Global warming is being acknowledged as an issue plaguing the planet while fossil fuel reserves are getting depleted, and the automakers are shifting their focus towards electric vehicles for the future of commute. Every car manufacturer is trying to get the hold of this new emerging market of electric vehicles. Tesla, founded in July 2003 by Elon Musk, has been a significant player in the electric car market for a long time. 20% of all the electric cars in the world are Teslas.
Tesla mostly manufactures sedans and has left multiple aspects of the auto world untouched like the SUV market or the pickup truck market. To fill this space in the market, various companies are pushing their limits.
One of the companies that emerged in the limelight was Rivian. Unveiling the prototype vehicles in Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2018, Rivian showcased a pickup truck R1T and an SUV R1S. Both of them are electric vehicles.
Both the pickup truck and the SUV are based on the same the chassis and are powered by the same motors that produce almost 750 horsepower. The vehicles will have All-wheel drive with a motor for each wheel making 826 lb-ft of torque, a range of 400 miles (643.74 km) and a tow rating of 11,000 pounds (ca. 5 ton). This instant power reflects in time of 0-60 mph that is just 3 seconds. R1T, the pickup truck, and R1S, the SUV is showcased with offroading capabilities by Rivian and seems impressive in the images.
Rivian is seen as a rival to Tesla, but is it really?
Rivian has only shown prototypes till date and has no production vehicle and also has no plans to manufacture any vehicle till 2020. On the other side, Tesla has been manufacturing EV for a while now and is a big player in the market and has relationships with automobile giants like Mercedes and Toyota.
There are rumours and renders of Tesla building an off-road pickup truck which can be a challenge for Rivian, but nothing is confirmed as of yet. Building an offroad vehicle is a different challenge as, unlike Tesla, Rivian has no real-world experience. Tesla had gathered around 1 million miles of road data by the end of 2018 and has estimated it to be approximately 2.3 million miles by the end of this year.
Tesla is also continuously developing its self-driving technology, which isn’t the focus of other EVs yet. However, pivoting to it won’t be much trouble as the self-driving tech advances.
The Pick-up truck conundrum
Rivian is mainly focusing on US and sub-continent with its pickup truck and SUV. These vehicles don’t share this same popularity in other parts of the world as they have in the USA. Tesla has always fulfilled global demand and is an established company in many countries. Rivian has its manufacturing facility in Illinois, which it acquired from Mitsubishi Motors in 2016 for $16 million. Tesla has its manufacturing unit in Fremont, California, and is setting up a new plant in China to increase its reach in the Chinese market and the Asian sub-continent.
Tesla enjoys a better network to support its EVs
Tesla has a well-established network of dealerships and distribution network, which Rivian lacks right now but as per announcements made by the CEO and founder of Rivian, R.J. Scaringe, Rivian has plans of opening its first dealership very soon. We will see all these things are carried out by Rivian in the future. Rivian has to do a lot of things better to be as successful as Tesla is now. As of now, Rivian is not challenging Tesla but is creating a market of its own that remains separate from that of Tesla. We can hope for Rivian to succeed as the pickup truck and the SUV showcased by them looks promising and can bring a change in the EV market.
However, given the likes of Faraday Future have been struggling to find a firm footing in the electric vehicles market, the list of challenges isn’t short for Rivian either. It remains to be seen whether the classy prototypes find a viable market in USA and other countries globally, and whether or not they live up to their promises and potential. That said, the future is electronic, and Rivian has a long road ahead of them if things go right for them now.
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