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Saturday, April 13, 2024

As pickup rivals loom, Rivian turns to household enjoyable SUVs and decrease prices


Though it isn’t apparent, Rivian is the midst of a giant transformation proper now. Till just lately, virtually all of its gross sales have been in its excessive finish, 4-motor pickup vehicles. Nevertheless, the corporate introduced in its newest incomes’s name that it was switching its mixture of output to favor its 7-seat R1S SUV which has a lot much less competitors at the moment and on the horizon. Additionally it is spinning up 2-motor variations of its R1 automobiles which can value considerably much less with little or no efficiency value. Add to {that a} cheaper LFP battery pack due later this yr and R2 fashions beginning at $40,000 to be unveiled subsequent yr, and also you’ve obtained a wholly completely different focus.

Coincidentally, forward of getting my very own R1S in 1-8 weeks, Rivian gave me a loaner to assist my vacationing prolonged household get round city…

Rivian’s present high-end state of affairs

Rivian has been turning out its 4-motor excessive finish R1T pickups for 2 years and over the previous yr has been ramping up its R1S SUVs to of us who ordered early. These automobiles, I consider, are going to be an more and more uncommon premium mixture of Rivians going ahead as the corporate pivots to cheaper enduro drivetrains that make use of two motors to drive the 4WD programs at virtually the identical horsepower. Subsequent yr, Rivian will unveil its R2 platform which can value anyplace from $40-60K based on CFO Claire McDonough.

Tips like tank turns, which might have differentiated the 4-motor Rivians for the 2-motor panorama, have been scrapped as a result of in Rivian’s phrases, they didn’t conform to Rivian’s mission of leaving the world a greater place – by tearing up roads. I haven’t but pushed a 2-motor Rivian, however I don’t assume there are loads of methods {that a} 4-motor automobile can do {that a} 2-motor can’t. The truth is, the 2-motor variations (R1S) appear to get considerably higher vary on what seems to be the identical batteries:

The highest finish Enduro drivetrain will lose 100 horsepower and 208 ft lbs of torque, nevertheless it nonetheless be a monster. At 700 horsepower/lb ft torque, it nonetheless produces a blistering 3.5 second 0-60 time, placing it on prime of the pickup world. As a bonus, these motors are extra environment friendly, yielding a 20-70 mile vary enchancment. Rivian CFO Claire McDonough put the quantity at 352 miles for the enduro R1S:

I’ve been driving an R1S inside Enduro the final handful of weeks and might say first-hand expertise that it’s an outstanding product, expanded vary. We’ve now have 352 miles of vary with our giant pack and Enduro drive unit.

My level is that even when the Enduro system was at worth parity with the 4-motor system, many individuals would go for the improved vary over the parlor methods. I do know I’m in that camp. I’m right here for the area and the vary along with winter driving and the occasional off-road tenting journey. “Rally, Drift and Rock Crawl” aren’t a part of my vernacular, similar to 95% of potential Rivian prospects. Oh – and I can most likely deal with a .5 second slower 3.5 second 0-60.

Fortunately, based on Rivian, the Enduro motor automobiles will begin delivery within the subsequent week.

Rivian R1S

Demand for its premium R1T pickup vehicles is waning

Rivian can now ship a R1T pickup truck to a brand new buyer inside a fortnight. It even had a one-day present up on the manufacturing unit and get a pickup truck occasion final week. Whereas there’s no direct off street SUV competitors for the R1S, R1T goes to see loads of decrease priced competitors within the coming months. Ford’s F-150 Lightning is ramping up, and the soon-to-be-launched Silverado EV and Tesla Cybertruck can be right here earlier than we all know it.

This quarter is the Rivian R1S quarter

McDonough mentioned that the combination of orders for Rivian favored the R1S SUV over the R1T Pickup 75% to 25%, and the corporate was going to swap up its manufacturing accordingly. That makes a ton of sense for the reason that R1T ready interval is days and the R1S ready interval pushes out into 2025 at the moment.

Anecdotally, my Oct-Dec 2023 R1S ordered in 2020 arrived in Brooklyn this weekend by way of Rivian Store, and I’ll possible be choosing it up Monday. Others which have late 2023 orders are being given entry to the Rivian Store the place they will possible discover automobiles just like theirs awaiting adoption.

