Will Irvine-based Rivian be the ‘Tesla of trucks?’ – Press Enterprise

It is difficult for a car start-up to produce the first new car.

Irvine-based Rivian is launching three simultaneous launches: an electric pickup, an electric sport utility vehicle, and an electric Amazon delivery van.

Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions, told Bloomberg News in March. “But Rivian takes on the additional complexity of having three models coming out in the same year.”

Fiorani said Tesla was the only successful car-making startup in the United States since World War II.

Despite production delays, some experts call Rivian the “truck Tesla.” This is Amazon, Ford, T. One of the reasons is the huge financial support and technical advice from RowePrice, Fidelity, Cox Automotive and others.

Rivian announced on July 23 that it had completed its latest $ 2.5 billion in private funding and has raised $ 10.5 billion since 2019. Bloomberg estimated the value of the company to be close to $ 28 billion earlier this year.

Rivian has branded the EV as an “adventure product” and is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who crave a car that can drive well on and off the road. An air compressor is standard equipment, and a little extra, you can get a camping stove with a pickup that slides from a hidden storage compartment called a “gear tunnel”.

Production of the R1T pickup truck was postponed from late 2020 to June, then to July, and is currently scheduled for September.

The launch price is $ 73,000 and does not include discounts that buyers receive from federal and state tax credits. Production of the R1S, a 7-seater SUV, is scheduled to begin one to two months after the truck, with tax refund starting at $ 75,500. According to the company, both vehicles have a range of about 300 mph and are fully charged, going from 0 mph to 60 mph in 3 seconds.

This is a question and answer about Rivian based on news reports, company posts, and past interviews with Rivian’s founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe.

Q: How long has Rivian been around?

NS: RJ Scaringe, 38, founded his company in his home state of Florida in 2009 shortly after earning his PhD. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Originally named Abella Motors, Scarlinge rebranded his company to Rivian Automotive in 2011. The name partially pays homage to the Indian River Lagoon near Melbourne, Florida, the hometown of Scarlinge.

Rivian spent the next seven years designing new vehicles in “stealth mode” before being unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Q: Who is RJ Scarlinge?

NS: Originally from Florida, he first dreamed of starting his own car company when he was in high school, Forbes reported.

He studied for a PhD at MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab. While there, Forbes reported, he was disillusioned with the idea of ​​building another gas-powered car.

In a 2020 interview with the Lean Enterprise Institute, Scarlinge said the civilization’s addiction to fossil fuels had reached an “inflection point.”

“The fossil fuels we use today have accumulated in about 300 million years. We used about half of them in 100 years, so whether we need to break our dependence on fossil fuels. It’s not a discussion about, “he said.

“The other wrinkle in this is the effect of burning fossil fuels. The longer we wait for the transition, the more damage we do to the Earth and the atmosphere. Basically, what we do is It’s about taking the carbon buried in the earth and moving it into the atmosphere …. It’s very urgent to solve it, and it’s not an easy problem to solve. “

In Rivian, Scaringe said: We are making something important for our children. “

Amazon founders Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin’s first manned spaceflight companion passengers board a prototype Rivian SUV used to shuttle to the launch pad. Amazon is a key supporter of Rivian and has ordered 100,000 Rivian delivery vans. (Screenshot of Blue Origin video staff)

Q: How fast is Rivian growing?

NS: According to a spokeswoman for the company, the company has grown from 600 employees at the end of 2018 to more than 7,000 and is “growing weekly.” Over 1,400 employees are based in Southern California.

Q: Where are Rivian cars manufactured?

NS: In 2017, the company paid $ 16 million to its 3.3 million-square-foot former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, about 38 miles east of Peoria.

The Rivian plant currently has more than 2,200 employees and by early 2022 there will be 3,000 employees, a spokeswoman for the company said.

The Chicago Tribune also reported that the company also owns 1,000 robots to help build the vehicle. Scaringe posted several tweets showing that the robot is painting the vehicle and immersing the chassis in a chemical bath.

Q: How many vehicles does Rivian plan to manufacture each year?

NS: According to Forbes, Rivian will deliver 20,000 units in the first year and 40,000 units in the second year. The company does not disclose how many vehicles have been pre-ordered.

Q: Rivian has been around for 12 years, but hasn’t sold a single vehicle yet. What has it done during all those years?

NS: To build a car company from scratch, Scarlinge told the Lean Enterprise Institute, “There are a lot of items you need at the same time or in parallel, and they’re all difficult.”

He said he needed billions of dollars, thousands of engineers, about 250 suppliers, manufacturing plants, and teams.

“I didn’t have any of them,” he said. “There are no teams, no money, no factories, no suppliers, no facilities.”

The challenge was to persuade people to give him startup funding when there was nothing to show that he could build an EV, he said. It took me two years to make my first product plan. He then set out to show his supporters that he had a product that was technically feasible and had a market.

“It’s easy to see that there is a market (for EVs) today,” says Scaringe. “But eight or nine years ago, in the case of electric pickup trucks, it was convincing.”

Q: What is blocking production?

NS: In a letter to customers last month, Scarlinge blamed the delay in “the chain of pandemics.”

“Everything from the construction of facilities to the installation of equipment to the supply of vehicle parts (especially semiconductors) is affected by the pandemic,” he writes. “Beyond these unforeseen challenges, launching three new vehicles while establishing multiple vehicle manufacturing plants is coordinated and interrelated, where minor issues can lead to lamp delays. It’s a complex orchestra of activities. “

According to Scaringe, Rivian’s two production lines have completed hundreds of vehicles for testing purposes, but have postponed sales to ensure “quality and robustness of the products on sale.”

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Ed Radlow last November, Scarlinge said he expected supply constraints to hinder production by 2023.

“The challenge of launching a production system is managing complexity,” he told Radrow.

Rivian profile

  • CEO: RJ Scaringe, 38, Laguna Beach
  • Headquarters: Irvine
  • Date of establishment: 2009
  • Employees: Over 7,000, Over 1,400 in Southern California
  • Factory location: Usually ill.
  • Products: Electric pickups, SUVs, Amazon delivery vans

Will Irvine-based Rivian be the ‘Tesla of trucks?’ – Press Enterprise Source link Will Irvine-based Rivian be the ‘Tesla of trucks?’ – Press Enterprise

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