It has been nine years of secrecy and now Rivian, a company that deals with electric cars, has come back to the surface with a lot of funding from Ford and is revealing its vehicles to the public.
They revealed their pickup truck at an event in Los Angeles. These are just two of the first gas free cars that they revealed there. It was founded by an MIT graduate named R.J.
Scaringe in 2009 and has racked up more than $500 million in funding.
They finally pulled back the veil and showed us the cars but said that they will not be available to the consumer market until 2020. Their most powerful vehicle is claimed to have the capability to travel 400 miles on a single charge. Compared to the Tesla Model 3 sedan, which can do 310 per charge, the one they have wins.
Scaringe grew up restoring classics and then got his PhD in automotive mechanical engineering before founding this company to make adventure vehicles that do not rely on gas.
They have been in stealth mode since they started up until they reveled their product. They did not even have a sign on their building to indicate that they were home.
As he said, they have managed to arrange all the pieces and now that they have fallen into place, he can see the big picture coming up beautifully.
They wanted to wait until they actually had something to show for it before unveiling anything. It has been out of the public eye but the company employs about 600 people across a number of states. They bought a Mitsubishi vehicle production plant in 2016 that had been shuttered in 2015 for their operations.
They will get about $50 million in tax credits when they hit targets like employing 1000 people by 2024. Some of the investors include the Saudi Conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel and a Japanese Firm called Sumimoto.
These vehicles are aimed at outdoorsy people who like adventures and have loaded bank accounts. They are making pickups, SUVs and crossovers that will cost anywhere between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on package types. They do not plan to move to sedans.
They will use the same chassis for all their vehicles and they will get extra revenue by lending out the design to other makers. The advantage is how easily this frame can be converted to fit vehicles that they will not be making.
The company needs to deliver though. Tesla has in the past made some very public rollout announcement and then has a problem with scaling up production of their electric vehicles or any of their vehicles really. Elon Musk himself said that Ford and Tesla are the only auto-companies that have never gone bankrupt.
Scaringe said that their goals are not going to be as steep as Tesla’s cars. Tesla made 83,000 vehicles in their third quarter of 2018. Rivian says that they will make about 50,000 cars a year.
That seems manageable.