By on January 27, 2020

Despite offering a choice of battery sizes, Rivian’s R1T pickup, scheduled for production late this year, was not revealed under a banner of affordable green motoring. Nor was the R1S SUV that followed it. The Michigan-based startup’s first vehicles instead wowed onlookers with their tech prowess and capability — four hub motors, an innovative platform, and a maximum range of 400 miles — and prices that were fairly comparable with existing high-zoot pickups and SUVs.

Carrying a starting price of $69,000 at its debut, the R1T is now said to be in line for a price drop. Same goes for the R1S.

According to Reuters, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said during at appearance in San Francisco over the weekend that the cost for both models will be less than previously stated when official pricing lands.

Three flavors of R1T and R1S are on offer, the most basic of which is said to travel 230 miles between charges. Not bad for large vehicles boasting considerable power. Of course, fueling those motors are three very large battery packs hidden in the vehicles’ “skateboard” platform. Those batteries range in size from 105 kWh, 135 kWh, to 180 kWh. The middle of the three is expected to return 300 miles per charge.

While Scaringe wouldn’t say by just how much buyers can expect prices to drop, he did say there’s been no shortage of would-be owners willing to drop $1,000 for a reservation. He expressed regret that the number of pre-orders means a long wait for some. Those looking for an entry-level model already knew the wait was long, as Rivian made a point of saying higher-end units would come off its Normal, Illinois assembly line first. The 230-mile R1T won’t see the light of day until a year after the 180 kWh model starts (which will be followed soon after by the 135 kWh model).

Any change to the price of the R1T ($69,000 to start) and R1S ($72,000 for a base) must take into account the $7,500 federal tax credit awaiting all buyers. R1S production is said to come shortly after R1T assembly kicks off.

Backing up Rivian’s efforts to challenge the Detroit Three in the light truck EV game is nearly $3 billion in funding secured in 2019, with the largest chunks coming from the likes of Amazon and Ford. Rivian and Ford plan to jointly develop a new utility vehicle together using the startup’s skateboard platform.

[Images: Rivian]

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27 Comments on “Rivian: Not Quite As Expensive As First Thought...”

  • avatar

    Anybody know what the Rivian service network is going to look like? Using Ford dealers would be a big positive, especially for commercial customers who already probably have some connection there.

    • 0 avatar

      With GM/LGchem battery out of Lordstown you might have a easier time getting repair with the LMS Endurance truck.

  • avatar

    So the base price is a guess, but it will be cheaper, and we don’t know how much cheaper. Even though no base vehicles will be offered until at least a year after the non-base vehicles come out, and we don’t know how much they’ll cost either, or when they’ll be available. So what was the point of telling us this breaking news? Because no one is talking about Rivian anymore and they need some click bait to keep you from forgetting? Three billion dollars and they don’t know a damn thing. At least give us an estimated date for the announcement of the inevitable 12 month delay in fake production of this phantom vaporware nonsense truck with no real specs available. And build another show car for God’s sake, I’m sick of this ugly boring box with stupid looking headlights.

  • avatar

    I’ll be interested to see what kind of EMFs these things emit.

  • avatar

    I said it before and I will say it again.

    Car purchases are emotional purchases. Pickup trucks fill no genuine need; entire modern industrialized nations function fine without them. They are about projecting a rugged, country, nationalist, anti-intelligence, right wing pro-pollution image. Ok, I am exaggerating, but you get the picture.

    In short, an electric pickup truck will sell just as well as a subcompact version of a Prius “NRA edition” with a rack for carrying your semiautomatics.

    • 0 avatar

      But they provide perfect platform for mounting .50cal machine gun should we decide its time for war

    • 0 avatar

      @Robbie – There are those who do fit that stereotype or like projecting that stereotype. In my case, I’ve always owned a pickup and it is the best vehicle for my lifestyle and best for where I live.
      I’d say that since the downsizing and eventual elimination of large BOF V8 sedans and the addition of 2 more doors and a seat, pickups have filled that void for a large swath of the population. Pickups are the “Swiss army knife” of the automotive world.

    • 0 avatar

      There is a large subsegment of pickup buyers that are almost entirely numbers-driven: fleet managers. The fleets whose daily usage fits comfortably within the range of an electric pickup, which is to say most of them working within metro areas, are going to adore the electric pickup. It will drastically cut both fuel and maintenance costs while allowing some new functionality, such as built-in high-wattage 120v outlets and secure, hidden front storage.

      For the rest of the buyers, this is why Rivian is selling tank turns and Ford’s prototype is pulling freight trains.

      • 0 avatar

        And that is why Ford will do very well with the EV-150. I don’t see gov’t nor the majority of comerical fleets going with the Rivian, or Tesla over the Ford, and Ford will have the lock on economy of scale sharing so much with the standard F-150 which will also give them the advantage of the largest selection of equipment for upfitting for the specific vocation.

