We Visit Rivian, And Its Pickup Truck Is The Real Deal: Watch This Video

NOV 15 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 114

While we can’t yet divulge details about Rivian’s upcoming vehicles, to say they’re incredible would be an understatement.

*Check out Rivian’s new video entitled “The Electric Adventure Begins” above.

Aside from Rivian’s upcoming products, what impressed us the most was the size, beauty, level of organization, and overall reality of the Rivian facility in Plymouth, MI, which is one of several throughout the U.S. Moreover, CEO RJ Scaringe embodies the utmost in intelligence, drive, vision, and passion. In fact, it would be unfair not to point out that every executive we met, every presenter, and every employee we had the pleasure to meet shared these traits. This is arguably a team of all teams, to say the least. Rivian as a company, as well as its vehicles, are truly everything we could ask for and expect from a startup that is well-placed to achieve maximum success in the space.

Much like that of BYTON, we at InsideEVs have plenty of faith that Rivian is the real deal. As you may well know, that is saying a lot when it comes to the fate of most EV startups. To be honest, while we’ve supported and cheered for Rivian from the beginning, we didn’t anticipate the level to which its plan, preparation, and execution could be so intact and praiseworthy.

Rivian’s Plymouth facility was teeming with a vast mix of employees all hard at work in various areas. In terms of equipment, financial investment, and product planning, Rivian proved rather quickly that it has its ducks in a row, and then some. Ah how we wish we could divulge more or that you could have seen it for yourself. Honestly, to see it is to believe it, and at this point, you can only take our word. Fortunately, in just a few short weeks, the upcoming electric automaker will show the world its astonishing vision.

While the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Pickup Truck will not be out for several years, and GM and Ford are dragging their feet on utility electric vehicles like trucks and large SUVs, Rivian will spring forth to pick up the slack.

We all know that production is the point at which the tables can turn rapidly. Let’s hope that Rivian’s painstaking journey, nine long years of research and development, product planning, and acquisition of a monumental and functional production facility will help to alleviate at least some of the expected adversity.

GO RIVIAN!

Check out the entire press release below:

RIVIAN RELEASES DEBUT VIDEO OF R1T

ELECTRIC ADVENTURE VEHICLE

NEWLY-NAMED RIVIAN R1T PICKUP AND RIVIAN R1S SUV

SET TO DEBUT DURING LA AUTOSHOW 2018

PLYMOUTH MI, November 15, 2018 … Electric Vehicle Maker Rivian today released a video of one of the pair of all-electric adventure vehiclesTM that will debut during the week of the 2018 LA Auto Show. The automaker also confirmed that its all-new pickup will be named Rivian R1T and the all-new 3-row 7-passenger SUV will be named Rivian R1S.

The 57 second debut video called “Launch into Space” depicts a person trapped inside the noise and pressure of modern-day urban life. The intensity of his surroundings crescendo until he is able to break free into nature behind the wheel of a Rivian. The Rivian R1T pickup is then seen traveling at speed on a dirt road, leaving behind it a trail of dust as the driver, now enjoying the silence of electric drive, heads into the sunset. The video closes on Rivian’s unique front light signature. Accompanying the video is a still image depicting an aerial view of the R1T full-size pickup truck.

The two all-new electric drive models promise impressive performance figures and class-leading on- and off-road specifications including range, power, torque and off-road articulation. These vehicles are set to demonstrate that electric vehicle technology is now able to deliver durable, long-range on- and off-road capability to consumers.

The autoshow debuts will be available for consumers to view at www.rivian.com from 7.30pm PST on November 26th for the R1T and after 11.50 am PST on Tuesday November 27th for the R1S.

Rivian is a full-scale automaker and leading mobility technology company, founded in 2009 by MIT engineering PHD graduate, RJ Scaringe. The name Rivian is derived from ‘Indian River’, the estuary that ran through Scaringe’s childhood backyard in Florida. The company’s logo is an interpretation of a compass, suggesting the North, South, East, and West of adventure. Rivian currently employs a staff of 500 across its 5 locations, with Vehicle Development and Design in Plymouth, MI; Battery, Powertrain, Controls and Integration in Irvine, CA; Self-Driving and Digital Experience in San Jose, CA; Advanced Engineering in the United Kingdom and Manufacturing at a 2.6 million sq. ft production facility south of Chicago in Normal, IL. Rivian expects to double employee numbers as it ramps up to full production.

