Range Finder: Rivian Offers Smaller Battery on R1S and R1T

Hitting the powertrain of its pickup truck and SUV with a shrink ray has permitted Rivian to offer a new battery option – and a new price point – for its pair of all-electric models.

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Consumer Reports Didn't Like the R1S But Finds Rivian As Most-Loved Auto Brand

I review cars online and on the radio, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in almost a decade of doing it is that, car reviewers are often at odds with the people who actually buy and own the vehicles. Spending a week or a few days on a first drive event are great ways to get a feel for how a car performs and get a handle on its basic features, but living with a vehicle reveals so much more.

That’s the case with Rivian, which recently landed atop Consumer Reports’ list of most-loved auto brands, despite the publication listing the R1S as one of its least favorite test vehicles of 2023.

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Rivian Files Patent for Unique Spare Tire Design With Accessories

Rivian has filed a patent for a full-size spare wheel mount designed to accommodate additional components that can enhance the capabilities of the all-electric R1S SUV.

The spare mount has the wheel oriented so the cavity is facing outward, allowing Rivian to throw in cylindrical containers dedicated to specific purposes. The patent list makes mention of the space being utilized for a “first aid kit, waste can, water container, cooler, vacuum canister, compressed air system, toolbox, electrical appliance, electrical cord wound on a reel, a camera, or other types of containers.”

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Report: Rivian R1T is More Efficient Than the Tesla Cybertruck

Electric vehicles might not use any fossil fuels to move around, but they’re still subject to efficiency testing. The Tesla Cybertruck delivers impressive efficiency that bests all of its rivals except for one. Rivian’s R1T has stronger efficiency than the Tesla, even when riding on the larger optional wheels and carrying the heavier battery pack.

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Rivian CFO: Company Plans Simpler, Cheaper Battery Configurations

Rivian’s truck and SUV are two of the more compelling EV options on sale now, but the automaker wants to streamline its operations to increase volume and reduce costs. Company CFO Claire McDonough recently shed some light on how Rivian plans to get there.

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Rumor: Rivian Readying Wheelie-Popping Performance Variant

It’s easy to complain about the rise of more boring electric SUVs and family haulers, but electrification has opened a new world of performance for even the most mundane-looking vehicles. That’s how we get pickup trucks that can run to 60 mph in under three seconds and family SUVs with similar specs. Rivian’s pickup and SUV both offer staggering acceleration and performance numbers and according to a new rumor on the Rivian Forum, it’s got more to give.

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Is Rivian Still Spending Billions Now to Make Billions Later?

Rivian lost an estimated $33,000 on every pickup it sold in the second quarter of this year, which is kind of impressive considering the cheapest model it sells still goes for a sizable $73,000. Considering its lofty initial public offering (IPO) and enviable product specifications, some are wondering why the company isn’t in better shape.

Though Rivian is hardly alone in selling cash-hemorrhaging electric pickups and SUVs. Ford is on track to lose $4.5 billion on EVs by year's end and is supposed to be underwater by more than $32,000 per average all-electric transaction. Frankly, it doesn’t look like any brand other than Tesla has managed to find a way to make volume electrification work in its favor.

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Rivian Boosts Ride Quality With New Software Update

Automakers can work wonders with over-the-air software (OTA) updates, from increasing EVs’ range to adding new infotainment features and safety tech. Rivian’s recent software update improved its vehicles’ ride quality and ride height settings, showing that OTAs can deliver meaningful hardware updates without a tech ever touching the vehicle. 

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2023 Rivian R1T Review - Got My Chips Cashed In

Except when they’re busy hating them, Americans love trucks. Big, brawny, bruising trucks dominate the sales sheets and roadways from coast to coast since we always seem to need to haul something somewhere. The problem is, trucks aren’t fuel efficient, which is one reason the great big mythical THEY are coming for your trucks. Traditional fuels keep getting more scarce and expensive. 

On the other hand, it’s easy to forget about the cost of your electric bill, since you pay it once a month and unless you’re in Texas, electrical service is always right there. Offloading your energy production to a generation plant somewhere else can easily lull you into the idea that an electric-powered vehicle is the right way to minimize your impact on the earth. But traditional automakers have been somewhat slow to market with widely available electric vehicles for a number of reasons, giving upstarts an open window to find their place.

