RJ Scaringe, the CEO of electric vehicle company Rivian, has surprised the internet with a diplomatic, optimistic response to a question about Elon Musk’s Tesla.
In a recent video, an interviewer asked Scaringe what he thought about Tesla and the company’s Cybertruck. While many expected the CEO to take the opportunity to attack Rivian’s competitor, Scaringe instead spoke about Tesla’s positive impact on the auto industry.
“I think it’s great that a product like that exists in the world,” Scaringe said. “We need to have a choice, we need to have variety, so it’s great to see something that’s so different that’s there. I hope that there’s lots of different choices that give lots of different kinds of customers [options].”
Electric vehicles are one of the most evident ways to help decrease our pollution footprints. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average gas-guzzling passenger vehicle creates more than 100,000 pounds of carbon pollution per year, and the U.S. Department of Energy asserts that EVs and hybrids have significantly lower environmental downsides.
Because EVs are so important to our movement toward a greener future, it’s essential that the auto market has a robust array of options for customers.
“Often in the context of the tech space, we think of a single winner, or maybe a small set of winners,” Scaringe explained. “In transportation, by definition, there need to be many winners, so there needs to be 20 to 25 successful auto manufacturers building electric-connected vehicles, so our success doesn’t require someone else’s failure, and vice versa, and it’s just very different when you think about traditional big tech where there’s one or two really highly concentrated winners.”
TikTok users shared their pleasant surprise at Scaringe’s thoughtful response.
“I own a Rivian truck. It’s fantastic. And his response makes me so happy to own it,” one commenter said.
“What a great response,” another user wrote.
“I like him already,” a third user commented.
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