Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe has been making the rounds and making the case that his electric vehicle startup is the new one to watch. Not only are Rivian's planned electric SUV and pickup truck drawing comparisons to Tesla, but Scaringe is saying his company's fresh approach gives establishment brands a reason to look in their rearview mirrors.

"It's a balance between the advantages of having a tremendous amount of agility and speed and new technology without any of the handcuffs of legacy," Scaringe told Business Insider in a new interview. "That's the positive of being a new company, but, of course, we don't have the scale or the purchasing power or the capital, in terms of revenue, that an existing player might have."

Speaking to the publication in April, Scaringe said Rivian's "clean sheet" in terms of creativity and design gives the company a leg up on firms such as General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Daimler and even Ford – which they've subsequently announced a $500 million deal with – because Rivian can be more nimble and not as bogged down dealing with manufacturing logistics, such as trying to adapt platforms meant for internal combustion engines into suitable battery electric vehicles.

And Scaringe has made a lot of promises for vehicles that have a little more than a year before their on-sale date. The R1S and R1T are supposed to have 400 miles of electric range, with both payload and off-road skills that are at minimum comparable to gasoline-only models. He's stated they should have 0-60 mph times in the 3 second range, with prices in the $60,000 range before government incentives. 

With expectations already running high, it's no wonder Rivian's tie-up with Ford looks like a much-needed dose of pragmatism. But Scaringe's company is going to need to use its time wisely to prove its capabilities, as well as convince skeptics there's substance behind the buzz.

Source: Business Insider (subscription)

Gallery: Rivian R1T Electric Pickup Truck

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