Rivian CEO eyes smaller electric vehicles for China, Europe

By Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric vehicle startup Rivian, which is backed by Amazon and Ford Motor Co , on Wednesday said it plans to follow up its first two products, a full-size pickup and SUV, with smaller models targeted at China and Europe where it may eventually build some vehicles.

Reuters November 19, 2020 06:05:09 IST
Rivian CEO eyes smaller electric vehicles for China, Europe

Rivian CEO eyes smaller electric vehicles for China Europe

By Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert

DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric vehicle startup Rivian, which is backed by Amazon and Ford Motor Co , on Wednesday said it plans to follow up its first two products, a full-size pickup and SUV, with smaller models targeted at China and Europe where it may eventually build some vehicles.

While Rivian plans to begin selling the SUV in Europe in 2022 and China soon after, "what will really drive volume in those markets is the follow-on products" that are smaller and tailored for overseas customers, Rivian founder and Chief Executive R.J. Scaringe told Reuters.

The smaller models, which are expected to share key components with the pickup and SUV, will "fit some of those other markets really well, in particular China," Scaringe said.

"To really scale in those markets as we bring on follow-on products, having a production footprint outside the U.S. is going to be important," he said. "That's a ways off."

Scaringe added: "We wouldn't be serious about building a car company if we weren't thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term."

The company's first plant in Normal, Illinois, has begun pilot production ahead of next year's launch of three models - the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, which Scaringe described as "halo products" for Rivian, and a large electric delivery van for Amazon.

Speaking from a room overlooking the assembly line, Scaringe said the former Mitsubishi Motors plant reflects an unusual degree of vertical integration, with room for building motors and battery packs for the vehicles and for further expansion.

The Amazon delivery van is built on a version of the same platform, or basic underpinnings, used by the R1T and R1S.

Rivian has said deliveries of the pickup would start in June 2021, while those of the SUV would begin in August. Launch editions of the vehicles are priced at $75,000 (£56,454) and $77,500, respectively, with a 300-mile (480 km) driving range for both.

The electric pickup market will soon be crowded as Ford, General Motors Co and Tesla Inc , as well as several other startups, are developing similar models. Numerous automakers also are rolling out electric SUVs.

In July, Rivian, founded in 2009, boosted its war chest with a $2.5-billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price, raising total investment in the startup to $6 billion. Investors include Soros Fund Management, Fidelity and BlackRock , as well as Saudi auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Co (ALJ).

Amazon, which has relationships and deals across the auto industry, led a $700 million investment round in Rivian last year.

The e-commerce company also ordered 100,000 electric vans from Rivian. The first Amazon vehicles go into production in Normal in late 2021, with all deliveries to be completed by 2024.

Scaringe said Rivian has begun setting up service centers and will deploy mobile units to handle maintenance and repair work on Amazon's vans, as well as Rivian vehicles for retail customers.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.