Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe compared the experience of buying an internal combustion engine vehicle to that of building a horse barn back in 1910, when cars started to flood the market, reducing the need for horse-drawn carriages.
The statement was made during an interview with Heatmap, where the California-based EV startup's head honcho said that traditional petrol stations as we know them today will gradually disappear, adding that a fundamental shift in the way the car market is moving is already underway, regardless of what government policies will bring.
“I think the reality of buying a combustion-powered vehicle, in light of the policy that’s coming, is sort of like building a horse barn in 1910,” Scaringe said. “Like, imagine buying a Chevy Suburban in 2030. Like, what are you going to do with that, right? In 10 years? Yeah, like gas stations will be slowly disappearing. It’s just weird.”
Furthermore, Rivian's CEO said that, typically, a vehicle is a person's second-largest asset, so buying a petrol- or diesel-powered one “absolutely has no future in our society,” referring to the continuing expansion of the nation's EV charging infrastructure. In this respect, it's worth noting that owners of the R1S SUV and R1T pickup will get access to Tesla's Supercharger network of over 12,000 stalls in North America, potentially making it easier than ever to top-up the batteries on long journeys.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1T
“The performance envelope and the drivability of an electric vehicle make it so much more desirable than an alternative. Buying a non-EV just feels very old. Aside from carbon emissions and environmental responsibility, it's just not interesting,” said RJ Scaringe for Heatmap.
Talking about the future of the brand in the context of beating expectations and delivering 12,640 EVs in the second quarter, while confirming the 50,000 units guidance is on the right track, the company's chief financial officer said that the next-generation model, the R2, will reel in more customers compared to the R1 range, thanks to its lower starting price.
“So we hope that the R2 platform helps pull a lot of customers across that jump where I want to spend $45,000 or $40,000 in a vehicle,” said Scaringe. “It needs to fit my life. So it's my kids, my pets, my gear — it needs to be able to go places and get dirty and go down a rough road. Our brand fits that so well, but today, a lot of customers just can't afford it, or don't want to spend $70,000-plus, so that's where R2 comes in.”
The yet-to-be-revealed R2 model will likely be a midsize SUV with similar dimensions to that of the ICE-powered Ford Bronco, judging from the covered clay model that was teased a while back. Set to go on sale in 2026, it will be manufactured at Rivian's second factory that will soon be under construction in Georgia.
Currently, the R1S, R1T, and Amazon Electric Delivery Van (EDV) are assembled at the firm's factory in Normal, Illinois, where the proprietary Enduro electric motor is also produced.
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