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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Startup electric automakers are facing a series of crises that could cripple them financially and make it hard to grow in any meaningful way in the future. Inflation and incredible jumps in raw materials costs have led companies like Rivian and Lucid to lose staggering sums of money over the last year.
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- Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
- Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
- Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
- 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.