Rivian VIN decoder released, points to possible cheaper dual-motor option

Thanks to some excellent sleuthing by someone on a Rivian forum through the NHTSA database, we now have a Rosetta Stone in deciphering VIN coding on upcoming R1Ts. Furthermore, the motor options listed in the VIN document hint at the possibility of a more affordable, dual-motor Rivian R1T on the horizon.

Rivian currently sits on the precipice of debuting its two flagship EVs this summer, with the R1T pickup scheduled to begin deliveries this June, followed by the R1S SUV in August. Both models coming in 2021 are the more lavish Launch Edition trim, of which are both sold out.

At the same time, Rivian continues to operate production and deliveries of its Amazon delivery vans that continue to expand in reach throughout the US. As the American automaker inches closer to first deliveries, those who pre-ordered a Rivian might be curious what their VIN will be before it delivers.

Thanks to the relentless efforts of Rivian’s passionate fanbase, we may now know how the company’s VIN system is coded, and there may be some exciting variations on the way.

Rivian VIN decoder

A community member by the name timf posted to the Rivian Forums website yesterday, pointing out that he had discovered Rivian’s VIN deciphering document within the NHTSA database.

According to the post and the coinciding document, it looks like the upcoming Launch Edition R1Ts will be labeled for the 2022 model year. Furthermore, the VIN coding only included the R1T pickup and not the R1S yet. Here’s the coding system that was shared:

1-3World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)​7FC – Rivian, Vehicle Type: Truck
4Model Line / Body Style​T – R1T 4-door Pickup Truck
5GVWR / Brake System​G – 8,001-9,000 lbs.; Hydraulic Brakes
6Engine / Motor / Drivetrain​A – Electric, Quad-Motor, AWD
B – Electric, Dual-motor, AWD
7Restraints​A – 2x front airbags; 2x knee airbags; 2x front row side airbags; 2x curtain airbags;
2x front row 3-point seat belts; 3x second row 3-point seat belts.
8Trim​A – Adventure
E – Explore
L – Launch Edition
9Check Digit​Calculated based on values of remaining 16 characters
10Model Year​N – 2022
P – 2023
11Manufacturing Plant​N – Normal, IL
12-17Serial Number​000000 – 999999
Credit: timf Rivian Forums

Potential dual-motor option on the way?

Notice anything interesting in position 6? For the motor option, both a quad and dual-motor option are listed, although Rivian is currently only advertising the quad-motor option on its website.

Rivian VIN

Other members of the forum have speculated that this could mean a dual-motor option is coming along with the smaller battery pack on the R1T, particularly in the other two trims slotted for 2022. However, Rivian is still taking reservations on those trims advertising quad motors only, along with two battery variations — large pack (300+ miles) and max pack (400+ miles).

What’s also interesting is that there is zero coding for battery size in this document, thus making it harder to determine where this dual-motor option might land. Perhaps this could be a slighter smaller, less expensive version of the R1T to match the images we reported this past winter?

For now, it’s tough to say, but it is interesting that Rivian might have some motor variations in the works, no matter the model. Rivian has not confirmed this VIN document nor the prospect of a dual-motor version of any of its EVs, but we will keep you informed as we learn more about this story.

Electrek‘s take

First things first, a proper tip of the hat to timf and the Rivian Forums for staying passionate and hungry for information as the world awaits deliveries of the R1T and R1S.

A journalistic err on the side of caution remains here, simply because Rivian has yet to confirm any of this information, although the VIN coding system makes sense. It is interesting to not code for battery size, though.

To me, it feels more like an extended cab version of the R1T — smaller and cheaper. This is mainly because Rivian already has and continues to sell the 2022 (or 2023?) trims of the R1T with no mention of a dual motor.

That being said, Rivian could just as easily deliver the Launch Edition this summer, then update its website in the new year to feature more variations for battery and motor. We’ll be sure to let you know if we can get more confirmation from Rivian.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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