Rivian planning smaller electric models for China and Europe, with an eye to produce the EVs there

Electric vehicle startup Rivian finally revealed specs and pricing for its R1T truck and R1S SUV last week, and deliveries will start from June next year in the US. The R1T is part of a new breed of electric trucks that includes the the Tesla Cybertruck, Bollinger B2, Ford F-150 Electric, and GMC Hummer EV.

Now, Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe has revealed ambitions to enter China and Europe with models that are smaller than the R1T full-size pick-up truck (the R1S is the R1T with a larger cabin in place of the bed), and some manufacturing may happen in those markets.

Scaringe told Reuters that while Rivian plans to start selling the R1S in Europe in 2022 and in China after that, “what will really drive volume in those markets is the follow-on products” that are smaller and tailored for overseas customers. The smaller models are expected to share key components with the R1T and R1S, and will “fit some of those other markets really well, in particular China,” he added.

“To really scale in those markets as we bring on follow-on products, having a production footprint outside the US is going to be important. That’s a ways off. We wouldn’t be serious about building a car company if we weren’t thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term,” Scaringe, whose company is backed by the likes of Amazon and Ford, added.

Rivian’s American plant in Illinois has started pilot production ahead of next year’s market introduction of the R1T and R1S. A large electric delivery van for Amazon that shares a platform with the consumer “halo” models is also on the way. The internet giant has an order for 100,000 vans from Rivian, and production of these will start in late 2021.

The Launch Edition, priced from US$75,000 (RM307,488), serves up 754 hp and 1,120 Nm of torque, with a 135 kWh lithium-ion battery providing around 483 km (300 miles) of range. Eventually, there will be a 402 hp/560 Nm base version with a 105 kWh battery and 402 km (250 miles) of range. More on the Rivian R1T and R1S here.



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