Rivian is doing well selling electric trucks and large SUV’s

When Rivian was first introduced, I didn’t know in the event that they have been going to outlive or find yourself like Fiskar, Faraday, Alta, and Canoo. Nevertheless, they appear to be promoting nicely, and Ford has invested $500-Million in Rivian. Additionally, Amazon has ordered 100,000 supply vans, so…lets have a look.


Rivian R1S, the “large” SUV

At this level, I consider Rivian will survive and even change into fairly profitable. The merchandise from Tesla have a forward-thinking and fashionable look, however the Rivian fashions enchantment to a buyer who needs an EV that’s barely extra conventional-looking. The corporate was shaped in Florida round 2009, simply after the nationwide financial real-estate crash of 2008.

They began as “Mainstream Motors” as an offshoot of the profitable Mainstream Engineering Corp. They then modified to “Avera Motors”, but it surely was quickly deemed to be too much like the Hyundai Azera and Aptera Motors, and their first product proposal was for a hybrid sports activities automotive, the R1. They lastly landed on the “Rivian” model in 2011.

Porsche started producing the Cayenne hybrid sports activities automotive round this time (together with Tesla producing the quick Mannequin-S AWD variant), and Rivian calculated that even with their larger value, the Cayenne and Mannequin-S AWD would restrict gross sales of a Rivian sports-hybrid. They correctly pivoted and used the polling of possible prospects to find out that a big electrical SUV was an under-served demographic that Rivian might reach.

Rivian additionally calculated that this identical platform might be used for a 4-door truck. No person is stopping a Rivian truck proprietor from utilizing it for building work, however…Rivian is promoting each the truck and the SUV as a enjoyable life-style car.

The Rivian R1S

The R1S has 7-seats, in a 2-3-2 sample.

The Rivian R1S

With all of the rear seats folded down, the Rivian turns into a critical cargo-hauler.

Tesla popularized calling the entrance storage the “Frunk” for front-trunk. Since most EV’s have a flat drivetrain with the motors built-in into the axles, there is no such thing as a engine up entrance. Though, this a part of the car continues to be used as a designed “crush zone” to present the driving force some security house in a collision. These design issues are one of many causes that each one EV’s have a superb security report in a crash.

As of the writing of this text, Rivian has delivered over 100,000 autos to prospects, with loads of reservations on record. Apart from the distinctive headlights, the R1S appeals to an EV proprietor who needs a reasonably normal-looking giant SUV, whereas being versatile sufficient to carry out a number of features nicely.

The primary two R1S’s have been delivered in December of 2021.


R1T, the Truck

The Rivian truck was their first product obtainable to the general public in September of 2021. Their important competitors is the distinctive Tesla “Cybertruck”, the Ford Lightning, and the Chevy EV Silverado. Dodge is producing an all-electric EV truck, and in addition a Hybrid truck for 2025, which I’m very inquisitive about.

Its worthy to notice that ALL SIX of the “vans” talked about above have 4-doors. I believe this can be a reflection of the necessity to have a car that’s versatile and might deal with a number of totally different features in a household, when the acquisition value is as vital as these are.

Rivian has been very proactive about including options that enchantment to campers. The tent above is made by Yakima. There are energy sockets positioned throughout the R1T, offering 12V DC, 120V AC, and 4V USB-C. All Rivians have the choice of selecting an AWD drivetrain for off-road use.

The “Gear Tunnel” behind the rear seat at all times appears to get an enthusiastic response. The doorways to the pass-through storage will open to put flat. I believed that was helpful, however an proprietor instructed me they’re undoubtedly robust sufficient to take a seat on (as much as 250-lbs), and that’s VERY helpful for placing on snow-skis or swapping-out mountaineering boots.

There isn’t a doubt that third-party corporations will produce intelligent equipment for the R1T, however Rivian got here out of the gate swinging with their slide-out / fold-up “camp kitchen”. It options two electrical induction heater items, so the pots and skillets will should be cast-iron or metal.

Induction cook-tops warmth up the skillet extraordinarily quick, and so they quiet down very quick to, when turned off. In fact the pot of stew will keep sizzling, however the cooktop is protected to the touch (or stow away) after just a few seconds.

The R1S and R1T frunks have a drain, so you’ve the choice to fill it with ice and some drinks, if wanted.


R2, the mid-sized SUV

In case you’ve seen the R1S, you just about have seen the R2, besides that this mannequin is 15-inches shorter, and 4-inches narrower. It’s constructed on their smaller platform, and that very same platform can also be used within the R3 farther under.

The Rivian R2

The complete-sized R1S has three rows of seats, and the smaller R2 right here has solely two rows to carry 5 folks. Nevertheless, the entrance seats are very cleverly designed to have the ability to slide again, after which fold flat. I’ve seen many entrance seats that lean ahead, however these truly fold fully flat, which is anticipated to be in style with campers, after filling up an air mattress.

