Rivian electric vehicles will be more affordable than first announced

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new rivian pickup truck front three quarter in motion Ben Moon / Rivian

Rivian is cutting prices before any of its electric vehicles have been delivered. The startup automaker displayed its pickup truck and SUV in northern California over the weekend, and founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe says prices will be lower than previously announced. He didn’t say how much lower—or volunteer any explanation. 

When the Michigan-based electric vehicle manufacturer began accepting orders in 2018, its R1T pickup carried a base price of $69,000, and its R1S SUV had a base price of $72,500. Perhaps manufacturing costs are lower than expected? “Lots more details coming soon,” Rivian Communications Manager Amy Mast replied via email.

According to Reuters, while Scaringe didn’t reveal how many prospective buyers have spent $1000 on a refundable deposit to hold their spot for a Rivian, he says the reaction had been “really positive, 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.”

The first mid-range R1T trucks, which feature a glass sky panel that can change from blue to clear, will be delivered starting at the end of this year, soon followed by the R1S SUVs.

Rivian, based in Plymouth, Michigan, says its large battery has a range of 400 miles, while its smallest can go 230 miles. Scaringe also says the company is working on rolling out a network of charging stations at key locations such as national parks, but that the vehicles can charge on most charging networks available today.

Rivian, founded in 2009, unveiled its first prototype model at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. According to Reuters, it has raised $3.6 billion; investors include Amazon and Ford Motor Co.

Scaringe says the vehicle that Rivian is developing with Ford, which was announced in April 2019, will be a premium, high-performance car. Rivian provides the platform—motor, battery pack, computer systems, and wheels—and Ford provides the body and interior.

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