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Rivian News 2023


This document offers the latest news and information about the electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, as well as some context and commentary about the EV industry.


Regarding transportation needs, some people would say that we don’t need better cars, we need better cities.

For residents of sustainable cities and walkable communities, cars are less necessary. A combination of walking, biking, and public transit meet the needs of people who have their home, work, and shopping within a few blocks.

Also, the rise of remote work options make it possible for people to be less dependent on car ownership.

So, people will go city shopping before they go car shopping. Finding a community that supports a car-free life-work balance can be a practical first step before one considers what vehicle they want.

For the many people who work full-time and have slowly accruing vacation time, longer road trips aren’t as frequent, so a rental car or bus is a practical option for infrequent distance driving.

For those who like to go on weekend road trips or otherwise feel a car is necessary, there is a massive selection of quality used vehicles. It’s like buying clothing at a consignment store or thrift shop. The more material goods we can recycle and repurpose the better.

We imagine a luxury vehicle to be a Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Range Rover, or similar brand. Yet, really, a luxury vehicle is when a person spends discretionary money beyond what’s needed. Any vehicle that isn’t a 10-year-old Toyota Corolla (or similar) is a luxury vehicle. We need to begin with that acknowledgement of fact.

Luxuries are things that go beyond what would address our primary needs. So, practically any new car is a luxury. Those who have the ability financially to live far from where they work, and wish to commute to work “in style” or drive for pleasure, are candidates for new vehicles.

For more context and some insightful questions about the practically of EVs, read, “Are Electric Cars the Answer?”

Assuming you have large sums of discretionary money, and have decided to purchase an expensive new car instead of a boat or airplane, the Rivian vehicles may be appealing to you.


The video below from June 21 is the 2023 shareholder promotion from Rivian. This an other company videos will be mixed in with other news and reports at the bottom of this page.


You can learn more about Rivian using these links:

General EV History

Vehicles powered 100% by electricity have been evolving. The Department of Energy guide to the history of electric cars states at the inception of the timeline: “Around 1832, Robert Anderson develops the first crude electric vehicle, but it isn’t until the 1870s or later that electric cars become practical.”

The initial consumer offerings were small cars with short range, limited power, low speed, and possible safety concerns. They appealed to a small segment of the market — early adopters and those with limited range needs for in-town errand uses.

According to the Wikipedia entry on EV history, “In the 20th century, the high cost, low top speed, and short-range of battery electric vehicles, compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, led to a worldwide decline in their use as private motor vehicles.” [Source]

The first popularized modern-day production EV from an established mainstream manufacturer was the Nissan LEAF which was launched in 2010 and continues today 13 years later. As a Nissan vehicle, the LEAF can be purchased and serviced by a national dealership network. [Nissan LEAF Webpage]

The Nissan LEAF has a small aerodynamic sedan-hatchback design. This makes it energy efficient and reduces material costs for production. Some people may feel the LEAF is too low to the ground and a bit cramped compared to an SUV.

Tesla has focused on very expensive high-performance vehicles that are somewhat impractical or unnecessary for many people. Not having a national dealership and service network is perceived to be a limitation for some people. The current Tesla vehicles are smaller than typical SUV and truck options.

Trucks and SUVs

Trucks and SUVs are the most popular vehicles today because they serve the needs of families, farmers, construction workers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want vehicles with the following features:

  • Greater safety with more protective mass surrounding passengers.
  • Heavier vehicle weight for greater stability in wind and firm grip on snow and ice.
  • Higher seating position for the driver to have better distance visibility.
  • Seating to accommodate four or more adults. This results in a per-capita fuel efficiency that exceeds other vehicles.
  • Storage capacity for grocery shopping at stores like Costco where large quantities of items are purchased less frequently.
  • Taller vehicle which is easier for other drivers to see.
  • Towing capacity for larger payloads and trailers.

The above qualifications are not addressed by tiny compact EVs.

