Of all the new vehicles coming down the pike, few have our engines revved quite as high as Rivian’s R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck. Which is kind of ironic, because the two Rivians don’t have engines; as you likely know by now, the carmaker’s vehicles will all be purely electric, just like Tesla. The company is aiming to establish itself as an outdoorsy, into-the-wild EV maker, emphasizing off-road capability and incredible versatility.
That idea has proven quite popular among outside investors, with the varied likes of Amazon, Ford and Cox Automotive all investing nine-figure sums into the company in the last year. All that capital, it seems, is set to pay figurative dividends for the carmaker — because Rivian’s CEO says the brand’s first two models will actually be cheaper than originally expected.
In an interview with Reuters, Rivian founder and head honcho R.J. Scaringe said the company now expected a mid-level R1T with a 300-mile battery and a glass roof panel that transitions from clear to tinted blue would cost about $69,000, while a similar-spec R1S would go for $72,000. (When the vehicles were first announced in late 2018, Rivian said the entry-level versions would start at or very close to those prices.)
The 300-mile battery Scaringe referred to is presumably the 135-kWh version, which will slot between the 180-kWh version packing around 400 miles of range and the 105-kWh battery that delivers about 230 miles of driving. Regardless of which you choose, Rivian says the trucks will be able to slurp up electrons at rates of up to 160kW, enabling the R1S and R1T to add around 200 miles of range in half an hour.
Scaringe told Reuters that the first R1Ts should hit the streets by the end of this year, with R1S sport-utes arriving in early 2021. From the sound of it, the many people who’ve dropped refundable $1,000 deposits might wish those timelines could be bumn
“We now have the challenge of a lot of pre-order customers aren’t going to get the cars as fast as they like because there’s such a long queue,” Scaringe told Reuters.
Of course, creating a car company from the ground up is always tricky (just ask Elon Musk), so it’s always possible that speedbumps could pop up. But with serious corporate backing behind the company and a pool of slathering buyers waiting ahead, things seem bright for the company. Especially if they can keep finding ways to make their vehicles easier to reach for buyers.
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