Rivian makes first public appearance as electric car firm seeks shares

Rivian’s first car, now en route to showrooms

The debutante IPO of the year has another high-profile debutante: Rivian Automotive.

Rivian on Saturday filed to go public, listing itself on the Nasdaq exchange and raising as much as $700 million. The company hasn’t said how many shares it will sell in the offering or at what price.

Rivian is in the business of bringing real-world performance to electric cars. Its first model, the R1T, is a long-range four-seater, with the hood extended into the side for better aerodynamics.

Rivian is entering a huge market as electric cars become more of a standard feature in modern cars. President and Chief Executive Officer Wulf Thiessen claims that Rivian’s vehicles will be significantly cheaper than the Tesla Model 3, with a range of up to 300 miles and a list price that starts at $69,000. Rivian expects the R1T and its successor, the R1S, to have average transaction prices of $60,000 by 2022.

Rivian will use the IPO proceeds to fund manufacturing operations, including a new assembly plant in Henderson, Nevada. Additionally, the company intends to invest in research and development, including more testing of its electric cars.

Other car companies that are looking to cash in on the electric car craze are also planning to go public. Tesla Inc. has delayed its initial public offering, saying it needs more time to find an underwriter. BMW is starting its own sedan-electric project, the iNext, with a price tag of about $60,000.

Rivian plans to raise as much as $650 million in its offering, based on the midpoint of the offer price range, set at $16.50 per share.

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