As the Biden administration continues to champion electric vehicles, a company once hailed as the “next Tesla” has seen its stock sink to record lows.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian’s stock fell over 20 percent on Monday alone, closing at $22.78 per share. It remained around that figure on Tuesday afternoon.
This represented a whopping 87 percent decrease from the peak price of $179.47 that the Irvine, California-based company enjoyed in November, according to Yahoo! Finance.
From October to December, Rivian reported a net loss of nearly $2.5 billion. While it had once planned to produce 50,000 electric vehicles in 2022, the company announced in March it was cutting back to 25,000 vehicles for the year.
In a letter to its shareholders on Feb. 1, Rivian did not paint a bright picture for the remainder of the year.
“As we continue to ramp-up our manufacturing facility, manage supply chain challenges, face continued inflationary pressures, and minimize price increases to customers in the near term, we expect to recognize negative gross margins throughout 2022,” the letter said.
While Rivian was founded in 2009, it did not go public until November 2021. When it did, huge names including Amazon, Ford, JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock invested in the company, The New York Times reported.
Beginning with today’s IPO, 8.2 million shares of Rivian’s equity will go to fund Forever, our philanthropic mission to support high-impact climate initiatives and preserve critical biodiversity.
— Rivian (@Rivian) November 10, 2021
“It’s hard to imagine any company matching Tesla’s rocketlike rise,” the Times said. “But if any electric car start-up could aspire to be the ‘next Tesla,’ it would be Rivian.”
About six months later, the prospects for Rivian are significantly grimmer.
Ford had sold 8 million of its shares in the company as of Monday, while JPMorgan planned to sell between 13 million and 15 million shares, CNBC reported.
To be clear, conservatives should not be celebrating the downfall of a company. People will lose their jobs, and that is unfortunate.
With that said, Rivian’s speedy decline does seem to prove a point conservatives have been making for years now: Americans are not interested in fully transitioning to electric cars.
In a capitalist country, the market will ultimately decide which products are successful. While some consumers have decided to buy electric cars, many others have chosen to stick with gas-powered vehicles.
One reason many Americans are not fully willing to transition to electric cars is that the country’s infrastructure is not ready to support such a shift.
A recent study led by retired University of California, Berkeley, bioengineering professor David Rempel — working with volunteers from the nonprofit organization Cool the Earth — found many charging stations in the San Francisco Bay Area were not up to par.
The study evaluated 657 electric vehicle charging plugs at 181 public stations in nine counties and found only 72.5 percent were fully functioning.
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Almost 23 percent of the chargers were not functioning properly, and another 4.9 percent of the cords were too short to reach vehicles’ charging plugs.
In addition, many electric vehicle owners have found there are too few charging stations in certain areas to accommodate the electric cars already on the road, and that problem would only worsen with more electric vehicles on the road.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with electric cars, Americans should be able to choose whether to drive them or to opt instead for gasoline-powered vehicles.
People do not want to be forced into electric car purchases by the government, and Rivian’s tanking stock is just the latest example of this fact.