Rivian Opens Up About Opening Up

rivian opens up about opening up

If everything goes as planned, electric utility vehicle startup Rivian will start production on its RT1 pickup and RS1 SUV next year, utilizing plenty of Michigan and SoCal brainpower and a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.

Of all EV startups, Rivian is widely believed to have the best chance for success — and big-bucks investments from Amazon and Ford back up that assertion. While it’s well known that the automaker plans to offer its vehicles in three battery flavors, little in the way of new details have emerged this year. So here’s a tidbit: as far as the SUV is concerned, owners will be be able to choose just how much wind they want in their hair.

In a Twitter reply to a reservation holder noticed by Motor Authority, Rivian laid out buyers’ options for the RS1’s roof. While the long-range EV debuted with a panoramic glass roof, the options go far beyond that.

“We will offer multiple roof styles including electrochromic glass (which turns from opaque to transparent on demand), a fixed glass panel, a two-piece removable composite roof and a standard fixed roof,” the company stated in its reply.

It certainly sounds like Rivian is more than happy to have its customers spend extra to get what they want, which suits the financial needs of many an EV startup just fine. The company has already stated it plans to offer the two largest battery sizes first (135 kWh and 180 kWh), as such vehicles command the highest MSRPs. These two packs, according to the manufacturer, should propel the three-row SUV 310 and 410 miles, respectively (subtract 10 miles for the RT1 pickup). Only after a year of production does Rivian plan to offer a smaller 105 kWh, 240-mile pack, which pretty much mirrors Tesla’s Model 3 launch strategy.

Rivian wins kudos, of course, for not being infuriatingly self-aggrandizing about everything it does, unlike its Palo Alto-based rival.

While Rivian’s offerings can’t be called mobility for the masses, the two models’ entry prices aren’t that far removed from loaded-up ICE-powered vehicles of the same class. The pickup starts at $69,000, with the SUV commanding a starting price of $72,500. Battery packs aren’t as pricey as they once were, but they’re still the dearest part of any EV.

As of publication time, Rivian still claims customers will see deliveries begin near the end of 2020, with test drives occurring earlier in the year.

[Images: Rivian]

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  • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Aug 20, 2019

    I very much like the design of this vehicle. It is futuristic in appearance without being too futuristic. It is not boring in appearance and even carries an ounce of sportiness to it. My main issue with current EVs is the lackluster range and extremely long charging times. It is also my understanding that supercharging the batteries will decrease their longevity and long-term reliability. Another problem that enters my mind is, where do I charge this vehicle in the wilderness? I cannot carry an energy dense liquid source of power with me in the form of petrol/diesel in jerrycans...

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    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 21, 2019

      @ThomasSchiffer "hose two vehicles park outside on assigned parking spots" That's not a problem. You can ask HOA to install charging stations for every parking lot. It is just a matter of time when EU will make owning ICE cars illegal. In US at work we have charging stations on parking lot where employees can charge their EVs for free during day or night (many in Silicon Valley work overtime).

  • Lockstops Lockstops on Aug 20, 2019

    Why does it have 2 huge USB-C ports in the front?

  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
  • FreedMike How about the “Aztek” package? Wait, this car already has that…Said it before and I’ll say it again: they need to restyle the hind end on this car, stat.