21 nov 20

Rivian plans smaller electric vehicles for China and Europe

Rivian, the electric vehicle start-up, has plans to launch smaller models developed for the Chinese and European markets. Rivian is backed by Amazon and Ford and currently has a full-size pick-up and an SUV in development. It is also building 100,000 electric vans for Amazon.

The R1S SUV, unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2018, is expected to go on sale in Europe in 2022 and in China soon after, but Rivian founder and Chief Executive R.J. Scaringe told Reuters what will really drive volume in those markets is the follow-up products, hinting at smaller models that will fit those markets better.

“We wouldn’t be serious about building a car company if we weren’t thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term,” said Mr Scaringe.

The carmakers plant in Normal, Illinois, has begun pilot production of its first vehicles ahead of their launch next year: the R1T pick-up truck, the R1S SUV, both considered to be the company’s halo products, and a large electric van for Amazon. All three vehicles share the same platform.

Amazon led a $700 million investment round in Rivian last year and placed an order for 100,000 electric vans from the company, the largest-ever electric-van order. The first Amazon delivery vans are expected to go in production in late 2021 with all deliveries to be completed by 2024.

Image: R1S pick-up truck (copyright: Rivian)

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck