Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe revealed this week that the electric startup plans to follow up its R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV with smaller models targeted at China and Europe which will most likely be produced locally. Comments that point towards Rivian planning on having at least two more manufacturing plants outside of the US.
According to Scaringe, in order to be taken seriously as an automaker the startup needs to have plans to sell in China and Europe. “We wouldn’t be serious about building a car company if we weren’t thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term.” With sedans and compact SUVs being the vehicle of choice in the largest car market in the world and compact hatchbacks and SUVs in the Old Continent, the R1T and R1S are too big to be as successful as they are slated to be in the states.
The Rivian CEO told Reuters that although the startup plans to begin selling the R1S in Europe and China in 2022, “what will really drive volume in those markets is the follow-on products.” A comment that suggest one of the next Rivian vehicles will be a compact SUV.
The smaller models are expected to share “key components” with the company’s electric pickup and SUV, which will “fit some of those other markets really well, in particular China,” according to the CEO. We assume this means the battery pack and motors which would confirm that the Rivian platform is in fact scaleable.
Deliveries of the R1T electric pickup are expected to start in June 2021, while the R1S electric SUV won’t be far behind with deliveries expected to begin in August. Launch editions of the vehicles will come with a driving range of 300 miles and are priced at $75,000 and $77,500.