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Tesla’s biggest competitor just made a major production move. Rivian was founded in 2009, six years after Tesla began working on electric vehicles and clean energy. In the last decade, Rivian has generated an enormous amount of attention, it even got onto Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ radar. Now, Rivian is building a $5 billion plant to get more of its electric vehicles on the road.

Rivian’s $5 billion plant

The Rivian R1T.
The Rivian R1T | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The electric vehicle industry is uncharted territory in many ways. Despite Tesla’s many models and historic moments, it is still in its infancy as an automaker. This makes Rivian an even younger automaker in comparison, and both companies have a lot to prove.

As more automakers begin to electrify lineups, Rivian and Tesla are bound to lose out on a percentage of the EV market share. Tesla is currently competing with automakers like Ford and GMC but Rivian could prove to be its fiercest opponent.

According to Reuters, the automaker plans to begin construction on a $5 billion plant this year. The company expects to begin producing vehicles at the plant as soon as 2023. This will be Rivian’s second U.S. assembly plant.

Is Rivian Tesla’s biggest competition?

The Rivian R1T.
The Rivian R1T | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla is one of the few automakers on the market that only makes EVs. Rivian is a direct competitor to Tesla despite its current lack of impact on the market. The company may not be Tesla’s biggest worry yet but it has big plans.

Rivian received $700 million to produce a fleet of electric vehicles for Amazon. Ford has also announced a future partnership with Rivian. It’s clear that the brand possesses technology advanced enough to put some of America’s biggest companies on alert.

Rivian’s most affordable R1T electric truck starts at $67,500. Its $73,000 Launch Edition can no longer be reserved because of demand. Deliveries begin in January 2022.

The Rivian R1S SUV starts at $70,000. Its $75,000 Launch Edition is no longer taking reservations either. The company is selling out of models six months ahead of delivery time despite its high prices.

Has Rivian already won the battle against Tesla?

The Rivian R1T.
The Rivian R1T | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla may have started its journey producing high-end luxury performance models but it is clearly transitioning toward making more affordable EVs. Its two best-selling models are the affordable Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles. It also is developing a hatchback with a starting price of $25,000.

After EV tax credits the Tesla hatchback could be well under $20k, making it the most affordable Tesla in history and one of the most affordable EVs. It seems Rivian has a different target audience in mind as it rolls out its first vehicles. Tesla has done a great job catering to the masses when it comes to producing more affordable models and including features that customers suggest.

Tesla started as a luxury performance automaker, but in its attempt to be ubiquitous does it risk being outclassed by automakers like Rivian? Furthermore, Rivian’s deal with Amazon shows it is capable of producing fleets of EVs for huge companies. Tesla may have a huge headstart and a bigger fan base but Rivian could prove to be its biggest competition in the years to come.


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