Rivain promises lower prices for EV truck and SUV

Electric vehicle startup Rivian displayed its pickup truck and SUV at an event, for customers who had preordered the truck, in San Francisco at the weekend and said prices would be lower than previously announced.

Rivian founder and chief executive RJ Scaringe told Reuters at the event the mid-range R1T pickup truck with a glass sky panel which can change from blue to clear would cost about US£69,000. It can travel 300 miles on a full charge. A similar range R1S SUV will sell for about £72,000. Rivian added the large battery could take the truck 400 miles and the smallest 230.

Scaringe declined to tell the news agency how many prospective buyers have so far out down a £1,000 refundable deposit but said the reaction had been "really positive". "So we're excited by that. But we now have the challenge of a lot of pre-order customers aren't going to get the cars as fast as they like because there's such a long queue," he said.

According to Rivian's website, vehicle production is in Normal, Illinois (in a building once home to Mitsubishi North America's 200,000 units a year assembly plant) with development centres in Irvine, San Jose and Carson, California, design and engineering in Plymouth, Michigan and 'advanced engineering' in the UK. Reuters said Rivian, founded in 2009, unveiled its first prototype at the LA Auto Show in 2018, has raised US£3.6bn and counts Amazon and Ford as investors. Scaringe told the news agency Rivian was working on rolling out a network of charging stations at key locations such as national parks but the vehicles can, in any case, charge on most charging networks available today.

Reuters said the truck has a 'lucky' 7,777 battery cells - 7,776 of them powering the vehicle and one for a torch that slides into the door. The first R1T trucks will be delivered starting at the end of this year, followed shortly after by the R1S SUVs, Scaringe told the news agency.  SeekingAlpha.com noted Tesla's recent legal victories in key states like Michigan should help clear a path for Rivian to sell directly to customers.

The investor website said Amazon was an investor in Rivian's £700m funding round last year and had ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from the company to be delivered over a long timeframe. As well as Amazon and Ford, Cox Automotive is also a Rivian investor. Ford is also a manufacturing partner, providing a 'skateboard' platform which includes the motor, battery pack, computer systems and wheels.

"They will provide the top hat, the body and the interior," Scaringe has said of the arrangement with Ford.

What Amazon and Ford see in future Rivian EVs

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