The R1T pickup and the R1S SUV will be delivered to customers from 2020.

Source: Rivian

Categories: Rivian

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114 Comments on "We Visit Rivian, And Its Pickup Truck Is The Real Deal: Watch This Video"

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KumarPlocher

It’s always exciting when a new player is emerging, but I can’t get too worked up by the teaser without more information. Hopefully you will be cleared to provide it soon (I guess it will be out following those auto shows).

KumarPlocher

More info:

The A1T will be able to sprint from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, wade through 3.6 feet of water and climb a 45-percent incline. Both vehicles will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November, 2018. The base trim will include a range of 200 miles and the top trim will have upwards of 400 miles. (from Wikipedia)

Also learned via their website that it has an air suspension. Sounds pretty amazing but I get the feeling this is not something that will be affordable to most people. I am curious if it is under 6 figures (I doubt it).

F150 Brian

AT one point they said 50k-90k

KumarPlocher

That would be really impressive.

scott

Yeah, for the just the battery.

Casualsurfer

It would be an incredible feat if they can do it below $90K.

BoltUp

Slowing and pausing the video gives a better view, 4 door pickup like the Honda Ridgeline, tidy truck bed with minimal wheel intrusion. Looks like solar roof (front metal, back glass) . Big hood.

Dav8or

Yep. It looks to be Ridgeline like. A wannabe pickup that appeals to tech types and people that don’t really need a pickup and never had one before but feel compelled to get a “truck”. I’m more intrigued with their SUV concept. I wonder more about that. Maybe the SUV would be the big hit for them.

Lee Ramer

Those would be the best people to sell their first truck too. Sounds like they did their homework. People who use their trucks for real world use probably won’t buy an electric truck just yet especially if there are no adequate superchargers around. Once the production levels go up, cash is flowing, batteries become cheaper, and more superchargers available, then they can focus on a real world pickup truck.

Later

Maybe you could have Just waited till the unveil (November 24 or 23) , before writing anything in the comments !

JP

Advertorial?

Dougie

Yes, but having said that… the mission is to replace ICE with electric, so the more the merrier, right?

Mike

I can’t say that I find a pickup or SUV appealing, butt it will be fun to see the reaction, or lack there of, from the legacy pickup truck crowd. The EV pickup truck seems to be the one thing the Big 3 just don’t want to even acknowledge. If this gets a lot of attention from the media, it will be officially time for them to start freaking out.

I am still going to stick to my prediction that there is an F-150 (E-150?) unveiled at the Detroit show. Ford wants to show investors that they can remain viable. Slapping togetherp a concept truck would be an easy way to suggest they aren’t totally ignoring EVs and it would be “different”

F150 Brian

F-150 hybrid is coming- no word on BEV
I would not be surprised to see an F-150 based on Rivians platform as a way for them to play without risking their existing platform by modifying it to support BEV needs

Scott

Ram 1500 already a mild hybrid. GM has done it in the past, both are practically pointless. Hopefully F will do it better. Without passenger vehicles F will have to build an EV truck to be able to sell in CARB states.

Mats Andreassen

I’m pretty sure they said “no” to BEV pickup. Hybrid, as you mention, is coming.

Bloggin

Yeah, ICE won’t be doing a BEV pick-up because they don’t have the battery capacity to high volume a pick-up requires, and with the BEV pick-up dominating the ICE in every performance category, it would just make their cash cow ICE pick-up look bad. It will take an EV manufacturer to launch a BEV pick-up at volume.

Tesla already has the commercial consumers lining up for the semi, so expect the upcoming Tesla pick-up to go after the full-size commercial pick-up market just like it went after the large luxury performance segment and midsize luxury performance segment.

