Rivian Pricing: Think GMC Denali, Chevy Suburban, Loaded Ford F-150


Rivian CEO talks about upcoming electric pickup truck and large SUV pricing.

We’ve watched and read a multitude of interviews with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe as of late. While we haven’t shared them all on InsideEVs, we try to bring you the best of the best, along with the most important bits of information therein.

Recently, greentechmedia (gtm) joined the lengthy list of those enjoying one-on-one time with Scaringe. The interview is a long read, but surely worth it (more on that below). So, we’ve decided to highlight what we think is the most compelling fragment of the interview, and that’s pricing. How much will the electric pickup truck and electric SUV really cost?

GTM’s Julia Pyper asked Scaringe to talk a little about Rivian vehicle pricing. The automaker announced that the R1T electric pickup truck will have a starting price of $69,000, and the R1S SUV will start at $72,500. Much like Tesla vehicles, not only will these prices apply to the base models with smaller battery packs (less range), but they won’t be available early on. This is important to note, since Rivian has also touted vehicles with massive battery packs and 400 miles of range.

Pyper asks:

Do you foresee price being a speed bump for the company?

Scaringe replies:

I think that may seem high, but we have to take the context of really two things. First, we’ve strategically positioned ourselves to go after the aspirational side of this market. It’s really important to make that note; we’re not trying to compete with a $25,000 or $30,000 truck or SUV. This is a very high-performance [vehicle] and very technically advanced in terms of self-driving, in terms of connectivity architecture, in terms of battery size. The segment is going after the people who are spending $70,000 or $80,000 on a GMC Denali or a Chevy Suburban or a Land Rover Discovery or a fully loaded Ford F150.

So we’ve intentionally made sure that we’ve architected the vehicle for that premium positioning. If you come into the bottom of the markets, it’s very, very hard to push new technology.

The Rivian CEO admits that the automaker hasn’t yet released pricing information for the long-range vehicles. However, he makes it clear that Rivian will offer long-range variants that start under $90,000. This goes along with some inside information we learned at an early reveal event. A Rivian executive told us that some people may want the longest range battery, but not all the bells and whistles. So, Rivian will offer its largest battery pack in a truck and SUV that are more “stripped.”

While $90,000 is still a lot of money, it’s fantastic to know that Rivian will provide long-range products without unnecessary luxury. This is something that we haven’t seen from other automakers. For example, you can’t choose Tesla’s largest battery pack, but get the car in a more frugal configuration. Additionally, in some cases, upgrade packages are mandatory. We can’t wait until these vehicles finally come to market. Reality and timelines are beginning to seem more viable now that Amazon has made an investment and GM may jump on board as well.

As previously stated, this is one hefty interview. Of course, there are some topics that we’ve already covered, but there’s always new insight. The best part is that it’s in print, rather than video format. So, for those that would rather read than watch, this one’s for you. Follow the source link below to check out the entire interview.

If you would like to discuss what these price points mean for consumers, come join the discussion in the Rivian section of the InsideEVs Forum.

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Source: greentechmedia

Categories: Rivian, Trucks

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74 Comments on "Rivian Pricing: Think GMC Denali, Chevy Suburban, Loaded Ford F-150"

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It would be hard to pay that kind of money for a truck with a robot looking front. Butt ugly front end. The rest of the truck looks good though.

Personally, I think it looks better than any other truck front on the market. Have you seen those lately?

Not sure why massive fake chrome grills appeal so much. It’s become costume jewelry. I’ll take the Rivian.

Well, given that they’re massive fake grills on vehicles that are overwhelmingly used (in the US) as glorified sedans, i.e. massive fake cars, it does seem kind of appropriate.

What kind of truck do you currently drive?

