If Ford’s decision at the beginning of this year was not proof, then GM’s announcement this week should eliminate all doubts: Americans are made with a sedan. Whether you like it or not, trucks and SUVs have won. Which bodes well for one of the newest players on the market, a startup called Rivian. This week, he finally showed his first two products: the R1T, a fully-electric pickup truck starting at $ 61,500, and the R1S, a seven-seat electric SUV that starts at $ 65,000.
Both are foundational designs, sharing a skateboard platform (common to most electric batteries with a battery, living between the axles and under the passenger compartment). Rivian will offer three different battery sizes in both cars; at launch, you can choose 180kWh (and 400 miles / 640 km range) or 135kWh (310 miles / 500 km) packs, with a third configuration of 105kWh (240 miles / 390 km), which will appear six months after production began in 2020. capable of charging up to 160 kW on a high-speed DC charger, and is also equipped with a 11 kW charger.
Both the R1T and R1S are equipped with four electric motors – one per wheel and different levels of power and torque depending on the size of the battery. Interestingly, the maximum power is 135 kW / h (562 kW / 754 hp); 180 kW vehicles typically have to do with as little as 522 kW / 700 hp. Both make identical 1200Nm / 855ft-lbs. (A 105 kW configuration will have a power of 300 kW / 402 hp and 560 Nm / 413 foot-pounds.) The R1T will have a payload of 1,763 pounds (800 kg) and a trailer rating of 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg).
As Tesla CEO Elon Musk likes to tell people, starting a new car company in the US is far from easy, something that is too obvious because you are watching various events in Faraday Future and Lucid. But Riyan seems to be doing everything right. I spoke with the founder and CEO of RJ Scaringe at the beginning of this year, while Rivian was still in a stealth mode, and left with an impression. His management team and advice are both packed with industry veterans, and it certainly seems to be potential traps. Since then, it has also doubled in size – from 300 to 600 people.
The company divided its efforts geographically to have better access to regional talent pools. Services in California are responsible for battery technology and software (Irvine), as well as related services and autonomous driving (San Jose). Vehicle design and engineering teams are based in Plymouth, Michigan, and the company has a 2.6 million square foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois; He acquired the ex-Mitsubishi plant in January 2017. Deliveries of the R1T are scheduled to begin in 2020, and the R1S will appear in 2021.
Listing image by Rivian