What happened

Rivian Automotive (RIVN -2.27%) has been an EV company stock unlike many others. The company had the backing of well-known names like Amazon and Ford while it was still private and had a highly successful initial public offering that raised almost $12 billion. After the market closes today, Rivian will announce its quarterly earnings for the fourth time as a public company. Investors seem optimistic, trading Rivian stock up 4% as of 1:40 p.m. ET. 

So what

It's a critical time for early-stage EV companies like Rivian as they work to ramp up production in an environment of rising raw material costs and a slowing U.S. economy. Investors are most looking forward to what Rivian says about its production plans through the balance of the year. 

Now what

Rivian's shares have soared more than 70% off recent lows over the past three months. But investors became wary of how early-stage EV companies will overcome macroeconomic headwinds since Lucid Group slashed its 2022 production estimates in half earlier this month. It's clear Lucid and Rivian are in different markets, as Lucid makes luxury sedans and Rivian's R1 platform pickup truck and SUV are more geared toward off-road and adventure seekers. 

Lucid's production cut was its second this year, and Rivian also reduced its projection for 2022 heading into the year. Investors will be most keen to see if Rivian follows Lucid with further cuts or stands out as being in a better position to keep ramping its growth. 

Those interested should focus on the 25,000 production level it reaffirmed after its first-quarter results and see if there are any changes or comments regarding that volume. That should help give investors a good idea whether Rivian's management has a better handle on the current supply chain environment and how fast it could become cash flow positive.