Rivian Opens Up About Opening Up

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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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]

Steph Willems
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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?

  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.
  • Stuki Moi "How do you take a small crossover and make it better?Slap the AMG badge on it and give it the AMG treatment."No, you don't.In fact, that is specifically what you do NOT do.Huge, frail wheels, and postage stamp sidewalls, do nothing but make overly tall cuvs tramline and judder. And render them even less useful across the few surfaces where they could conceivably have an advantage over more properly dimensioned cars. And: Small cuvs have pitiful enough fuel range as it is, even with more sensible engines.Instead, to make a small CUV better, you 1)make it a lower slung wagon. And only then give it the AMG treatment. AMG'ing, makes sense for the E class. And these days with larger cars, even the C class. For the S class, it never made sense, aside from the sheer aural visceralness of the last NA V8. The E-class is the center of AMG. Even the C-class, rarely touches the M3.Or 2) You give it the Raptor/Baja treatment. Massive, hypersophisticated suspension travel allowing landing meaningful jumps. As well as driving up and down wide enough stairs if desired. That's a kind of driving for which a taller stance, and IFS/IRS, makes sense.Attempting to turn a CUV into some sort of a laptime wonder, makes about as much sense as putting an America's Cup rig atop a ten deck cruiseship.