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  • When Rivian landed its first big investments, it had no electric-pickup competition.
  • Rivian’s lead in the electric-pickup segment narrowed with the release of F-150 Lightning.
  • Rivian has room to carve out a niche in a broad market, but some experts say it should worry.

Once a Wall Street darling, Rivian made its name as the first EV startup to focus solely on pickup trucks, the most lucrative vehicle segment in the US.

In 2019, when Rivian ramped up its fundraising efforts with investments from Amazon and Ford, other automakers had yet to reveal any battery-powered versions of their popular pickup trucks. Massive, billion-dollar investments in electrified fleets were still in nascent stages.

That open field seemed to convince investors that Rivian was most likely to dominate in the EV startup space, especially as it related to the crucial pickup-truck segment. These vehicles, with ever-increasing transaction prices and loyal customers, are critical profit drivers in the US auto industry, particularly for American car manufacturers like Ford and GM.

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