Rivian Automotive is taking a less "major announcements before they're actually going to happen" approach
Rivian Automotive is still operating under the radar, but a website update and new information suggest that the automaker has plans for battery-electric pickup trucks and SUVs by 2020.
Some may call a company like Rivian "vaporware." Let's face it, they've been around for years and essentially have nothing to show for it (at least in terms of vehicle prototypes). Others seem excited that the company is taking the time to do its homework, acquire a working factory, and raise the appropriate funds before flooding the market with a bunch of false promises.
We really hope that this startup finds the success that it deserves, after having gone about the process in what seems to be the "right" way. This is even truer now that the Midwest-based electric "automaker" has plans to bring us some fully electric utility vehicles inside of the next few years. Former Magna electric powertrain chief engineer and developer of powertrain components for the Ford Focus Electric, Gary Gloceri, is now working on powertrains for Rivian.
The company recently updated its website with the following information:
"We’re creating electric adventure vehicles that get you to the mountain and back on a single charge, that safely cross streams with your whole family, that carry enough gear for any trip, and let you enjoy the wilderness in silence.
Our first vehicles, built on our flexible, electric platform, launch in 2020."
Fully connected. Highly refined. Incredibly capable.
- Connected digital platform
- Robust battery system
- Advanced self-driving
- Active chassis control
- World class range
- Superb on and off road
- Permanent all-wheel drive
- 0-60 mph in under four seconds
- Massive lockable storage capacity
- Wading depth of three feet
- Innovative cargo management solutions
- Competitive towing capacity
Rivian Automotive's site goes on to briefly explain the first two vehicles:
RJ Scaringe, founder of Rivian Automotive
"Our launch vehicle reimagines what a pickup can be – it delivers unmatched performance, refinement, storage capacity and off-road capability in a unique all-electric package."
"Sharing the same flexible platform as the pickup, our SUV delivers an unrivaled combination of utility, performance and capability in a layout optimized for carrying people and gear."
Based on how the company has handled itself thus far, this seems pretty promising. The fact that platforms and some specifics are in place - added to the fact that the automaker is finally willing to share the information publicly after years of silence - suggest a significant leap forward.
Rivian has been in various stages of the process since way back in 2009. Just last year, the company bought the former Mitsubishi automotive production facility in Normal, IL, which was fairly recently functional and is still equipped with working equipment.
Although Rivian hasn't disclosed its investors, multiple reports point to the company's solid financial backing. The state of Illinois is also offering Rivian $50 million in tax credits. Additionally, the automaker already has some 100 or more employees, and that number continues to grow.
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