The Rivian R2 fold-flat entrance seats


R3, the small Crossover

The R3 is constructed on the identical smaller platform because the R2 above, however to be able to inform which one it’s at a distance, discover that the physique behind the rear tire is clipped very brief, and the rear hatch is angled, making it a “crossover”. I’d argue that that is the best-looking Rivian, and I believe it will likely be extremely popular.

The Rivian R3

Because the R3 is the lightest Rivian, it’ll even be the platform that they use for his or her R3 “X” high-performance mannequin, which can use three motors. Two motors within the rear, and one up entrance.

The Rivian R3

The bottom-model R3 is anticipated to promote fairly nicely in 2026 primarily based on polling knowledge. Rivian is aiming for an MSRP of $45,000


The Supply Van

Amazon has dedicated to buying 100,000 of the brand new supply car from Rivian, and Amazons web site states that over 10,000 have already been delivered. They’re now on the roads within the US, with an extra 300 being utilized in Germany.

This mannequin is the EDV-700, for “Electrical Supply Van”, with 700 cubic toes of carrying capability. They’ve said that there can be a 500 cubic toes model, and in addition a 900. The one driveline configuration up to now on the EDV-700 is a dual-motor front-wheel-drive, with an optionally available AWD model to come back quickly. All variations may have regenerative braking.

Supply drivers carry a van-specific fob of their pocket, and once they go away the van to stroll to a supply level, the drivers door will shut and lock routinely. Then, as the driving force returns, the door routinely unlocks and opens.

The vary requested by Amazon is just 150-miles, and that is primarily based on their in depth knowledge evaluation of their huge quantity of deliveries over the previous few years. Keep in mind that they’ve the choice of utilizing a high-amp “quick cost” each time the van is on the depot, whereas being loaded with extra packages. Nevertheless, an Amazon delivery supervisor said that in real-world use, these vans not often exceed 100 miles in a day, on the kind of routes that they’ve been assigned.

The again door is a roll-up that may be opened manually or routinely with an electrical motor. At any time when the driving force places the van into drive-mode, this door closes routinely. Drivers which are 6-foot 2-inches tall have stated that they don’t bump their heads, and don’t must hunch-over anyplace inside this mannequin.

The pic under reveals that…regardless that the Rivian private autos should presently use an adapter to entry the nationwide community of “NACS” cost stations (to see our article on NACS cost ports, click on right here), Amazon has requested that NACS be the factory-installed cost format, which can also be utilized by Ford, Toyota, GM, Volvo, and Tesla.

The 2 giant pins at backside are the “excessive amp” fast-charge connectors, that are usually used when a battery pack has a state-of-charge under 80%. Lithium batteries can get sizzling if they aren’t slow-charged in the course of the prime 80%-100%, and preserving them cool is likely one of the methods you’ll be able to assist the battery final so long as potential (to see our article on methods to make your lithium batteries final a very long time, click on right here).

Chilly climate variants have heated steering wheels, heated seats, and heated rear-view mirrors. The windshield has an embedded heater, as an alternative of counting on the usual warm-air heater. Amazon has said that some places in snowy climates will get an AWD model as quickly as they’re produced.

A characteristic that jumped out at me was that the underside skirt across the total van is constructed from a rugged corrosion-resistant polymer.

I grew up in southern California, so it was fairly an adjustment to me once I spent just a few months in Chicago throughout a horrific winter in 1977. Locations like that unfold salt on the roads to forestall ice formation. Nevertheless, the draw back is that even pretty new vehicles had a stunning quantity of rust and deep corrosion of their wheel-wells.

I dwell in Kansas now, and I just lately bought my 32-year-old Toyota because of physique corrosion (sure, it nonetheless ran wonderful!). I consider many autos would profit from the underside 1/4 of the physique being made similar to these Amazon vans. In case you scroll again up by means of the earlier photos, you will notice that each one the Rivian’s seem to have a polymer backside skirt built-in into the physique, although they aren’t fairly as large because the skirt on the supply vans right here.


The Batteries

Reasonably than record the kilowatts-hours, I’d want to state that Rivian has a number of battery pack choices, from 270-miles as much as over 400 miles. In fact the longer-range battery packs are heavier and dearer.

The R1T pack on this video under has 9 150-lb modules which are related in sequence to provide the full system voltage. Every module is a double stack of vertical Samsung 2170-format cells (cylindrical, 21mm in diameter, 70mm lengthy), roughly seven inches thick.

Every “block” module holds 864 cells configured as 12S, that means 12 cells in Collection. Since there are 9 of those blocks, the R1T pack is 108S. Which means that its “nominal” common voltage is 108S x 3.6V = 388V. When it’s absolutely charged to 4.1V per cell, it could relaxation at 443V.

Video courtesy of “Munro Stay” on youtube.

The R2 and R3 are slated to make use of a big “4695” cell (46mm diameter, 95mm lengthy).

