What happened

The stock of the newest electric vehicle (EV) company made a thunderous debut on the market Wednesday. Investors said hello to Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN) by pushing its shares 29% above their opening price today.

So what

Rivian and the underwriters of its massive initial public offering (IPO) were very successful in creating buzz for the stock straight out of the garage. The company has been one of the most talked-about players in the EV industry since that IPO was announced earlier this year.

As a result, the opening price on the stock exchange was $106.75, 37% higher than the $78 IPO price. And that's before investors piled into it in Wednesday's frenzy.

A Rivian 2022 R1T on a mountain dirt road.

A Rivian R1T. Image source: Rivian Automotive.

In September, Rivian rolled out its first EV, the R1T pickup, a sleek, attractive design with numerous bells and whistles (Camp Kitchen option for drive-and-dine road trips, anyone?) with a premium price, starting at $67,500.

That go-to-market strategy was famously employed by EV king Tesla (TSLA 0.65%) years ago, although that company has since introduced more budget-friendly models. Rivian plans to double down on this Tesla-like premium pricing with the impending rollout of the R1S, an SUV that starts at $70,000 a pop.

It's also planning to produce a delivery vehicle it has developed with partner (and major shareholder) Amazon by the end of this year.

Now what

What also greatly helps Rivian is that the R1T is the first true EV pickup to hit the market, beating would-be rival products from Tesla and Ford -- a buzzworthy achievement in and of itself.

So Rivian as a company has a lot going for it in terms of visibility and momentum. Its stock is also debuting in a world where investors are still very hot on EV companies. But now that the IPO truck is out of the garage, Rivian will have to prove that it has a viable business that can grow and produce healthy returns for its shareholders.