    • 0 avatar

      I make a comfortable living supporting a family of four, using a pickup truck

    • 0 avatar

      Robbie, many EV purchase decisions are also based on emotional fulfillment and not logic or reason. There’s no genuine need for a 450-hp Tesla. In this context, Rivian’s trucks seem like a very sellable product.

    • 0 avatar

      The emotional purchasers are on both the Prius / EV and the Pickup / large SUV crowds. The fleet managers know what they are buying and there are definitely groups that will like this a lot (i.e. construction using the battery to power tools instead of hauling huge generators and engines around, hazmat team, indoor logistics, other vehicles with more wait duty than driving duty but keeps the power going like Farmer’s market).

      It is not bro enough to roll coal, so it may not make it into the bro-dozer buyers.

    • 0 avatar

      “nationalist, anti-intelligence”

      You cannot be more nationalist and anti-intelligence (whatever that means) than Germans or Japanese and none of them had pickup trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      Pickup trucks make sense where space is plentiful and fuel affordable. Doubly so where (and back when) crime/theft is low. There really aren’t many places outside the US where people commute to work with a snowmachine or fishboat behind their commuter vehicle, so they can go out after work. Then, come summer, off goes the snowmachine deck, and on goes the slide-in. While people no doubt have lots of stuff, and junk, laying around in other places as well, their junk tends to be more limited in size. Hence less dependent on having a trucklet around on a constant basis.

    • 0 avatar

      Semi-autos fit fine in a car.

      Dead deer will fit in a car, especially a wagon, but it’s so much easier to toss them in a truck bed and hose it out when you’re done. Having ticks crawling in your car gets old quickly. The smell of buck piss from tarsal glands really lingers too.

      As an open-minded conservative, I very nearly bought a Prius as a commuter. Bonus would have been the irony of my Trump sticker on the rear glass, but alas, wound up with a Camry to go with my 4Runner and Tacoma.

      Life is good.

    • 0 avatar


      “…entire modern nations function without them (pick-up trucks)…”

      Excellent point!

      They also have carpenters and plumbers and electricians and farmers, yet percent of vehicles that are p/u is much less.

      Relatively cheap and plentiful land, and more importantly, fuel, make it easier to appreciate pick-up trucks

      Good roads, populated by people who know how to drive, no speed limits and high fuel prices make it easier to appreciate fast cars that are fuel efficient.

      The difference is, in a macroeconomic sense, that only the US, Canada, Australia, and Saudi Arabia markets are friendly to pick-up trucks, whereas the whole world is friendly to fast, efficient cars.

      And the whole world is amenable to inexpensive cars.

      That’s why Americans, and others, buy so many cars from Germany, Japan, and Korea, whereas so few outside the US buy American cars.

      Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how foreign laws ‘discriminate’ against vehicles that use lots of fuel and have large-displacement engines, but that only hurts ‘storied’ US products, like Corvettes, Mustangs, and BOF SUVs, which would be luxury items in any case.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    This is the truck I’d have ( four motors is the draw ) should gas and parts ever become too expensive for my 2010 F-150. They won’t, though – not in my lifetime. Ergo, no Rivian at this Southern Alberta boy’s house.

    • 0 avatar

      “This is the truck I’d have ( four motors is the draw )”

      I’d like to have a Rivian for local running around and not-too-distant roundtrips. It would work ideally for my El Paso, TX, location and at a lower price to me, that would be even better. Four motors, four doors, a bed – sounds like the best all-around vehicle for daily local running around the El Paso, TX, area.

      But we shall see what we shall see, when the time comes and push comes to shove.

      Otherwise, if the Rivian thing doesn’t work out for me, it’s back to another 5.7L Tundra 4dr 4×4, or, if no longer available, a Ford F250 4dr 4×4 with the biggest gas engine available.

      • 0 avatar

        Interesting, mirrors thoughts of me and a close friend. We both mostly drive Toyotas, he also has an F-250 with the big gas engine for hauling heavy equipment. Most reliable big truck around.

        We’re both watching Rivian with great interest, but as naturally skeptical people, I think it will be Toyota and Ford a bit longer. Battery tech is impressive but not all there yet.

  • avatar

    Oh boy we’re headed into a very special time! Just remember folks, wear your “I survived the Wu-Tang flu and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” shirts when you get out of your Cybertruck!

  • avatar

    I drove my ‘62 Bug 52 miles on “R” after passing through South Bend (WA) late. Drove like I had an egg under my foot. Put 10.1 gallons in it at the gas station the next morning. Amazed I had enough gas to start it and drive the last mile to the pump. Typically got 33-35 mpgs though that time I probably was high 30’s.

  • avatar

    So cheap why not buy two?

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