Rivian CEO Robert Scaringe is the Man With a Plan

I have got to admit; this is one of the hottest rivalries in the auto industry today. Rivian is clearly here to take on Tesla and, by the look of things, Rivian may actually sidestep the EV market leader very soon. Rivian’s CEO, