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Rivian stock soars as EV-maker signs an AT&T fleet deal

Rivian (RIVN) shares took off on Thursday after the electric truck maker announced a new commercial client for its trucks. Its shares were up around 14% an hour before market close.

Rivian and AT&T (T) unveiled a deal for the telecom giant to purchase Rivian vans and R1 vehicles for its commercial fleet. AT&T said the vehicles will be purchased through a pilot program aimed at cutting transport vehicle emissions. Rivian declined to provide the number of vehicles AT&T will purchase—nor would it outline the financial impact of the deal.

“We’re excited to purchase Rivian EVs for our fleet. This pilot is another important step in our ongoing efforts toward sustainability, reducing our carbon footprint and embracing a cleaner future for our operations,” said Hardmon Williams, AT&T Connected Solutions SVP in statement.

A mockup of an AT&T electric delivery van built by Rivian (credit: AT&T)

A mockup of an AT&T electric delivery van built by Rivian (credit: AT&T) (AT&T)

“Around a quarter of CO2 emitted in the transportation sector in the US comes from commercial vans, so it’s imperative we do all we can as soon as possible to help cut emissions,” said Dagan Mishoulam, Rivian’s Strategy & Fleet VP in a statement. “We’re very much looking forward to expanding our relationship with AT&T to help them achieve their climate goals.”

Just last month during its Q3 earnings report, Rivian said it was no longer subject to exclusively selling its electric delivery van (EDV) to Amazon, which is a shareholder in Rivian. Rivian still plans to build 100,000 delivery vans for Amazon, per an earlier agreement, and has already delivered 10,000 trucks to the online shopping behemoth.

In addition to the fleet purchase, Rivan and AT&T announced that AT&T will be Rivian’s exclusive provider of internet connectivity for all Rivian commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Rivian says it will use the AT&T wireless network to deliver over the air (OTA) updates to its vehicles in the field.

Driver David Gonzalez walks back to his truck after delivery in an Amazon Rivian Electric truck in Poway, California, U.S., November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker

Driver David Gonzalez walks back to his truck after delivery in an Amazon Rivian Electric truck in Poway, California, U.S., November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker (REUTERS / Reuters)

Rivian stock has been on role recently, climbing over 34% in the past three months, and up nearly 20% for the year. Rivian boosted its full-year production forecast to 54,000 from 52,000 units last month. Its prior forecast of 52,000 units was lifted earlier in the year from 50,000.

“Due to the progress experienced on our production lines, the ramp of our in-house motor line, and the supply chain outlook, we are increasing our 2023 production guidance to 54,000 total units,” the company said in its Q3 shareholder letter.

In addition to boosting production, the company announced that its long-awaited lease program was available for select R1T pickups. The lease program introduction meant that the company can now pass along the commercial EV tax credit of $7,500 to lessees, without regard to income thresholds that the EV tax credit for purchases required. Rivan said lease packages would start at $899/month for 36 months, with $6,794 due at signing.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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