If you have never heard of Rivian before, that was intentional. The company, which is ready to roll out Tesla like pick up trucks.
The company has been in stealth mode from the past year. Operating out of unmarked buildings and making few public announcements. But no more, Rivian intends to release premium electric pickup trucks by the end of 2020.
Rivian was founded by entrepreneur RJ Scaringe, in Plymouth, Michigan. It is promising to do for trucks what Tesla did for luxury sedans. Scaringe and Rivian have spent a decade fine-tuning their designs and to end up here. RJ wants to remove all the fuss about electric cars which people believe in.
“We have a number of untruths — a truck can’t be electric, an electric car can’t go off-road. It can’t get dirty, it can’t tow and truck buyers don’t want something that’s environmentally friendly,” he said. “These things are fundamentally wrong. Electrification and technology can create a truck that’s incredibly capable and fun to drive.”
The company has even caught the attention of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos got a glimpse of Rivian’s electric pickup truck and sport utility vehicle and liked what he saw. Not long after his visit, Amazon led a $700 million investment in Rivian. Two months later, in April, Ford Motor invested $500 million. An estimate says Rivian has raised $1.7 billion without selling a single vehicle.
Rivian’s Ideas For The Future!
Rivian is developing advanced battery systems and also has designed a skateboard-like chassis that it plans to sell to other carmakers. For Ford, investing in Rivian is a way to leapfrog the competition and get new ideas from a startup as it and other automakers race to prepare for an electrified future.
The automobile business has forbidding barriers to entry. And aspiring players have to bid-up billions of dollars just to be dealt into a game. Where profit margins are very slim. Scaringe is likely to need billions more to get as far as Tesla has. Which itself struggled to expand production in 2017 and 2018. But the demand for electric vehicles is growing rapidly, Tesla built more than 250,000 cars by the end of 2018.
Rivian’s R1S SUV resemblances a Range Rover. While the flatbed on its R1T pickup is shorter than the bestselling Ford F-150. The R1S will directly be a challenge for Tesla’s SUV, the Model X. And although Musk has said he will introduce a pickup, Tesla has yet to unveil one. The R1S and the R1T will start at around $70,000. And cost more than $90,000 for fully loaded models that can travel up to 400 miles on a full charge. Rivian has received tens of thousands of reservations from buyers who have made deposits of $1,000 each.
Tesla has failed to reach its own lofty production targets in recent years. Scaringe is only promising about 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles in 2021. Which will be the first full year of production. Before that, Rivian will have to create assembly lines for its vehicles and their batteries. Which Tesla’s problems have shown, is very difficult. The company also has to set-up a retail operation to get its vehicles flowing to the buyers.
Also, read about Elon Musk’s Theory For End Of The World