I drive a 1995 Toyota T100 SR5 XtraCab I bought new in ’95. I parked the Tesla for two weeks during Seattle’s coldest February on record. Even though my Model 3 is AWD, I just didn’t feel plowing around risking my Tesla was the best decision being I have my truck for those rare times. I have a couple electric bikes I haul around in back of my pickup amd I like the Honda Ridgeline approach to versatility. At the dead slow pace the rEVolution is at now, I can see having my 19 MPG hwy 6 cylinder explode ‘n bang gasser truck for years to come. I’ve come to depend on that truck when I need it. No way would I spend $40-60,000 on a truck, especially powered by gasoline! I used to drive my Toyota truck as my main ride. Today, the Tesla takes on daily duty. Our family needs a van, or a versatile vehicle like a 5 seat truck and something on the order of a Rivian would/could be our family’s go-to vehicle. There is just no way ever that I would spend $60,000 on a pickup truck. Even if it paid my taxes and cooked… Read more »

@James 100% agree.

Rivian is just ‘what would Tesla do if they make a truck 8 years ago’ Rivian is priced too high to have enough money to pull a profit. Amazing people invested for a niche luxury only truck. They might pull few Ford Platiumum drivers but who else? Truck guys like truck noises.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

That front end looks fantasic.

A lot of people originally said the same thing about the Model 3 and refreshed Model S front ends. However, after just a few years, they seem normal.

Have you see the new Chevy trucks?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I agree.
I think the front lights looks like 2 saggy N!pp11es.

I don’t like looking at those..

Let’s be realistic, half of the time as another driver I’m not even going to be able to see the front end, because the truck driver will have their fog lights and brights and an additional set of after market lights all on at the same time.

(Being sarcastic. I love all those out there who teach me to drive by smell and ear when I can’t see the road.

… Oops. Sarcasm again.)

Joking aside, the lights are in the standard place for a Truck (Right where they can blind everyone else) and there’s no need for a grill, so why not put a Grim Face line there instead? Grim Face is how trucks are designed these days.

Edited to add: And where are the REAR foglights aimed up at a 45 degree angle?! This isn’t a Truck without those on, with aftermarket yellows in them, and on at all times! I demand better, Rivian!

Sorry. Texas trucks are a special breed.

I’d like to see that but…
I build an F150 (not Raptor) on Ford’s website, checked all of the options and then applied a 10% discount (because NO one pays MSRP*) and it came in below the Rivian’s base price.

* The discount on my F150 (purchased new) was 27%, so only 10% is being very generous here.

Pretty simple, really… Batteries cost money and a 180 kw-h pile of them costs a lot of money. That’s the way it is, at the moment.

You are correct – the base model + decent range while owing (i.e. 180kWh pack) will likely cost close to US$90k, far above the most loaded non-Raptor F150 yet still with less range.

A well executed PHEV would suit the segment very well until those battery prices drop by another 50%

And yet, we can’t make our $70 Million Business Jets Fast enough! Go figure!

Right now I’m excited about two vehicles, Rivian RT1 and the upcoming next Gen. F150 Electric, RT1 may beat it to market which will give Ford the advantage, it will be interesting to see where they set pricing on it.

no, Lets get it closer to apple-to-apple and not a apple-to-bicycle.

Rivian has a lot more in common with the F-250 king ranch, if not the F250 platinum, than it does with a F150.


Oh good cause I was concerned that companies were going to focus on making long range decent vehicles for the average person. I would hate for there to be a viable electric alternative for a $40k truck, cause what the environment needs are $80k electric race trucks……

Ron Swanson's Mustache

Nobody’s stopping you from bootstrapping a company that makes $40k electric pickups, dude.

True but investors want a return sooner than later, if you can change that mentality then who knows……

Maybe trickle down technology is more believable, than trickle down economics? Battery prices fell “a ton”, but trucks need a lot more. So, it will be some time. Low maintenance costs? Maybe ‘Redneck’ (read – very cheap) electricity – I would love to enjoy that math.

So quit bitching and build your own.

Ha ha, love it Red!

I want a flying unicorn but sadly I have to live in the real world of physics & economics.

The average person does not drive a truck as personal transportation, except in USA.
An EV truck used as personal vehicle (as all the Rivians clearly will be) is worse environmentally than an ICE truck due to the larger embodied investment in materials & energy to make it, and due ot the fact that the large battery pack needed (taking the medium one here @ 135kWh) could power THREE medium-range BEVs (@ 45kWh each) or TWO long-range ones (@ 67kWh each), with much better efficiency of course.