Rivian R1S Evaluate

Actually, I don’t have a lot so as to add since my authentic overview a few yr in the past, during which I referred to as it the very best SUV ever made. I stand by that whilst rivals loom on the horizon from Kia and VW’s Scout. Additionally since I purchased in early, I’m eligible for the $7500 Fed Tax credit score and lower cost, so my earlier than Tesla trade-in worth, about $66K. The straightforward promote:

  • 0-60 time of three.0 seconds. That’s supercar pace, and the quickest automobile of any sort you will get for beneath $100K (Tesla Mannequin 3 Efficiency is a detailed second at 3.1 sec). Replace, my unhealthy: $70K Corvette with Z51 bundle will do it in 2.9 secs.
  • Probably the greatest off-road manufacturing automobiles, if not the very best, on the market at any worth
  • 7 seats, all comfy and never claustrophobic, cupholders and USB-C ports all over the place
  • Handles like a sports activities automotive, 4 motors and impartial suspension
  • Tons of storage in frunk and again, but will slot in most garages
  • Over 300 miles of vary and quick ~250kW charging for journeys
  • 1.5kW of 110V AC residence backup energy or energy to a worksite or camp
  • Intangibles like built-in flashlight, Bluetooth speaker, air compressor, and so forth.
  • A fairly handsome automobile, even when these oval headlamps haven’t but grown on you
  • Rivian is a superb firm that appears to care concerning the planet, or not less than it doesn’t really feel gross giving them my cash.

It was extremely straightforward to haul seven folks and baggage round Westchester, New York. We have been capable of go an hour north to a water slide park within the morning, then come again and drive a number of hours to the south to Newark Airport (with baggage) within the afternoon, then again residence with no charging cease. Each seat together with the 2 within the again have been comfy and never claustrophobic.

The one slight draw back is that Rivian’s maps don’t deal/measure congestion fairly in addition to Google Maps but. Issues have positively improved over the previous yr together with its autopilot referred to as Driver+. Rivian just lately introduced they have been eradicating the interior cameras, so it can possible depend on palms torque-ing the steering wheel which I’m not a fan of. I wish to get a clearer *street map* of Driver+.

The one different criticism I can muster up is the venting being an on-screen menu merchandise moderately than simply handbook vent pointing issues.

There’s simply an incredible feeling driving round in one of many quickest vehicles on the street that can be among the finest off roading automobiles that additionally seats 7 comfortably and likewise handles properly and appears nice. It looks like being a person amongst boys on the street.

Rivian with ABRP and open charging stations could be the anti-Tesla EV

Now simply isn’t a time the place Rivian can ramp its manufacturing, it’s also reaching to grow to be a pacesetter within the total EV area. Its Journey Charging Community will add vital off the crushed path places to the Tesla NACS community and EA/EVgo/and so forth choices.

With ABRP, Rivian will provide all EV prospects an incredible route planning information and a straightforward onramp to adopting a Rivian EV.

Rivian Areas are superior and can spur demand

I just lately obtained to attend the opening of the Rivian House in Manhattan. And though Manhattan is concerning the least car-friendly place you would think about within the US, a lot of folks from across the US and around the globe go to daily. Rivian describes the areas as a spot to:

  • Get palms on expertise with Rivian automobiles
  • Chat with consultants about all issues Rivian
  • See our our colours, supplies and finishes in particular person
  • Study Rivian’s charging community and merchandise
  • Store a curated choice from the Gear Store
  • Come to occasions and workshops
  • Take a demo drive (enroll forward of time)

Whereas I biked to the Excessive Line and 14th st. location, Rivian was giving check drives towards the West Aspect Freeway, however as you possibly can think about, any off roading places are too distant for a check drive.

The shop jogged my memory of a Burton or Patagonia retailer with a lot of life-style items. I might see a lot of like-minded journey manufacturers being featured right here. Tents, journey gear, and anything that will add to the Rivian expertise could be welcome.

Together with its authentic Venice House, Rivian plans to place these in a lot of massive cities together with flagships in Austin and one other in Brooklyn, along with the primary Canada House in Vancouver.

Electrek’s Take

Rivian is in transformation. Virtually all the Rivians you see on the street at present are 4-motor pickups. That’s about to alter. Q3 goes to be about delivering R1Ses and beginning the decrease priced, greater vary 2-motor automobiles.

In a yr, the 4-motor variants can be a small piece of Rivian’s gross sales with the the most important vendor being the 2-motor R1S.

On the similar time, with the open Journey charger community, possession and stewardship of ABRP, new Rivian Areas and hopefully doubling gross sales, Rivian can be a solution to the present Tesla-dominated all EV area.

Halfway by way of scripting this story, Rivian contacted me to let me know my R1S goes to be prepared in Brooklyn on Monday. I can’t wait.

FTC: We use revenue incomes auto affiliate hyperlinks. Extra.

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