Rivian – The EV Company backed by Jeff Bezos & Ford

Adoption of higher fuel efficiency in travelling while ensuring sustainable development for the environment has now become a goal for all major nations, based on which electric vehicles have been in the spotlight. EVs have seen such massive support and popularity from not just the consumers, but also governments across nations as well that every car maker eyes this market with deep ambition, aiming to capitalise on the vast profits that await every skilled automotive manufacturer. And while luxury carmakers such as Tesla, Audi, Lexus, etc intensify the competition for introducing electric vehicles to the masses, even brands from a segment lower such as Hyundai, MG have been ramping up electric car production to diversify their range of offerings as well.

As the pre-established manufacturers boost their portfolio with electric vehicles, there has been a silent, yet significant rise of an automotive entity, which is dedicated to making optimum growth in the electric vehicle sector. This is what Rivian is all about. Headquartered in California, Rivian is a company, incorporated in 2009 by its CEO Robert ‘RJ’ Scaringe, they’ve constantly improved its ability to produce a variety of EVs, ranging from SUVs to pickup trucks, using the ‘skateboard’ platform, which reduces the cost and complexity of production by a significant margin.

Origin & Aim

Rivian SUV - backed by Jeff bezos
Source: Forbes

Rivian seeks growth in not just producing electric vehicles, but also in the development of an extensive EV charging system across the United States and Canada. After being renamed twice, Rivian Automotives eventually gained traction in 2015, thanks to major investments that allowed the company to create research facilities and shift its headquarters closer to supply sources. They don’t just seek to develop electric vehicles, but also an entire ecosystem, where they can be self-sufficient right from batteries, to charging infrastructure and the vehicles themselves. Their first car model was the prototype of a sports car, however, with high delays in production, that car never reached the markets. After getting infused with fresh capital in 2015, Rivian acquired a plant previously owned by Mitsubishi Motors in Illinois and that’s where they began their entire production. 

In December 2017, Rivian introduced their first two products to be going on sale for the consumers which would be a
5-seater electric pick-up truck and a 7-seater SUV which would be new to the segment. The R1T and the R1S were unveiled at the LA auto show 2018 and were expected to be in production by early 2020. However, there was more delay in their vehicle delivery, also arising from the global shortage of semiconductor chips and eventually, in October 2021 Rivian began delivering their R1T pick up truck to their customers in the United States. With an ambitious vision, Rivian certainly aims at making electric vehicles more common by spreading their reach across all car segments and having their own charging infrastructure in the coming years. 

Rivian SUV - backed by Jeff bezos
Source: Rivian

Rivian's Vehicles

Rivian’s vehicles tend to be the most exciting aspect about this company, as their vehicles sport elegant and sleek looks and a very futuristic design which holds great appeal among buyers from all sections of society. Their two present offerings include

1) The R1T – An electric pick-up truck with a bold stance and great off-roading power, this truck can do wonders! Crossing 0-60 miles in flat 3 seconds while generating as high as 750 horsepower, this machine is undoubtedly a wonder for people looking to race through. Not to mention, this comes with a carrying capacity of up to 11,000 lbs, the R1T makes the towing or load carrying task a breezy affair. With its quad motor coming to use, each wheel gets its individual power source for maximum performance, there’s large space for fitting in goods as well as three power outlets available for charging thus making this truck an efficient and practical option! Its headlamps too, provide the stadium effect of lighting to provide an unmatched view for drives late in the night. 
Rivian Pickup truck - backed by Jeff bezos & ford
Source: Bloomberg

2) The R1SRivian’s electric SUV offering is capable of catching the eye, with its sharp looks, elegant designs and superb styling make the R1S to be a highly interesting choice to go for. With power outputs similar to the R1T, this SUV certainly can provide among the most thrilling drive experiences that its buyers would certainly crave. And as the 3rd row of seats has the ability to collapse and be fully flat, this car has the capacity to haul in all the luggage for any kind of travel. It also adds on a low centre of gravity to manoeuvre well between its various drive modes for a safe and convenient drive. 

Rivian SUV - backed by Jeff bezos & ford
Source: Electricwhip

Along with these two options on sale for the consumers, Rivian also is developing a fleet for improving logistics along with fleetOS which brings a host of technological features such as cloud-based tools to assist in self integrating delivery systems. And in September 2019, global E-Commerce giant Amazon.com ordered 100,000 of these delivery vans from Rivian as a step towards transitioning its fleet to be based entirely on renewable energy sources in place of the traditional fuels by the year 2030.

Although the company is highly promising by their words, there has been a definite lag in their execution. After accepting bookings from customers, Rivian has a production capacity of only 2 trucks per day whereas there’s an order backlog of nearly 55000 vehicles. Additionally, the only vehicles that they have delivered so far are only to employees of their own company which brings about a cloud of uncertainty as to whether or not Rivian will be able to live up to their claims.

Read More: Is Tesla practical for Indian roads?

Market Support

The main question, however, remains what sets Rivian apart from other upcoming EV manufacturers? The answer to this question is the force behind Rivian. The founder of Amazon, Jeffery Bezos has shown a great deal of interest in this company and so has Ford Motors. While Amazon invested a staggering 700 million dollars for the company, Ford Motor Company also infused 500 million dollars. After the launch of its IPO, Rivian is presently the 3rd most valuable automotive company, behind only Tesla and Toyota, as Rivian sets its value at 151.95 billion dollars. Apart from investing just financially, Amazon also has supplied Rivian with a large order for delivery vans hence extending its support to Rivian from all sides. Owing to the high support shown by these companies in Rivian, they’re now able to ramp up production of their vehicles and also set in motion their plans of setting up a well-connected charging network made up of fast as well as slow chargers all over the United States and Canada. It will be interesting to see how efficiently the company manages to utilise the vast resources set forth at their disposal to maximise sales and cater to the demand well. 

Our Word

From our perspective, Rivian is undoubtedly one of the most exciting prospects in the automobile industry. These EVs have all it takes to establish their dominance in the market, right from attractive styling, top-notch performance, superior levels of practicality with immense space and to cap it all, its sublime motors, Rivian has all that it takes to intensify the competition of producing the finest EVs. Bolstered by immense investments and is backed by world-renowned brands, Rivian is now making sure of leaving no stone unturned on its path of being America’s premier electric vehicle manufacturer.

From starting out with less than a hundred employees to now being a source of creating employment by having over
9000 employees, Rivian has come a long way over the past decade. The only drawback is, they haven’t lived up to their commitments earlier as deliveries have been postponed to quite a long extent, customers might be slightly reluctant at making bookings right away, that being said, Rivian undoubtedly comes up as a powerful force in the EV industry.

Rivian Pickup truck - backed by Jeff bezos & ford
Source: Rivian

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