Joshua Burstyn

I think your assessment is very realistic. Let’s see what happens!

mevp

I do think the “typical pickup crowd” in Texas, Montana and Alabama will be resistant and late adopters. It’s a culture thing. But there are a TON of outdoor types like me that would prefer a 4 door pickup, SUV or Van that runs on electrons.

I think, due to cost and range requirements, that a Voltec type setup is ideal in this platform until batteries shrink by half in cost/size. When going backcountry skiing for a week in stormy conditions you never let your gas tank get less than half full. Same goes for battery capacity, a huge reserve is necessary, hence my PHEV bias. If cost was no object, then yeah give me a 300khw battery, but that really seems wasteful.

Maybe the i3 model is better. Give us 150 miles of range, and a puny REX that can’t power you up a hill at 60mph, but keeps you from getting stranded and dying in a snowstorm. The Sprinter camper van crowd would love that one.

Andy

The biggest individual market is for pickups is probably fleets. They’re going to be most interested in economic factors than anything else. If there’s an EV that fits their purposes AND TCO is lower then it’ll be bought. The issue is making the pickup purchase price low enough for the TCO to go below an ICE.

Tom
It can operate as worksite generator. Just need to put a breaker panel in it (perhaps the side of the bed) and tap into the main high voltage battery. Obviously that works for camping too. And a pickup gives you a great deal of room to work with. For example you could mount a low horsepower generator right in the bed. Think something like a 15kw Honda generator like one might use for emergency backup…obviously choosing Honda would be awkward but it’s just an example. Something like that isn’t big enough to use in the traditional sense of a range extender like in the BMW i3. i.e. right now the i3 first drains battery pack and only then kick on the scooter engine to provide power which then means propulsion is limited at steady highway spped to whatever the power rating off the ICE is. Perhaps in the pickup with rex as I’ve described you might have the gas engine kick in and run steady if the battery gets to x state of charge or a simple button to kick it on if you know it’s going to be a long trip. So think of these scenarios: 1. Soccer mom/dad… Read more »
Ron Swanson's Mustache

The biggest downside for an electric pickup truck in rural areas will be range and charging infrastructure. No one who’s on a ranch that encompasses tens of thousands of acres or who spends a lot of time in wild, mountainous areas will want an electric truck simply because there’s nowhere to plug it in.

With a fossil fuel powered truck, you can always take extra Jerry cans of fuel with you or fill up at the nearest one-stoplight town.

The urban truck drivers who only use their trucks to commute to work and make the ocassional trip to Lowes will probably be the target market for an electric pickup.

specialgreen

Lots of pickups have a Fuel Transfer Tank behind the cab. Put an optional tank and range-extender there, and the vehicle is transformed to a hybrid. Ideally, you want something which can push the truck down the highway at 65mph, but that’s going to be one big generator for a vehicle of this shape.

BoltUp

Doubt I’ll be able to afford, but excited to see and hope that it can replace many suburbans, and large pickups quickly.
If they really do have production sorted, and can bring a semi affordable option to market next year, it will be yet another nail in the legacy makers coffins. Electrics will be synonymous with new companies, driving customers away from legacy makers. The Kodak/Blackberry moment is coming for GM/Ford/Chevy…

Andy

There’s a bit of confusion here as to actually how big this pickup is. It’s called a full size in the article above, but previous articles have mentioned it being Ridgeline size and the image itself looks more Ridgeline sized.

If it is I’m not sure it will sell to many full sized owners as it’s a completely different vehicle. Conversely it may be very popular with people that are interested in a pickup but can’t justify the extra fuel costs and/or want a more car like vehicle.

If it is a full size then great, but it doesn’t appear to be so at the moment.

Pushmi-Pullyu

@Steven:

I’m glad to know that you were thoroughly impressed by your visit to Rivian. I, too, am excited to see what appears to be the emergence of an EV startup which has a real shot at succeeding! And I’m jealous that you got to visit the auto assembly plant of this stealth company… or emerging-from-stealth company.

But sadly, the video linked above is very little more than just another info-free teaser. In fact, it’s actually labeled “teaser”.

