I just attended the Rivian R1T Electric Truck unveiling at the LA Auto Show. Here are my first thoughts after getting an up-close look. Get these updates in email by joining our list at https://teslanomics.co/join
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What is Rivian? (wikipedia.org)
Rivian is an American automotive technology company with research and development operations in Plymouth, Michigan, San Jose, California and Irvine, California. The firm also has a factory in Normal, Illinois and an engineering facility in the United Kingdom.
Founded in 2009, Rivian is an automotive technology company developing products and services related to sustainable transportation. The company was founded as Mainstream Motors but changed its name to Avera Automotive before finally settling on Rivian in 2011. The company’s founder and CEO is Robert ‘RJ’ Scaringe (born January 19, 1983), a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan Automotive Laboratory. Scaringe was named a “Champion of Change” by the Obama administration, an award that recognizes rising business and civic leaders.
In 2015, the company moved its headquarters from Florida to Livonia, Michigan to be closer to key suppliers. As of the of June 2018, Rivian employs 410 people across their facilities in Plymouth, San Jose, Irvine and Normal.
The company has raised upwards of $450 million through several funding rounds. Some of Rivian’s investors include Sumitomo Corporation of America, Abdul Latif Jameel, and a loan from London’s Standard Chartered Bank. Of Rivian’s funding, $200 million comes from a debt agreement with London’s Standard Chartered Bank.
In 2011, Scaringe said the company had plans to release a car with cost in the mid-US$20,000 range and gas mileage of up to 60 miles per gallon. Rivian planned to release its first production car in 2013, with other models following in 2014. These cars were never released. The company subsequently shifted its focus to autonomous electric vehicles. It planned to start production in the fourth quarter of 2019. In November 2018, the company announced the R1T pickup truck, its first production vehicle, is planned to be released in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In December 2017, Rivian announced their intentions to build both an SUV and pickup truck on the same platform. The truck would launch first, followed by the seven-passenger SUV.
In May 2018, Rivian stated that they planned to name their upcoming truck and SUV the A1T and A1C respectively. The A1T will be able to sprint from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, wade through 3.6 feet of water and climb a 45-percent incline. Both vehicles will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November, 2018. The base trim will include a range of 200 miles and the top trim will have upwards of 400 miles.
In November 2018, Rivian named their truck and SUV the R1T and R1S and released a teaser video of the R1T. The R1T truck debuted online on November 26, 2018, and the R1S SUV on November 27, 2018.