Ever since the Rivian R1T all-electric pickup and its R1S SUV sibling debuted in North America in 2018, prospective customers in Europe have been asking when the two zero-emissions vehicles will become available on the Old Continent.
Some American R1T owners that relocated to Europe even went to the trouble of shipping their electric trucks overseas, but that’s not something everybody can do, seeing how one has to first purchase it in the United States.
However, during a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, the company’s founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, said that Rivian now has an operational base in Europe, which includes servicing and parts procurement, and hinted that this base will expand to accommodate for the firm’s later expansion on the Old Continent.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1T
The comment comes as the first batch of Amazon Electric Delivery Vans (EDVs) is heading toward Europe, marking the beginning of Rivian’s official presence on the continent. With this being said, however, Scaringe didn’t specifically mention the R1S and R1T as part of the company’s plan to expand in this part of the world. Instead, the soon-to-be-revealed R2-based vehicles, which will be smaller and more affordable, will spearhead the European expansion.
“It’s important to get those vehicles there [the EDVs], Amazon has a lot of business in Europe, but it also represents not just turning on production and vehicles that get shipped overseas, but all the supporting infrastructure,” said RJ Scaringe for Bloomberg TV. “So we have parts distribution capabilities, we have service capabilities, and the EDV program is really a wonderful way for us to open those markets with highly predictable and planned service intervals, and deliver intervals, so it’s the beginning of us opening up the European market for our products.”
Asked about why Rivian hasn’t updated its production and delivery guidance figures to more optimistic figures, considering it has had a record second quarter, Scaringe said that he prefers to underpromise and overdeliver so that all the risk factors that could potentially disturb production are taken into account.
“One of the other things we’ve gone through is just being, you know, very much thoughtful in not wanting to overpromise. We want to make sure that we overdeliver on our numbers, overdeliver on our targets, and knowing all the unknowns that still exist in the system, the supply chain is much healthier, but wanting to protect for just some of the unknowns that could happen,” he said.
As for the firm’s reluctance to detail the production and delivery figures for the passenger and commercial side of things, Rivian’s CEO said that going forward, their focus will be on the R1S, R1T, and future R2-based vehicles, while the Amazon EDV will amount to roughly 20 percent of the company’s manufacturing efforts.
Gallery: Amazon Electric Delivery Vehicle
“If you think about over the full year, we’ve guided to roughly 20 percent of our production [for] the commercial vans,” RJ Scaringe said. “You know, as we think about going forward, the consumer side of the business will grow disproportionately relative to the commercial side, especially as we bring in our next-generation products, with the R2 and the R2 platform representing a significant step-up in volume at a much lower price point.”
Late last month, Rivian’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Claire McDonough said that the first R2-based model will be a mid-size crossover SUV that could have a starting price of around $40,000 and a maximum retail price of $60,000, slotting right under the flagship R1T pickup, which starts at $73,000, and the R1S SUV that has an MSRP of $78,000.
In Q2 2022, Rivian produced 13,992 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) at its plant in Normal, Illinois, which is 218 percent more than a year ago, and delivered 12,640 units – up 183 percent year-over-year.