Sammy

Oblig comments:-
1) Where are they getting the batteries from?
2) No charging network

I really hate the so called teasers. Like the hundreds of ‘content free’ presentations I have sat through over the years, they bore me to tears.
Either keep totally quiet about the ‘thing’ or give a full presentation. Choose one and do it.

KumarPlocher

We certainly need to know which kind of DCQC they are using (if it doesn’t have that I don’t even know what to say).

Andy

Hopefully CCS, which should be the go to for all companies from now on.

F150 Brian

Sammy, they have been very quiet.
It seems totally reasonable that within 2 weeks of a reveal they would try to build up a little type.

As for your questions:
1) Modules and packs are theirs, cell source unknown (to me anyway)
2) Charging network – everyone should be going with 3rd party/common standard. Deliveries start in 2020 and I expect there to be a lot more fast chargers available through Electrify America and others. Tesla *may* also provide access to superchargers (as per recent article)

Bill Howland

I thought they just said it used an Ultra-Charger like the via does.

As far as the vid goes – doesn’t look like IEVs is going to have problems with divulging trade secrets.

scott

is this a sponsored story by Rivian? if so it should be indicated in the header. The author is so overwhelmingly effusive with praise it makes we wonder.

KumarPlocher

The author got a tour of the facility and was impressed. I think the tone of the article is fine, as long as they can back it up with future articles (which are promised).

TM21

Trust me. It’s going to be great.

F150 Brian

Well, confirmed it is an SUT, not a pickup (not unexpected given we saw the clay buck previously).
The hood is quite long. Styling? Crash worthiness? Maybe they’ve added some innovative storage solution that demanded extra space?
It’s box may suffer the same problem as the Ridgeline’s – it’s a lot smaller than a conventional box.

They are going after the adventure crowd, so this form factor will probably work and is easily extensible to an SUV form factor so they can hit two markets.
Hopefully they put a good off-road suspension in it (i.e. at the F150 Raptor end of the scale) and give it a strong tow rating (8000+ lbs).
It won’t be able to haul an ATV and a boat but I might be able to relax that requirement (I only do that a half dozen times per year) if the other features are attractive.

Can’t wait for the official review…

Andy

I feel like this will go over well with the Xterra crowd (assuming we are correct on size). Something capable yet comfortable, but not requiring huge range or capacity for things like truck campers. Space for a RTT, ground tents and bicycles/climbing/hiking gear, with space for a dog or two.

The Xterra was also discontinued a couple of years ago so there’s plenty of people looking for alternatives right now.

mevp

A good sized frunk would be great. I had a Ridgeline when I ran a construction company, not getting my tools jacked was fantastic. But couldn’t use the little hatch with anything in the bed. I could do dump runs with up to 1500 lbs no problem (yeah overloaded, but it was fine). Frunk for the win!

What doomed the Ridgeline is that is looked dorky, and needed meatier looking tires. Though I do think the Ridgie’s bed should have been 6 inches longer.

Please, please Rivian, put meaty looking tires on it. And I hope it looks tough and masculine, the rear lines worry me in that aspect. That’s all you really need to do to sell a truck. Toyota understood with the the 4Runner and Tacoma. The new Ridgline is an abject failure even though it’s probably fantastic as a vehicle. Looks too wimpy and car like.

Want to sell trucks? Embrace truck culture.

arne-nl

” And I hope it looks tough and masculine”

In need of compensation? 🙂

Bunny

I like how disciplined these guys are plus how they generate revenue on things they are not using for themselves yet.
Whether it be the parking lot to VW, or excess stamping capacity sold off to other manufacturing companies.

Go Rivian!

George Bower

An hour analysis that we posted yesterday we had 600 horsepower and 200 kilowatt hour battery. And 3.9 second 0 to 60 time. Still plenty of margin to crank up the software since we know that the battery is good for a whole lot more and we also know that the rear drive unit in model 3 is good for at least 340 horsepower. So we could easily crank the wick up to 680 horsepower perhaps a tad more. I’ll have to look.

elmechdesign

I found this video disturbing. Maybe I’m somewhat epileptic but this did nothing but scramble my brain cells. If I wasn’t such an EV fan, I would have stopped watching after the first couple of seconds.
I’m genuinely interested in anyone’s response, good or bad.

