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Tuesday Ticker: November 16, 2021

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— In this week’s Tuesday Ticker, Apple hires a former Tesla engineer for its rumoured EV project and Rivian raises US$12 billion in its initial public offering (IPO).

Christopher Moore bites the Apple

Apple has reportedly hired Tesla’s Autopilot software engineer to work on its rumoured electric vehicle project, Bloomberg reported last week.

The business news source said Apple scooped Christopher ‘CJ’ Moore to work on its self-driving software. He will report to another ex-Tesla employee, Stuart Bowers, who previously served as the EV giant’s VP of engineering.

During his time at Tesla, Moore conjured up controversy for calling CEO Elon Musk’s “full self-driving” claims exaggerated. In January, Musk stated that he was “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year.” The full self-driving software, currently in beta, does not make a Tesla vehicle fully autonomous, as a driver must keep control of the vehicle at all times.

Moore pointed out that Tesla is currently at Level 2⁠—which means the car still requires supervision from the driver, while Level 5 signals full autonomy. 

Far from Normal

Rivian has successfully launched its IPO, raising nearly US$12 billion on top of US$10.5 billion in previously raised funds for its electric vehicle business.

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said the company “has to grow quickly and reach a volume of at least one million electric vehicles by the year 2030⁠”—the same level of output Tesla generates today.

“We better be growing at least that quick; certainly before the end of the decade, is how we think about it,” Scaringe said in an interview on Nov. 10.

Today, Rivian produces EVs at its singular manufacturing site in Normal, Illinois. The site is equipped for 150,000 vehicles annually, though Rivian says an upcoming upgrade should bump that total to 200,000 vehicles per year. All three of Rivian’s EVs⁠—the R1T pickup, the R1S SUV and the EDV vans⁠—will all be produced in Normal.   

In the long-term, Rivian plans to host four assembly plants around the world, including an additional factory in the U.S., which is expected to also produce in-house developed battery cells.

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