While others have come to market with varying flavors of car-like EVs, Rivian has gone all-in on the most all-American pickup truck - and a related SUV with legitimate off-road ability. This 2023 Rivian R1T is an interesting take on the EV truck idea. Will it plug into your life?

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Rivian Cuts Deal for Tesla Charging Network, Adopts Supercharger Connector

While most automakers were working out what their first all-electric model should be, Tesla was building up a proprietary charging network that helped assure that it would be the EV manufacturer other brands would envy. The vehicles themselves certainly became the benchmark for electric vehicles. But it was the network that guaranteed Tesla’s dominant position in the market. Simply having access to the Supercharger stations is one of the biggest perks of owning a Tesla, as they’re relatively common and suffer less downtime than rival networks.

Despite originally being exclusive to Tesla customers, the brand has decided to open its ports up to the whole world. Ford and General Motors have even signed agreements with the company so that their customers can utilize those charging stations in 2024. Now it appears to be Rivian’s turn.

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EPA Report Reveals Dual-Motor Rivian R1S Range

Range and power figures certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have come out for the Rivian R1S Dual Motor and have been shared by the relevant forums. Things are looking pretty good, too. Depending on how it’s optioned, owners could be seeing 348 miles of range between charges — which is actually better than the automaker had previously speculated.

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Charge It: Rivian to Build Up Charging Network, Open to Public

Ask anyone who’s been behind the wheel of an electric vehicle lately about the state of public charging facilities and you’re likely to get an earful about broken facilities and wonky payment systems. Say what you like about Tesla (and we often do) but their original tack of building out a huge charging network ahead of dumping millions of EVs on America’s roads was the right call.

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Rivian to Use In-House Motors to Power Speedier Production

Rivian has seen incredible demand for its R1T pickup and R1S SUV but has struggled to keep pace with production and supply chain issues. Some of the slowdowns relate to Rivian’s use of Bosch electric motors, which require hard-to-get chips, but the automaker now has a plan to use its in-house-developed Enduro motors to speed the process.

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Rivian Applied to Patent Complex Bed Storage and Seating System

The Rivian R1T takes a unique perspective on the pickup truck, offering staggering electric performance and clever outdoors-inspired features. That same philosophy is behind the automaker’s new patent filing, which depicts a beefy off-road truck with several fold-out panels and storage areas on its bed.

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Rivian Considering Relocating Engineering Teams to Streamline Production Efforts

All good things come to an end eventually. For many Rivian employees, their remote office locations could soon be rolled into the company’s main office in a significant reorganization effort. Automotive News reported that the automaker seeks to streamline its engineering and production operations, which could require many employees to relocate to one of its locations.

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Rivian Issues OTA With Tesla Supercharger Location Features

As part of a deal with the White House, Tesla agreed to open part of its expansive, exclusive charging network to owners of other EV brands. The automaker made good on that promise a few weeks ago, opening a new world of possibilities for owners tired of searching for a charger in vain. Rivian has gone a step further for its owners with a new over-the-air update that adds Supercharger locations to its vehicles’ navigation systems. 

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Rivian Hopes New R1 Shop Speeds Delivery Times

Like many automakers, startup Rivian is having trouble getting vehicles into buyers’ hands. Extreme demand for some products combined with ongoing supply chain difficulties have caused wait times to balloon, but Rivian has a plan. The automaker reached out to Teslarati to explain its new R1 Shop, which it says will drastically shorten delivery times on its R1T and R1S EVs.

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Rivian Planning to Raise $1.3 Billion in Green Bonds

On Monday, Rivian announced a plan to sell $1.3 billion in bonds as a way to cope with rising production costs.

The news comes just days after the company addressed rumors that it might build as many as 62,000 vehicles through 2023. Despite credible reporting, Rivian said its official production forecast remains set at the original 50,000 electric vehicles by year’s end.

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QOTD: Would You Use an EV Truck for "Truck Stuff"?

Mr. Guy wrote yesterday about how Ford F-150 Lightning owners are using their trucks for so-called "truck stuff" as much, if not more, than owners of internal-combustion engine F-150s are.

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Rivian Cuts Quad-Motor Option With Max Pack Battery to Start 2023

Despite earning accolades with its two new electric vehicles, Rivian has struggled to meet demand and has raised prices in recent months to account for rising materials and production costs. The automaker is taking action to improve its lot in 2023, however, as a recent letter obtained by Teslarati shows, its efforts to simplify product offerings early in the year.

