Can Rivian beat Tesla?

Rivian, Rivian, Rivian. Everyone’s talking about Rivian. And I can see why. I was at the LA Auto Show when Rivian launched their new R1T and S1T back in 2018, and obviously I wish I’d paid more attention, because back then I remember thinking, “cool! Anyway.”

Fast-forward to 2021 and Rivian transformed itself from a small start-up to a publicly traded company, valued at $100bln and counting, because the stock has been going up since the IPO a couple of weeks ago. I thought it’d be interesting to try and answer the question some of us have been asking: can Rivian actually beat Tesla? 2 reasons why it might, and 2 reasons why it might not.


First and foremost, the Amazon deal is a big deal, pardon the pun, Rivian is going to have to keep its end of the bargain – 10,000 delivery vans by the end of the year and 100,000 by 2030 – and Amazon is also looking at other companies for its trucks and its vans, BUT, the -ecommerce/internet giant was the first major S&P500 company to fund Rivian and place an order and that certainly gives it the advantage, but it is going to be enough?

The second reason why it can is that unlike Tesla, Rivian has already delivered its first trucks. The Cybertruck is becoming a bit of an eye-rolling moment for Tesla because it can’t deliver, both figuratively and literally, as the Cybertruck is still not here.

The third reason why it can also coincides with the first reason why it… can’t. And that’s Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla is a double-edged sword with its bombastic tweets and his unique leadership style, a lot of people worship him and many others hate him, and the fact that he’s at the helm are probably both a liability and an asset for Tesla, even though so far, considering the number of deliveries and Tesla’s market cap, it has proven to be an asset. But you never know.


Two major reasons. One, Tesla has been around for longer, it has built its own network infrastructure, which is still a major advantage depending on where you live. It has tried to develop everything in-house, including the software that powers the chips that everyone can’t else find. That’s what kept them going despite the chip shortage, by the way, they rewrote the software of old chips.

The second reason why it can’t is Tesla’s brand is strong. It is instantly recognisable and, more to the point, instantly associated with electric mobility. Anybody who thinks “EVs”, immediately thinks of Tesla.

We’ll see, which car would you rather have? A Tesla or a Rivian?

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