Rivian Vehicles

Rivian vehicles address the qualifications mentioned above. This makes them viable as a replacement for similarly designed internal combustion engine vehicles. A similar vehicle is the Ford F150 Lightning. The current Rivian vehicles have a cost of about $70,000 but their next models are rumored to cost about $40,000.

If Rivian becomes a luxury EV brand with high pricing and no local options for buying or servicing, their vehicles won’t likely serve the need for having affordable practical EV options.

Unlimited Free Power

The Kia EV9, scheduled for release in 2024, will begin offering a free power system that utilizes the vehicle’s battery bank that has a capacity to power a home for 5 days. Collectively your vehicle and others on the grid will serve as a battery backup system for the power grid with peak demand scenarios. The power company will pay a premium for power at peak times, and charge the vehicle at times when there is low demand and the power costs less. In this way, Kia is partnering with energy providers to ensure that for most owners, there would be no cost to charge the vehicle. [Source: Electrifying]

It’s likely that Rivian will pursue a similar partnership.


Below are videos of Rivian news in chronological order with the source and date in the entry header. Some videos from last year are provided for context.

Top Gear (29 Jun 2023)

“NEVS Emily GT: SAAB’s Secret EV With 600 Mile Range” — Meet Emily, the secret electric GT developed in just 10 months by Saab engineers. The Emily GT has the potential to revolutionise the way we design vehicles. Why? Because it has four electric motors housed within each of its 18-inch wheels. Together, they produce 424bhp, powered by a whopping 174kWh battery, which means it should be capable of over 600 miles on a single charge. The company behind the in-wheel motors, Protean Electric, claims they offer numerous benefits over conventional EV designs. So, we sent Top Gear Magazine’s Tom Ford to see what all the fuss is about. [Source]

Zack Nelson (25 Jun 2023)

“3 things I HATE about my Rivian R1T after 10,000 miles” — I have driven my Rivian R1T hard. Ive used it as a work truck – and pushed it to the limits. Does the Rivian R1T work like a truck should? Is the Rivian R1T a good Electric Truck? Today we find out the answers after driving the R1T for more than a year, and more than 10,000 miles. [Source]

Mike Kantorski (22 Jun 2023)

“A Rivian Catches FIRE” — Rivian R1T Catches FIRE, Rivian Vehicles powered by wind, updated R1S SUV EPA ratings for dual motor configurations, and more! Thank you for taking the time to watch, please like and subscribe for more Rivian news weekly! [Source]

Rivian (21 Jun 2023)

“Dear Shareholders” — The last eighteen months for us have really been an exercise in investing in the future. We held our 2023 Annual Shareholder Meeting today featuring a live Q&A with RJ Scaringe, Claire McDonough and Mike Callahan. Thanks to everyone who joined. [Video Source]

CNBC (20 Jun 2023)

“Rivian follows the lead of other EV makers in joining Tesla’s charging network” — Mark Fields, former Ford CEO, and Brian Moody, AutoTrader.com executive editor, join ‘Last Call’ to discuss Rivian joining Tesla’s EV charging network, the state of the EV space, and more. [Source]

Rivian (27 May 2023)

“Ask Rivian: RJ Scaringe, Founder & CEO | Instagram Q&A” — Rivian is on a mission to keep the world adventurous forever. We believe there is a more responsible way to explore the world and are determined to make the transition to sustainable transportation an exciting one. We designed our emissions-free Electric Adventure Vehicles to challenge what’s possible. We hope they inspire you to do the same. [Source]

Rivian (20 Apr 2023)

“Head of Software Wassym Bensaid Discusses Tech Features and Roadmap at Venice Q&A” — Rivian head of software, Wassym Bensaid, held a Q&A with @RivianStories community members at our Venice Hub in California. [Source]

Marques Brownlee (11 Apr 2023)

“The Rivian R1S Is… The Best SUV Ever?” — Rivian R1S is an awesome, expensive SUV. That’s on purpose. [Source]

WVFRM Podcast (7 Apr 2023)

“Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe, talks R1S and the Future of Rivian” — This week we have an interview with RJ Scaringe, the CEO of Rivian! He stopped by the Studio to chat with Marques about the new R1S and the future of the company as a whole. They go over the adventure network, the quirky features of the R1S, and the upcoming R2 platform as well. As a bonus, this entire episode was recorded inside of an Rivian R1S. We hope you enjoy! [Source]

Rivian (23 Mar 2023)

“Take an R1T jungle ride powered by Unreal Engine” — Epic Games used a state-of-the-art, digital Rivian R1T to show off the latest rendering technology and vehicle physics in Unreal Engine, its tool for immersive, 3D game creation, at the 2023 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The Epic Games keynote, “State of Unreal,” shows a photorealistic R1T making its way down a rocky trail in a jungle and the entire environment — from the way the air suspension responds to rocks and roots to the way the tires move through water and mud – uses real-time physics to make the visuals and movements accurate and immersive. It’s not the first time we’ve collaborated with Epic games to create next-level, realistic vehicle simulation. We chose Unreal Engine to power essential parts of our in-vehicle experience, including to provide drivers a real-time rendering of their vehicle and the environment around it. [Source]

2022 News

CNBC (28 Aug 2022)

“How Amazon Is Giving Rivian An Edge In The EV Industry” — [Source]

A new electric vehicle company hopes to take on Tesla with its outdoor adventure trucks and SUVs. And its deal with Amazon to build 100,000 electric delivery vans could help it succeed.

Founded in 2009, Rivian is focusing on upscale electric trucks and SUVs with an emphasis on outdoor adventure. CNBC’s John Rosevear calls them the “Patagonia of electric vehicles.”

Rivian launched its first vehicle, the R1T electric truck, at the end of last year. It’s been working to scale up production and is planning to ship its SUV — the R1S — built off of the same platform, later this year.

It’s been a long and arduous road to get to this point. But Rivian has received some major assistance, including $700 million from Amazon in 2019 and $500 million from Ford a few months later. Initially, Rivian and Ford sought to develop a joint vehicle together, but the companies ended up canceling those plans.

However, the partnership with Amazon is still on track. Following its investment, Amazon said it would purchase 100,000 custom-built electric delivery vans, part of its move to electrify its last-mile fleet by 2040.

When Rivian went public in November 2021, it had one of the largest IPOs in U.S. history. But the turbulent economy has cast a shadow over its rocketing success. As the market responded to inflation and fears of a recession, the stock took a big hit. But with the Amazon deal secured, some are confident the EV maker can weather the storm.

“When Amazon invested in them…but more importantly, put a commitment to buy all of those vehicles from them, they changed the market dynamic around that company,” said Mike Ramsey, an auto and smart mobility analyst at Gartner.

Last month, Rivian and Amazon rolled out the first of the electric vans. They are starting to deliver packages in a handful of cities, including Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago and Phoenix.

Hagerty (20 Mar 2022)

“The Lucid Air is a time machine, Jason Cammisa on the ICONS” — The ultimate luxury, you ask? It’s a time machine — the ability to go back and do it all over again, knowing everything you know now. The Lucid Air Dream Edition P isn’t Tesla Model S 2.0, the company itself is Tesla v2.0, since many of the engineers and executives at the company benefited from the experience gained in setting up Tesla as a company. And so the Air is a marvel of efficiency in packaging, powertrain, and aero. But its handling target was the E39-chassis BMW M5. And that’s a high bar. With 1111 horsepower from two tiny motors, our test results showed the Air Dream Edition P could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 9.9 sec @ 143.5 mph: meaning it’s quicker than every Bugatti Veyron made, even the 1200-hp Vitesse and Super Sport models. Does that make it a new benchmark of luxury? Or did Rivian do the right thing with the R1T, giving you the luxury of carting around more things and going more places? And what about the Mercedes S-Class? Let’s discuss, shall we? [Source]

Photo: The photo featured at the top of this document is from the Rivian website and features the R1T.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com