Tesla has already begun producing a “4680” format of cells for the Mannequin-Y. Because the numbers recommend, in comparison with the now-common 2170 cell, it’s twice as fats and barely longer. Utilizing a bodily bigger cell reduces the variety of cells and cell-connections, that are each an excellent factor. The engineering restrict to creating the cells even bigger is the difficulty of getting warmth out of the middle of every cell. Warmth is likely one of the largest components within the cell degrading over time.

A Tesla 4680 cell subsequent to a typical 18650 cell

One of many nice issues concerning the new Tesla 4680 cells is it’s “tabless” design. Cylindrical cells are literally very lengthy flat cells which are rolled up. Reasonably than insert just a few tabs to drag present from a number of locations within the roll, Tesla made your complete size of the lengthy edges to behave because the inlet and outlet to present. This does three helpful issues.

First, it removes conventional bottlenecks to present, and the tabless cells can launch extra peak amps with out forming hot-spots inside, for unbelievable efficiency. Second, present flows each methods, and the tabless design permits for a extra fast charging with out forming hot-spots inside. Third, even in purposes the place excessive amps are by no means used, the tabless design prevents sizzling spots from forming contained in the cell within the first place. This eases the load for the design of any battery pack cooling system, and it tremendously enhances pack life.

BMW just lately revealed samples of a 4695 cell it plans to make use of in its “Neue Klasse” of EVs from 2025 onwards. A number of battery producers at the moment are producing cells on this 46mm diameter kind issue, together with the “big-three” Samsung, Panasonic, and LG. I believe that the R2 / R3 will use a single-stack of the 4695 cell, and that’s the reason they selected the marginally longer 4695 cell as an alternative of the Tesla 4680 format.


As a Enterprise

The manufacturing facility for the R1S/R1T and the supply vans is within the metropolis of Regular, Illinois. It’s positioned midway between St Louis and Chicago.

They’ve paused building of a brand new facility in Stanton Springs, Georgia. That they had thought of constructing a brand new manufacturing facility there for the R2 and R3 fashions, however they just lately opted as an alternative so as to add to the Illinois plant, and run two shifts to provide all of their fashions there.

The R2 and R3 fashions are anticipated to be obtainable for buy in 2026.

By the top of 2021, the corporate had produced 1,015 autos. In 2022 Rivian produced 24,337 autos. Rivian produced 57,232 autos in 2023 and expects to make roughly the identical quantity in 2024. Rivian celebrated manufacturing their 100,000th car on April third, 2023.

One in every of their first investments was again in 2017 when the corporate obtained $450 million from Sumitomo Company and Jameel Funding Administration Company. In 2019, Ford Motor Group invested practically $500 million, and Amazon invested $700 million. These two investments supplied the corporate with one other $1.2 billion. With this buy, Amazon formally gained the most important stake within the firm, proudly owning 22% of Rivian. Cox Automotive, Black Rock, and T. Rowe Value have additionally invested in Rivian. 


Random Options

Energy. EV’s are identified for his or her inherent laborious acceleration, with instantaneous torque being a attribute of all electrical motors. This implies the R1T has a powerful towing capability. Additionally, the efficiency bundle can speed up from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds.

Energy Retailers. The R1S and R1T each have fairly just a few electrical sockets scattered across the car, with no less than two 120V sockets every. The inverter is formally rated for 1500W, however house owners have posted that they’ve used 1800W tenting and cooking equipment with out challenge.

Air suspension. When you must recover from an impediment, the suspension can elevate the physique an extra six inches, permitting a complete of 14 inches of floor clearance. When tenting on an uneven floor, there’s a leveling characteristic the place every wheel is individually adjusted to make the inside flat and even. The R1S and the R1T each have a “kneel down” mode, and when activated, it drops the car down six inches to make getting into the cabin simpler.

Flashlight. I at all times have a chargeable flashlight in all of my vehicles. Its not as a result of I wish to lower your expenses on the price of batteries. Its simply that once I want my flashlight essentially the most, it at all times looks like it’s low on cost, and my spare batteries have been used and never changed. Simply plug the flashlight right into a 12V accent port with an adapter, or a 4V USB-C port for a couple of minutes, and its able to go. The Rivian’s include a factory-installed rechargeable flashlight utilizing a 2170 Lithium cell, and a charging storage port constructed into the drivers door-jamb.

Air Pump. I additionally equip all my vehicles with a 12V air pump for the tires. Rivian features a built-in 12V air pump in all Rivians, which is helpful for topping-off a low tire, or filling up a tenting mattress.

Flat Ground. To be truthful, all EV’s can have this. as a result of there is no such thing as a driveshaft. Your complete flooring is flat, which implies that there’s a fantastic quantity of space for storing beneath the seats, and loads of foot-room for passengers.



Right here is Rivian’s offical dwelling web page

Here’s a Rivian chat discussion board

Right here is the reddit chat discussion board for Rivians

Right here is Rivian’s Wikipedia web page


Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, April 2023

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