Tesla should finally start delivering the Cybertruck to customers soon, almost four years after its unveiling as a show car in November 2019.
The start of customer deliveries will no doubt be a pivotal moment both for Tesla and the electric pickup truck market, and it will be interesting to see how the Cybertruck will influence the segment.
Interestingly, the CEO of Rivian, the EV startup that brought America's first electric pickup truck to market in September 2021, does not believe that the Cybertruck will compete directly with the Rivian R1T or the R1S.
Speaking at the Code Conference 2023 on September 27, RJ Scaringe brushed the Cybertruck aside. "If you were to think of like the Venn diagrams of customers, there's probably not a lot of overlap," Scaringe said according to The Verge (via Electrek). "But, I think it's great that a product like that exists in the world."
Rivian's founder and CEO added that competition is healthy "if we truly want to electrify everything that's produced," and that "it's great to see something that's so different."
According to Scaringe, there's room for many winners in the transportation sector – 20 to 25 – unlike the tech industry where there's a single winner or maybe a small set of winners. "So our success doesn't require someone else's failure and vice-versa," he said.
Rivian is currently going through a favorable period after tripling production and deliveries in the second quarter, its best one so far. The EV startup produced 13,992 electric vehicles – R1T, R1S, and Amazon EDV combined – at its plant in Normal, Illinois, and delivered 12,640 units during the period.
As a result, expectations are high for third-quarter delivery numbers, especially as Rivian has reiterated its production guidance of 50,000 vehicles for the current calendar year. In the first half of the year, the company built 23,387 vehicles and delivered 20,586.
We're curious to learn your opinion on RJ Scaringe's remarks that the Tesla Cybertruck will not be a direct competitor to the Rivian R1T. Do you think that's accurate or is he trying to downplay the Cybertruck based on its looks alone?
Given that the R1T starts at $73,000 and can exceed $100,000 for a Quad-Motor version with the Large battery pack and all the options, it's likely that many buyers will cross-shop the R1T with the Cybertruck – assuming the latter comes in at similar prices.