Cypress

Agree. Thought it was not very good.

Scott

Not disturbing but almost unwatchable. I can’t remember anything of what I saw.

F150 Brian

It might be an indication of the target demographic they are going after – aggressive, outgoing types.

arne-nl

Targeting more like the make-believe city crowd if you ask me.

Mega

I thought it looked cool, but conveyed very little technical information, or looks, which is what I’m interested in.

LA Auto Show will start on November 30th, and can’t wait to see what they will be showing.

KumarPlocher

I didn’t like the video at all for the same reasons.

Michael

I assumed they didn’t have to pay copyright by using less than a quarter-sec of 200-300 random stock videos. Should have a epilepsy warning. It was so freakin’ stupid, I have completely discounted any of their claims to having a real product.

Kevin

I like the teaser very much! I believe their purpose wasn’t to show the car details, as they have other videos on their site to perfectly taking care of this purpose. I love how it gives you the feeling of leaving all the headache behind !

Mark C

The overhead view makes it look like a very small bed, similar to a Ford Explorer Sport Trac or early Honda Ridgeline. Maybe a suburban hauler for potting soil, mulch and peat moss, but not so much for a couple of 8′ sheets of plywood. I hope I’m wrong about the small capacity bed, but when the time comes, I’m sure it will take my breath away {when they announce the price}.

Joe Martin

I have a 1st gen Ridgeline, and I’ve hauled 800-900 lbs of 4’x8’ plywood/drywall on mutiple ocassions (900lbs is the max for 4’x8’ sheets as any more and you exceed the rear GAWR before you exceed the GVWR). The Ridgeline bed is over 4’ wide so you you rest 4’x8’ sheets directly on the bed (unlike the Taco/Frontier/Colorado where you have to elevate the sheets to clear the wheel wells). With the Ridgeline’s tailgate down you have 6.5’ of support under the 8’ sheet, so there’s not a lot of unsupported weight. The Ridgeline is enough truck for 95% of truck buyers, it rides/handles like a dream, and fits three adults (or three car seats) in the back with ease. It’s by far the best vehicle that no one buys.

Andy

For stuff like ply unsupported weight is less of an issue than centre of gravity. With a shortbed it means your weight is going to be way back, potentially behind the rear axle leading to major squatting and lifting of the front tyres and squirrely steering.

I saw a Ridgeline with a load of Ply in the back a year or so ago and wondered how they even turned corners as the front suspension looked like it was fully extended for this very reason.

Mark C

I actually looked at the Ridgeline, and liked it a lot. Then, I bought a 5.3L Silverado shortbed, Ext Cab. While rated at 1 mpg less than the Honda, the reports on https://www.fueleconomy.gov shows the V8 Chevy with a slight real world mpg advantage. I wasn’t a fan of 8′ sheet material hanging beyond the tailgate, nor the unibody design (I think they changed to a full frame now, based on the seam between cargo and passenger areas) either. We don’t use the truck alot, but when we do, it’s most often for towing moderately heavy loads and/or sheet goods (plywood and sheetrock).

Marcel

Exciting stuff, especially s9nce it looks like they’ve set themselves up to start producing in the near future. I thought I saw a previous article showing photos of their test mule with an F-150 body on it, so I expect it’ll be full sized.

Andy

Yes, I forgot about that. The F150 was the shortest one you can buy though, so perhaps a wider bodied mid size? Which would fit the comment Steven made further up?

(Yes, loving the speculation as i’m looking forward to its reveal, even if I probably won’t be able to afford the first iteration/or it may not suit my needs – it’s a step in the right direction whatever!)

F150 Brian

The mule looks to have an extended cab with 5.5′ box, which I don’t think Ford actually sells, making it shorter than any full size with more than a standard cab.

TomArt

Actually, they do. You can get an extended cab with the shortest box. I just went over and configured one to see (it was available up to Lariat and Raptor trims, though not in King Ranch or Platinum).

101101

Very exciting. I hope they do great!