Thank you, good answer my sentiments exactly

Interesting comment about providing range without luxury. Not sure that is really unique. The Bolt offers good range with an econobox interior that has resulted in plenty of negative perceptions for the price of the vehicle. Price may be less than M3, but it is not selling in big volumes.

Luxury items are usually very high margin options, meaning the perceived value is much greater than the cost. If the vehicle is expensive because of a battery, the addition of luxuries with little extra manufacturing cost can make the vehicle look like a better value for the money. It’s hard to fork over 60+k for something with a 25k work truck interior.

It’s a proven marketing formula that Tesla has figured out, which is why they are selling M3 in volume whilst making some money.

You nailed it.

Two more points – the premium market tends to feature powerful engines. That’s the one area where BEV has a cost advantage. It’s not enough to offset the entire cost of the battery pack, except perhaps in hypercar territory. But 40% savings on a $10k premium drivetrain offsets a heck of a lot more battery cost than 40% savings on a $1k econobox drivetrain.

The premium market also has lower volumes. Startups necessarily begin with low volumes, so competing in a segment where ICE is also low volume helps to level the playing field.

The Bolt EV powertrain in an Equinox would be a much more satisfying vehicle. Hopefully, GM sees the light soon.

Model 3 is a very good car.
It sells in high volume because:
1) it has no EV competition
2) it can match the needs of the target market without excuses (target market = entry level luxury sedan buyers)
3) it is priced at the heart of the target market.

Apply the above to Rivian. Get the same result?
1) yes, but that might be short lived
2) yes, if you are talking about Urban Cowboys
3) Nope.

Therefore, your Model 3 analogy is not a great fit.

this is pretty much spot on, though I think that Rivian 1 is off.
GM, Ford, Ram, Toyota, etc do not know EVs yet. They really suck at it.
The ONLY competitor that is on the range for the Rivian Truck would be Tesla.

Besides its econobox looks, the Bolt EV suffers the problem of weak DC-fast-charging. It can charge at 60KW max…that’s around half the Tesla rate. And most CCS chargers are only 50KW capable. And CCS chargers are not well placed & well supported.

So it is hard to untangle if it is the econobox looks, the Chevy badge, the hostile dealers, the weak DC-fast-charging, the weak advertising/distribution, or some other factor that is holding back the Bolt.

I think Rivian might benefit, if they can find a way to make high-power available from the truck (say, up to 10KW) and have buyers who use it bargain away some of their battery warranty. This must have crossed Scaringe’s mind?

This isn’t about pricing but about compatibility. Are charging stations for one brand of EV compatible with other brands?

As far as DC fast charging, Rivian will use CCS, which is used by the vast majority of manufacturers (except Tesla in US, Nissan/Mitsubishi). As far as AC charging, all EVs support J1772.

A $90K truck without unnecessary luxury. There is an interesting concept.

What? The ford?
Because Rivian is much cheaper than 90K and loaded with luxury.

So basically Rivian will compete with the high end trucks/suvs from cadillac/lincoln.
Where is the competition for standard make’s like chevy/ford.

At least we can be happy that Chinese are selling lots of basic electric vehicles at an affordable price.

Tesla used to only sell a tiny sports car that cost more than $100,000!

This is just the start. They’ll work their way down the market (assuming they succeed with this).

So this guy thinks people are going to sell their Jeeps and Raptors to buy a Rivian? Good luck with that.

In the current situation where range is a premium that is necessary for many to jump on board an EV, yet is wrapped up in additional expense, I think this is good as many want to go far, but can’t afford both the battery power necessary and the additional bling that is added in to pad profits.

Being the skeptic, I’m skeptical that they can hit those price targets. Where are they going to get batteries that cheap without their own battery factory and not being a massive automaker that can sign a huge volume deal?

This is what is bugging me like crazy..
They say the truck will start around $69k (before tax incentive).

