Much has been written about Rivian since they revealed their EV truck and SUV in the course of last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. In an interview with Inverse.com, the inevitable comparison to Tesla is discussed.
There is lots of hype surrounding the electric car start-up based out of Normal, Illinois. This is not unusual when promising EVs are the topic nowadays but there is a difference when it comes to the Rivian truck and SUV. This hype is built upon real products and demonstrated technologies.
Contrary to Fisker, for example, we’ve seen the cars, been explained the technology but this does not mean that Rivian is not without “flaws.” For a while, the company was without sufficient funding but that all changed when Amazon kicked in a considerable investment. Like Faraday, these start-ups burn through cash as though it was fashionable but the fact of the matter is that designing, developing and building semi-revolutionary electric vehicles is expensive – Tesla is well aware of this fact.
Now that Faraday Future has secured some funds as well, the race is truly on. But in an interview with inverse.com, Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe is clear about his vehicles not competing with Tesla.
He gives credit to Tesla and Musk for clearing a path and building a road for electric vehicle development but once the Rivian R1T and R1S hit the road, they will compete not with Elon’s cars but with fossil-fuel-burning pickups and SUVs. Many other aspects are touched in the interview, but this is the one that really caught our attention.
The reality is that EVs still only account for a fraction of a percentage of all new car sales in North America so realistically, even if Rivian builds thousands of units of the R1S in a given year, odds are that a good number of deliveries made will be to consumers who had considered the Tesla Model X. Scaringe could be right but only if government incentives and tax breaks lower prices to a point where North Americans SUV buyers might set aside their dream of a Ford Expedition and pick up an R1S instead.
What is refreshing about Rivian however is that the vehicles we spotted in L.A. are nearly 100% production-ready designs. We do wish Rivian well and look forward to one day driving their vehicles.