Rivian chose to outsource the electric motors to speed up the launch of its R1T. The EV startup was able to get the electric pickup truck to market sooner since it didn't have to deal with the design, testing, and implementation of in-house motors. However, it seems the company is having second thoughts, or perhaps just ready to move forward down a new path.
According to Green Car Reports based on data from IIHS Markit, Rivian's motor outsourcing is actually unique among electric vehicle manufacturers, and especially among EV-only brands.
As you can clearly see from the IHS Market graphics above, Rivian joins General Motors at the far left side of the graph, which shows that it currently outsources all of its electric motors. Ford is nearly on par as well, with Tata, Honda, and Mercedes all closely following with around 25 percent or fewer of their motors made in-house.
"We forecast a steady shift toward electric drive insourcing in the coming decade driven in part by the US OEMs. However, there will be many situations where outsourcing continues to make sense. For example, Rivian has initially fully outsourced its electric drive which helped accelerate its first product launch, while subsequently developing its own."
You may remember relatively recent news that was first shared by our own Tom Moloughney. Rivian raised its prices, noting that new base models carrying lower prices would be on the way in the future. It was a whole debacle since the brand was planning on charging reservation holders the new, higher prices, though it quickly changed course.
The reason we mention this earlier news is to emphasize that Rivian's future plans include designing and implementing its own motors, 800-volt architecture, heat pumps, and more.
The IHS Market analysis also shows that in-house motors are more of the "norm" in the automotive industry, and it has been the same situation with engines over the years. Some 90 percent of gas engines are made by automakers in-house.
Green Car Reports writes that engines have become part of brand identity. The same can be said of Lucid and Tesla's in-house motors that are virtually unparalleled when it comes to range and efficiency while still offering otherworldly performance.