Ben

Does anyone know if there is a plan to deliver a right hand version of the truck to Australasia?

CT

The bed looks small. The trend of trucks with beds smaller that six feet is annoying and, in my opinion, pointless. Why have a truck that isn’t capable of hauling anything other that pets and luggage? I really want an EV truck but won’t buy one that is an SUV minus the roof over the storage.

KumarPlocher

See Joe Martin’s comment above, and also Steven L.’s comment much further up that you can’t just assume the body by looking at the image.

arne-nl

“Why have a truck that isn’t capable of hauling anything other that pets and luggage?”

Because (stole this from another post here): “it looks tough and masculine” 🙂

Jack Wilson

Nothing says quality like a bunch of stock footage and then a brief view of something. Lives changed!

Al D

You can’t even reveal the expected price range? An $80,000 electric pickup isn’t going to worry Ford or any of the big manufacturers.

Joe Martin

It may — there are Ram 1500s, F-150s, and Silverado 1500s that retail for $55k-$65k. I assume those are hugely profitable for the big three; if I were them my big fear would be that someone poaches my highest margin trucks and leaves me selling commodity vehicles to businesses and price conscious consumers.

F150 Brian

At one point Rivian said $50k to $90k

ffbj

Autoline/Schaeffler Electric interview, pretty informative, what they think of the shape of things to come:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEI16HHMN3s

Michael

Had to check if this was sponsored content. Lot of gushing over vapourware. If I want to see cool CGI vehicles, I’ll buy Forza Horizon 4

Andy

It’s a little more than vaporware. We’ve already “seen” the system in action, albeit with a different body. Presumably Steve may well have seen the final design too.

Brandon

That’s SO cool that you got to your Rivian’s production facility Stephen!!
Look forward to hearing and seeing more at the LA Auto Show. They seem like the most promising EV pickup truck manufacturer at this point.

Brandon

For an EV this big I would think that 800 volts is what their going to have to go with to get fast enough DC charging. So I wonder if their pickup will take 300 kW fast charging, and if so how it will make use of the 150 kW fast charging stations operating at around 400 volts. Electrify America will have both. It will be interesting to learn this bit of info. Hopefully you can fill us in on that Stephen, if you are able to find out at the LA Auto Show.

Miles

Well thanks for the epileptic seizure after watching the video

Your Dad

The REAL Tesla-killer! Much better than Musk’s weirdmobiles..

SansIce

I hate that term – it is going to kill a Model 3 or S? get real. Tesla welcomes enrichment of the playing field and I am sure they welcome this newcomer that is going to build something they only have in the conceptual phases. It competes in no way with other Tesla products.

Loboc

I like the video. Kind of an acid trip through my normal day.

I’m pretty sure they didn’t spend a $B without a marketing plan and many focus group design sessions.

Scott

I would be nice if some company would give Tesla a challenge. I still prefer the Bollinger as far as utility. Hope they get off the ground.

MorinMoss

Not knocking Rivian but Elon pretty much owns the “Launch Into Space” tagline

TomArt

Where are you going to fast charge it? Will they buy into the Tesla SC network? There’s nothing else here in the US can that charge a pack that large in a reasonable amount of time for a long haul.

Andy

Electrify America.

Abdubb

Yeah it looks really futuristic and the interior is far into the future, but why is it that every time there is ground breaking design and lots of technology into it has to be so expensive where’s only wealthy people can afford great vehicle’s like that. Why can’t it be experienced by all people.

Rustin Haase

Sweet SUV!! *NOT* a pickup, though. Its cargo bed would be a joke at the lumber yard and it’s that function that makes a pickup a pickup. It also couldn’t haul a loaded horse trailer accross the state of Nebraska like any good pickup can. It’s got a big battery but not that big. Still if someone gave me one of these, I’d keep it and would have a lot of fun too, or I’d sell it and buy a house for one of my kids using the money. 10 years from now I know which would be worth more. If they made a unit with a full 8 ft bed that keeps the lift to the bed low, I’d be a lot less negative. Until then an ICE driven Chevy Silverado is a better unit if you need a pickup.