Rivian's battery partnership with Samsung falls apart over 'unacceptable' demands by the electric truck maker
The once high-flying electric pickup darling Rivian saw its shares drop more than 40% from their November IPO price, knocking it off its top US$144 billion valuation perch. Since the first production R1T truck got to its buyer in September, Rivian has only been able to ramp up its factory capacity to 200 units a week, explaining why investors are punishing its stock price. Adding to Rivian's worries is now the news that those production delays prevented it from securing the desired partnership with Samsung SDI over battery development and manufacturing.
Rivian and Samsung were in talks to build an exclusive cell factory for the electric carmaker in America, as Rivian wants to have a battery production capacity of 100GWh by 2025. Those talks have now ended because of Rivian's production yield mishaps, reports Korean media, and also on account of the demands put forward by the electric truck maker:
Rivian had requested a transfer of the battery making technology and also rights to inspect the interior of factories, they said, which was unacceptable to Samsung SDI. The US firm also didn’t guarantee to buy certain amounts of the battery produced, they said.
Despite making only a few hundred electric trucks per week, Rivian's stock market value is still on equal footing with many legacy stalwarts. While a battery-making "technology transfer" isn't happening, Samsung SDI will still continue to provide it with cylinder batteries and even notched the first Rivian-related revenue in its recent quarterly results report. Rather than further entertaining Rivian, though, Samsung went and formed a "joint venture to produce battery cells and modules for North America" with Stellantis instead.