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Rivian OTA Brings Better Range and Cool Winter Weather Features for R1S and R1T

Over-the-air (OTA) updates have made it relatively easy for automakers to add new vehicle features and improve or fix existing functions. The technology is especially impressive with EVs, where companies can make tweaks that impact major vehicle characteristics like range and performance. With its most recent OTA, Rivian made significant improvements to the R1S and R1T, making them more efficient and friendlier for people living where the air hurts their faces in winter.   

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Report: Rivian and Mercedes Cancel Joint Partnership

Rivian and Mercedes-Benz Vans signed a memorandum of understanding to create a new joint venture for building electric vans in September. But the deal seems to have fallen apart, with reports confirming that the EV startup has pulled the plug just a few months into the planned partnership.

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Rivian Suffers Job Cuts, Factory Exempted

I mentioned that Rivian was facing job cuts during today's QOTD, and here's the skinny.

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Honda Civic is NACTOY Car of the Year, Ford Takes Other Two Categories

The North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit Auto Show, isn’t taking place in January anymore. It’s set for a move to September.

But that didn’t stop the traditional North American Car and Truck of the Year award ceremony from taking place at Cobo Center Huntington Place this morning.

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Rumor Has It Rivian Will See More Production Delays

Rivian may be experiencing more production delays. Maybe this is why it now apparently has a delivery-time estimator on its build site?

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Rivian to Add Delivery Time Estimator to Configurator

Rivian is planning on adding a feature to its online configurator that estimates the time of delivery of the customer’s vehicle.

It’s mild news, to be sure, but it’s the week of Thanksgiving.

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Rivian Sets IPO at $78, Stonks to the Moon

While no one around this neck of the woods would call themselves experts in finer points of the stock market, we do know how to add. Talking heads at the Wall Street Journal are reporting Rivian has set an initial share price of $78 for its IPO, a heady sum to be sure. What drives this story to another dimension is they’ve allegedly sold 153 million shares at this price.

For those keeping track, that means they raised nearly $12 billion – making RIVN the biggest listing so far in 2021.

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Rivian Accused of 'Boys Club' Culture by Ex-Exec

Start-up EV automaker Rivian has been accused by a former employee of having a “boys club” atmosphere while she worked there.

Laura Schwab, who was in charge of sales and marketing, claims the company has a “toxic bro culture” that led to mistakes being made, and when she pointed it out, she was fired.

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Report: Rivian Van Names Leaked

A VIN decoder appears to have revealed the names of Rivian’s planned vans.

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Analysis: How Rivian Beat EVERYONE to Market With the First Electric Pickup

Barely a month has passed since Rivian’s CEO first posted pictures of the company’s fully certified, in-production R1T electric pickup rolling down the Normal, Illinois assembly line. The R1T is here, it’s real, and it’s got the blessing of the NHTSA, EPA, and CARB to prove it – but the fact that the R1T made it to production more-or-less as promised isn’t what I’m here to talk about today.

Instead, I want to talk about how a brash, spunky startup managed to beat not just Ford, and not just GM, but every single established automaker to market to deliver the first modern electric pickup truck … and the answer might not be what you expect.

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Tesla Lawsuit Against Rivian Moves Forward in California Superior Court

The lawsuits continue against EV startup Rivian. Though it hasn’t built any vehicles to date, the company has an aggressive plan to manufacture its “Tesla killer” vehicles at the former Diamond Star Motors plant at Normal, Illinois, and sell its wares directly to customers via nine showrooms across the nation. Various parties take issue with both the building and selling facets at Rivian, and the company has lawsuits with dealers in Illinois as well as Tesla.

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  • Kcflyer This is a joke right? Kevin James invented this in a movie years ago. As I recall queen latifa loved it. The movie was called "The Dilemma". It was even a dodge. Life imitates art indeed.
  • RHD This is the modern equivalent of the Horsey Horseless. (If you don't know what that was, look it up!)
  • Loser What’s next, simulation of the “Hemi tick”?
  • Ajla There's a melancholy to me about an EV with external speaker-generated "engine" noise and fake transmissions. It feels like an admission from the manufacturer that you're giving something up and they are trying to give back some facsimile of it. Like giving a cupcake scented candle to someone on a diet. If I was shopping for an EV I'd rather go to a company enthusiastic about it rather than apologetic.
  • EBFlex More proof of how much EVs suck. If you have to do this, that means you are trying to substitute what people want...and that's ICE.