Rivian’s electric vehicles have been almost 10 years in the making, and yet, they have very little hype about them. That might change soon as they start teasing their electric pickup truck ahead of this month’s unveiling.
The startup was founded by CEO RJ Scaringe, a MIT graduate, and it has been in stealth mode since its inception in 2009 up until last year when they took over a shuttered Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois.
As we previously reported, Rivian hired Gary Gloceri, a former Magna electric powertrain chief engineer who led powertrain development for the Ford Focus Electric to head up the development of Rivian’s all-electric vehicle platform.
Earlier this year, we reported that they plan to build all-electric pickup trucks and SUVs on the same platform.
They invited some media to visit them earlier this year and some specs came out of the visit:
- Range: 200 miles to 450 miles depending on the battery configuration (80 kWh and up)
- Acceleration: 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds for top version to less than five seconds for the base version
- Autonomous driving: Level 3
- Price: $50,000 to $90,000
Now the company is releasing its first teaser video with a glimpse of the electric pickup truck:
The automaker also confirmed that “its all-new pickup will be named Rivian R1T and the all-new 3-row 7-passenger SUV will be named Rivian R1S.”
They wrote about the vehicles in a press release:
“The two all-new electric drive models promise impressive on- and off-road performance figures and class-leading specifications including range, power, torque and off-road articulation. These vehicles are set to demonstrate that electric vehicle technology is now able to deliver durable, long-range on- and off-road capability to consumers.”
The vehicles will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of the month.
As I have written before, Rivian is on the top of my list when it comes to EV startups to watch. Like SF Motors and their purchase of AM General’s South Bend, Indiana assembly plant, and unlike Lucid Motors and Faraday Future, Rivian focused on production before unveiling their electric vehicles to drum up demand.
The strategy is encouraging in terms of the seriousness of the venture, but it’s also reminiscent of Tesla buying the NUMMI plant in Fremont back in 2010, but on a smaller scale.
Tesla bought the NUMMI plant from Toyota for $42 million and it is believed to be an important part of the reason why Tesla was able to relatively quickly bring its vehicles to production.
Rivian reportedly bought the shuttered Mitsubishi factory and its contents for only $16 million and even though it’s much smaller than NUMMI, it originally had a capacity for over 200,000 cars per year.
They have a lot of things in place to bring their vehicles to market already and as for the vehicles themselves, our first glimpse at the specs is certainly encouraging. Not so sure about the design based on this glimpse, but I’ll wait until actually seeing the truck before judging its looks.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.