They also say that their smallest battery pack configuration won’t be available until later on, after 2020 when they’ve rolled out the larger battery packs to consumers. Are they referring the 300+ mile range to start at $69k? If not this is very misleading to what they’ve been telling folks, especially those that have been putting a deposit down.

Hope this gets sorted out..

It’s pretty obvious. $69k starting price, but that vehicle won’t be available initially as they offer the highest level first. Just like Tesla has the $35k Model 3 starting price, but the cheapest one your can buy is about $42k.
What’s hard to understand about that?
Now I think they would be better starting with the $69k version. You’ll have more buyers and if you can’t make a profit with that model then you have a problem. They are not like Tesla, they are not trying to build the charging infrastructure, solar panel factory, battery factory, and everything else Tesla is trying to expand into. They just have to build a good product at a price that gets them a profit. We don’t even know if they will use a dealerships model or own their own stores.

I want an electric work truck, I use my truck to charge batteries, run an electric salter and an electric motor for the snow plow. 500 miles (I’m guessing) goes to 100 really fast working it like an ice truck.

I suspect in winter, plowing will kill you down to 50%. So, 250?

Why would “plowing kill you down” to 50% do you have data? If a F350 goes into the lot at the same time as a rivian… which one has the productivity to finish 1st? If I was in the snow-biz I’d consider the productivity per site and the distance per site to determine it’s ability to generate $’s per hour. Can an EV do the jobs scheduled each day on only an overnight charge, certainly if the business is scaled properly. However if you only have the budget to run one-truck, just run the numbers on your operational expenses. The 50% claim is typically driving on a hwy in 70-degrees and they got 300 w/mile, but holy crap I drove in winter with the heat on in more dense air and suddenly I’m at 450 w/mile. It’s not a good comparison for how you would use the vehicle.

rivian and F350 will have similar torque. BUT, pushing that plow with the extra weight of the snow, is going to do a number on fuel or electricity.

I was guessing on the 50%, but even back in the 70s, a plow that pushed snow in a parking lot, would cut fuel down quickly.

It’s not about which truck can best plow the lot, it’s about which can plow the lot next door, and the next one after that…

Any work truck has to be able to perform a full day’s work on stored energy, whether that truck’s job is a 20 mile delivery loop or 12 hours of non-stop snow removal (with the heater and stereo on too).

Regardless of what jobs a Rivian could do, it will still boil down economics. You could buy a lot of dino juice with the price difference between a Rivian and a cheap work truck.

Seriously, give me a bench cloth seat, power windows and locks, and a nice stereo, then give me 400 miles of EV range. I dont need the luxury that all these companies are trying to push, I can still drive my own vehicle, make an EV that is practical and they will sell themselves.

The most important question about Rivian is how and where do you charge your truck that go off road.

For that torque, it is NOT a Ford 150.
It is a Ford 250.

Need to see and sit inside before I throw down deposit. The lack of response from the company also bothers me. Return my call, message or email. I question the level of customer service if you can’t maintain strong communication while trying to establish a customer base. How will you handle problems when the new ruck breaks down? I own an EV and a truck. I have owned every truck brand except Nissan and Honda. I am a md 40s suburban dad. I am heir sweet spot

A most monumental upheaval awaits the SUV/Activity Vehicle and electric lorry market. A reasonable price-point for up-market performance befitting any petrolhead, makes for a very attractive package.

Blokes in a shed defeated the Gerry’s and reviolutionised the Aviation Industry. These blokes have the real potential to revoutionise the electric lorry/SUV industry. Bravo

Vehicles are just getting so much more expensive over the years. Yes technology adds to it but eventually these prices are just going to get so absurd that nobody will want to actually purchase a vehicle anymore. Especially with so many other options. Uber, carvana, rentals, car sharing, etc… eventually you’ll just price yourself off the market.

Pricing, availability, reliability.

If you wreck your Raptor or Jeep off roading on Saturday, you can have the replacement parts in your driveway by Monday. If you take a Rivian off road and destroy it, when will you get replacement parts?

An Old school Escalade costs $100,000