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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Rivian Receiving $1.5 Billion Incentive Package from Georgia

Rivian Automotive Inc, purveyor of the all-electric R1T and R1S, will receive $1.5 billion in incentives from state and local governments to build a new manufacturing facility in Georgia. Eager to become home to the company’s planned $5 billion assembly plant, the state is offering a comprehensive incentive package that includes tax breaks. The government has a few stipulations, however.

Under the new agreement, Rivian’s factory would be required to produce 7,500 jobs and its existing investment target by 2028 to receive the full $1.5 billion. That includes a sizable battery production site and may explain why the state is offering up the largest corporate incentivization package in its history.

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Rivian Confirms Production Delayed Until Next Summer

On Friday, electric vehicle startup Rivian said it expects to commence deliveries of its all-electric pickup and crossovers next summer — placing the company roughly 6 months behind schedule.

However, before we crap on the company for being another novice EV company that can’t hack it, it should be said that product delays are quickly becoming the norm within the industry. This postponement may be indicative of nothing more than Rivian confronting the same hardships experienced by practically every other automaker in operation — though cash should not be among them.

The company said in April to expect adjustments to its delivery timeline as it tackled issues stemming from the pandemic while prepping the former Diamond-Star Motors/Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL.

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Buyers Waiting on a Rivian Will Have to Wait a Little Longer

Rivian, the future builder of powerful electric pickups and SUVs (and secret parent to an upcoming Lincoln), hoped to have the first of its production models in buyers’ hands before the end of the year. Both the R1T pickup and R1S SUV were on track to roll out of the fledgling automaker’s Normal, Illinois assembly plant in the second half of 2020, reaching consumers just before New Year’s Eve (R1T) and not long after (R1S).

Well, that schedule’s seen a bit of tweaking. Care to hazard a guess why?

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Rivian: Not Quite As Expensive As First Thought

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.

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Rivian to Go the Subscription Route?

Rivian, the Michigan-based startup that aims to get electric pickups and SUVs into the hands of consumers starting late next year, may choose a controversial avenue to ownership.

The automaker’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, claims the automaker is seriously thinking about offering a subscription service when it begins rolling out vehicles from its Normal, Illinois assembly plant in 2020. Without a dealer network, Rivian’s plan was always to send vehicles directly to buyers, no doubt earning it the ire of dealer groups country-wide.

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GM-Rivian Talks Break Down, but Rivian Doesn't Seem Worried

General Motors has been negotiating with Rivian, the Michigan-based company developing some of the slickest EVs we’ve seen in a while, over the possibility of purchasing an equity stake in the promising startup. Following news that Amazon was leading a $700 million round of funding in Rivian in February, reports came streaming in that the biggest of The Big Three would likely become the startup’s next backer.

The rumored deal was expected to result in GM bringing an electric pickup to market sooner than anticipated, with Rivian seeing a boost to its funds and manufacturing capabilities. However, talks don’t appear to have progressed as expected.

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One-two Punch: Rivian Debuts Seven-seat Electric SUV, Promises 410 Miles of Range

Having just unveiled a rather impressive all-electric pickup for the LA Auto Show, Michigan-based automotive startup Rivian is following up with another model. Rivian’s second vehicle will be a seven-passenger SUV, called the R1S, that uses the same platform as the R1T e-pickup.

That results in the pair playing host to nearly identical specs. This isn’t a problem, as the automaker vows to provide between 300 and 562 kW (402 and 753 hp) in combined output. Range is similarly good. The company is also promising figures that would make most other electric vehicles of this size blush, especially if you opt for the bigger battery.

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  • Jeff S A June 22, 2020 article by Steph Willems on this website titled Foresome American Shuns Non-Crewcabs Like Never Before. To paraphrase as follows:"In the eventful 2020 model year, it seems the buying public has never had less use for once-common body styles. It’s four doors, or get lost.According to data posted by JATO Dynamics, the 2020 model year — thus far — has seen the take rate of regular and extended cab trucks sink to new lows. In the U.S., crew cab pickups made up 83.1 percent of 2020MY pickups sold through May of this year. That’s up from 77.8 percent for the 2019 model year, and a significant jump from the 69 percent seen back in the hazy, long-forgotten year of 2016.""In Canada, a full 88.9 percent of 2020 pickup rolling stock has been crew cab in nature, once again showing that, despite their tireless environmental smugness, Canadians like their trucks a lot. Last year’s take was just 80.5 percent, and 2016 shows crew cabs eating up 79 percent of the market. A big gain for 2020, clearly." 'For the current model year, regular cab pickups made up only 3 percent of the U.S. mix, down from 6.6 percent in 2016. Extended cabs account for 14 percent of sales in the U.S., down from 18.7 percent in 2019 and 24.4 percent in 2016.''In Canada, extended cabs make up 9.6 percent of the market, meaning that true two-door, backseat-lacking models account for just 1.5 percent of all pickup sales. That’s half that of the United States.'Vulpine I found this article and even though I agree with you this article gives a compelling reason why manufacturers are not offer regular and extended cabs. Manufacturers have been simplifying and cutting costs offer less variations in body styles, colors, and limiting more options to higher trim packages.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic "...to make room for reality TV reruns..."What an insult!! Shows how far broadcast TV will stoop for a few extra bucks.I much appreciate Jay for keeping the "motor head" world alive in a Zoom society. However, maybe it's time for him to retire or semi-retire. There's enough material for him to do YouTube with most auto related companies willing to underwrite....but the number of shows would be at his own pace.I wish him well!!
  • Gregtwelve I had an '88 Turbo Coupe with 5 spd bought used and really liked it. I loved the looks, it had decent power for the time and a nice interior. Unfortunately the head gasket went at around 60K miles. I repaired it myself and sold it.
  • Mattwc1 I bought a Maverick specifically because I wanted utility and great fuel economy. My wife has a RAV4 hybrid that we really like. I think Toyota would print money with a smaller RAV4 based truck.
  • Varezhka Dunno. Looking at Maverick and Santa Cruz, having the engine in the front of the driver and a crew cab layout will mean the rear bed will be about the same size as kei trucks. And it will still be more than 16ft long. I'd rather get a Tacoma and/or a Hilux at that point.If we actually want a small truck with usable bed, it will have to be cab over layout with standard cab like Toyota TownAce Truck. We already know how popular that would be, even without getting into federal safety requirements.