Musk’s new electric car brand has filed for a $500 million IPO

The Rivian, a new, high-tech brand based in Roseville, Calif., has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that would value the company at almost $70 billion.

The car maker, co-founded by former Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, and owned by Musk’s holding company, announced Tuesday it plans to raise up to $500 million in the IPO.

Founded in 2014, Rivian has raised $9 billion in equity and $8.5 billion in debt, the company said, bringing its valuation to $10.75 billion after the IPO.

Before Musk’s involvement, Rivian was set up by Ryan Kubota, a 27-year-old CEO and self-described “technology engineer with a flair for design.” Kubota led the design of the R1T electric four-seater vehicle, which the company says can reach 200 miles on a single charge.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Kubota called Rivian an “innovative, growth-oriented” company.

“Many electric vehicles today only provide a fraction of their range while being constrained by the weight of the battery,” he wrote. “Rivian’s design approach enables Rivian’s R1T to be 500% heavier and still offer an impressive 200 miles of range.”

The R1T has been the subject of intense public scrutiny, as some critics have speculated the company’s SUV-like electric vehicle, which can travel nearly 200 miles on a single charge, may be unsafe. Musk, however, has forcefully defended the safety of the vehicle.

Th most expensive car in the world was here… My car is safer than yours! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 5, 2018

In a post on the Rivian website, Kubota offered detailed explanations of the company’s progress and defended the design approach, saying: “We didn’t want to be constrained by the perceived weight of a heavy battery, but rather by the amount of power needed to push the gas right up to the limit in order to get a meaningful amount of range.”

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