What Is Rivian and Why Should We Care?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Rivian is an American electric automaker and automotive technology company founded in 2009 by CEO Robert “RJ” Scaringe. The company is based in Irvine, California, has a manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, and other facilities in Plymouth, Michigan, Palo Alto, California, Carson, California, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Woking, England.

After being renamed from Mainstream Motors to Avera Automotive and finally Rivian Automotive, the company began focusing on autonomous electric vehicles in 2011. The automaker’s truck offers to compete with Tesla’s new truck that is coming soon. Let’s take a look at what makes Rivian a car company to watch in the future.

Rivian vehicle lineup

Rivian | Getty Images

The seven-passenger 2021 R1S sport-utility vehicle will be the second production vehicle from Rivian, a new electric vehicle manufacturer based in Michigan. The 2021 R1S will compete with the Tesla Model X, which is the only other three-row all-electric SUV.

The R1S will also be more cost-effective than the Model X when it goes on sale. The company has stated that the R1S shares many of its attributes with the R1T pickup. Like the R1T, it offers a 135.0-kWh battery pack that the company claims is good for around 300 miles of driving per charge.

The company says it has delayed deliveries of the R1T pickup until September 2021. The vehicle starts at $73,000, but a more affordable Explore trim level will be available in 2022. Instead of being shipped to traditional car dealerships, the truck will be sold directly to consumers. However, the automaker says that it will also have a network of service centers and Tesla-like stores.

It is environmentally friendly 

Rivian has revealed details of a plastic recycling program put in place by 2024 to collect 500,000kg of single-use plastic annually and stop it from floating out to sea. Instead, the company will turn the plastic into the containers it will use to move parts to its production line. Rivian also has plans to create a robust service station network for users to charge and service their vehicles.

Rivian is not only going to provide charging stations around residential areas for users, but it is also going to offer vehicle-to-vehicle charging. Adding auxiliary battery packs to their vehicles, the automaker addresses this pain point regarding electric-powered cars. If the vehicle’s battery runs out on the road, it can be changed or charged by another Rivian user. In addition to the cheaper price point, this feature alone could give the EV industry the push it needs to become mainstream.

The Amazon team up

Amazon has teamed up with Rivian to create a one-of-a-kind all-electric delivery vehicle as part of its promise to operate more sustainably.

“Rivian’s purpose is to deliver products that the world didn’t already have, to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder, and CEO, as reported by Amazon. “This milestone is one example of how Rivian and Amazon are working toward the world of 2040, and we hope it inspires other companies to fundamentally change the way that they operate.”

Interested in getting your own Rivian? Rivian claims it makes it super simple with no high-pressure sales. Go to the website, configure your vehicle, and purchase. Rivian even offers financing options and insurance options that can all be done from your phone. They even provide a personal guide to help you through the buying process. Rivian goes one step further. They will deliver your vehicle to your home. You have the option of a touchless delivery or a comprehensive guided tour. 

Rivian is a promising new company that is shaking up the automotive world and may change how we purchase cars. 

RELATED: Rivian’s CEO is the Anti-Elon Musk

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