Rivian brought prototypes of its electric truck and electric SUV to San Francisco at the end of January to build some excitement for the vehicles ahead of their official launch later this year. The first R1T trucks should start finding their way into the hand of customers before the end of this year with the first R1S SUVs arriving shortly thereafter.
Both vehicles will be available with three different size batteries, giving a range of 230 miles, 300 miles, or 400 miles. Currently, the company says the midrange R1T will retail for $69,000 and the midrange R1S will cost $72,000. But in San Francisco, Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe told Reuters that when final prices are revealed, they will be lower, without specifying how much lower.
He didn’t say how many pre-orders the company had received for its all electric vehicles but that interest in them has been “really positive.” The problem the company has now is satisfying the early demand as quickly as possible. In other words, Rivian is about to enter that phase all Tesla watchers remember so well — production hell. “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.
Scaringe said Rivian is working on rolling out a network of charging stations at key locations such as national parks but adds that the R1T and R1S can charge on most charging networks available today. He can thank Elon Musk and Tesla for building their own dedicated SuperCharger network, which spurred the creation of other charging networks as the EV revolution began in earnest over the past few years. New manufacturers like Rivian do not have to pay out of their own pocket to build charging networks the Tesla did.
In San Francisco, Brian Gase, Rivian’s chief engineer for special projects, was on hand to tell the audience more about the battery packs that will power the Rivian vehicles. The largest battery contains 7,776 lithium-ion cells. But wait, there’s more! There is a one cell flashlight that slides into one of the doors, which brings the total number of cells onboard to 7,777.
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