucks.

President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan package today, which includes $7.5 billion of new funds that could get 400,000 additional charging stations up and running, according to IHS Markit.

“The Biden administration’s investment isn’t hyperbole and will have a significant impact on US electric vehicle charging supply,” said Mark Boyadjis, IHS Markit’s global automotive technology lead. “However, even an investment at this scale will come up short against the rapid growth of electric cars hitting the road soon, pointing to a need for additional support from municipal, utility, and private investments to fill the gap.”

The industry researcher estimates that the number of electric vehicles in operation in the U.S. will rise from about 1.5 million at the end of 2020 to 9.3 million by 2026. 

Rivian’s got a big war chest to compete with Tesla and other electric vehicle companies, having raised at least $11 billion from investors before going public and an additional $12 billion in new capital from its IPO. The company has initial orders for at least 50,00 R1Ts and R1S SUVs that will be built in Normal, Illinois, along with 100,000 electric delivery trucks for Amazon. The company is also in talks to build a second U.S. production facility, which could be in Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The spike in Rivian’s value has also enriched founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. Forbes estimates his net worth at $2.6 billion as of Nov. 15. Curiously, Tesla shares have fallen steadily as Rivian’s value has grown. The dip began last week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would be selling 10% of his stake, motivated in part by taxes he has to pay on options. 

Tesla fell 1.9% to $1,013.39 in Nasdaq trading Monday and is down nearly 18% since closing at an all-time high of $1,229.01 on Nov. 4.