Video Shows the Debut of Rivian Vehicles That Will Compete with Tesla

Rivian, an electric vehicle firm founded in 2009, has taken the wraps off its first two cars: the R1T pickup truck and the R1S sports utility vehicle. The latter product, unveiled during a press conference at Automobility this week, looks set to give Tesla’s offerings a run for their money with impressive range of over 400 miles.

The launch comes as Tesla solidifies its lead in the American electric vehicle market, with the Model 3 claiming the title of best-selling electric car in the United States. CEO Elon Musk has said that he plans to launch the Model Y, a cheaper-priced version of the Model X sports utility vehicle, at a March event next year.

However, Rivian could offer tough competition. With prices starting at $65,000 after federal tax credits, it looks set to undercut the $79,500 Model X. As Tesla has sold over 200,000 electric vehicles, its consumers will gradually qualify for lower and lower tax credits in a staggered phase-out, giving Rivian and others an opening to compete.

Exterior of the Rivian R1S.
Exterior of the Rivian R1S.

Here’s what to know:

Rivian R1S: Specifications and Range

The Rivian comes in three configurations. All three vehicles offer four-motor electric all-wheel-drive with 147 kilowatt-hours per wheel and a top speed of 125 miles per hour. Here is a breakdown of the three main choices:

  • A 105 kilowatt-hour model that offers over 240 miles of range. This offers 300 kilowatts of vehicle power input to the gearbox, 560 Newton-meters of torque and 7,000 Newton-meters of total grounded torque. It’s capable of reaching speeds of 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and to 100 mph in 12.5 seconds. This car can fit seven passengers.
  • A 135 kilowatt-hour model that offers over 310 miles of range. This offers 562 kilowatts of vehicle power input to the gearbox, 1,120 Newton-meters of torque and 14,000 Newton-meters of total grounded torque. It’s capable of reaching speeds of 60 mph in three seconds and to 100 mph in less than seven seconds. Like the 105 kWh model, this car can fit seven passengers.
  • Finally, a top-of-the-range 180 kilowatt-hour model that offers over 410 miles of range. This has 522 kilowatts of vehicle power input to the gearbox, 1,120 Newton-meters of torque and 14,000 Newton-meters of total grounded torque just like the 135 kWh model. It’s capable of reaching speeds of 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and to 100 mph in less than eight seconds. However, this power leads to a smaller interior, packing just five passengers.

The 135 kWh model weighs 5,842 pounds with a weight distribution of 52 percent to the front and 48 percent to the rear. It has a payload of 1,807 pounds. All three cars have a trailer weight rating of 7,716 pounds and gross vehicle weight rating of 7,650 pounds.

Interior of the Rivian.
Interior of the Rivian.

In total, the car measures 16 feet 6 inches long, 6 feet 7 inches wide with mirrors folded and 5 feet 11 inches high at the curb. It has a park ground clearance of 8 inches, rising to an off road ground clearance of 14 inches. It has a water fording maximum depth of just under 40 inches. The “frunk” contains 11.65 cubic feet of storage space, while the rear bin offers 6.36 cubic feet.

The battery itself supports fast charging up to 160 kilowatts, faster than the 120 kilowatts supplied by Tesla’s supercharger network. It means the car can add 200 more miles of range in 30 minutes.

Rivian R1S: Autonomous Driving

The R1S will offer a suite of sensors including camera, lidar, radar, ultrasonic sensor and GPS capabilities. Rivian claims this will offer “level 3” autonomy on highway operation and “a range of self-driving features focused on enabling active lifestyles” outside of the highway.

Interior of the Rivian R1S.
Interior of the Rivian R1S.

Rivian R1S: Price and Release Date

The Rivian R1S is set to enter production in 2020. Initial production will focus on the 180 kWh and 135 kWh models, with the 105 kWh model hitting the streets six months later. The car will be available for $65,000 after federal tax credits, dependent on a $1,000 deposit.

Related video: Rivian Unveils the R1S SUV

Media via Rivian