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Lightning round with Rivian's RJ Scaringe

A photo of Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe during an interview at one of the automaker's assembly plants.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe earlier this month. Photo: Alisha Jucevic/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe is sounding upbeat this week — and why not.

Why it matters: Investors have rewarded the electric truck maker for reining in spending, meeting delivery goals and accelerating production of its SUV.

  • Scaringe talked with Axios Pro this week as his company announced it would begin offering a green-charging upgrade with its vehicles.

Catch up fast: Rivian yesterday announced a commitment to buy 100 MW of electricity from a sprawling solar plant in Kentucky.

  • Instead of funneling that energy to a factory — the traditional approach — Rivian is using it to zero out customer emissions.

What they're saying: "This project will allow some of our vehicles to achieve carbon-free charging throughout their life," Scaringe tells Axios.

  • "This is part of a mosaic of projects that we’re going to be working to bring online."

Context: The green-charging add-on opens a new source of revenue as automakers have struggled to keep pace with inflation, soaring commodity prices and manufacturing headaches.

  • Rivian's stock price dipped near the single digits in April.

The latest: The company's stock this morning was trading around $25 — a fraction of its 2021 debut, but a price it hasn't seen since last year.

What's happening: Rivian is fulfilling promised orders to Amazon, which has put more than 5,000 of the automaker's vans on the road.

  • "We're continuing to ramp those deliveries," Scaringe says.

Meanwhile, the automaker tapped Anthony Sanger to oversee its new Georgia factory, its second in the state.

  • "This is being designed as a fossil-free plant," Scaringe says. "Things that have typically been done with natural gas — ovens and paint and some of the curing processes — we’re moving to electric processes."

👀 What we're watching: Rivian is taking an unusually holistic approach to the EV space — decarbonizing factories, cutting charging emissions and eyeing ways for its trucks to support the electric grid.

  • Those could open new revenue streams — but demand upfront capital and investor patience.

1 last thing: Might Amazon expand its 18% stake in Rivian, given the difference in the companies' stock prices and Amazon's 100,000-van order?

  • "I wouldn’t be able to comment on whether or not Amazon is planning to do anything like that."
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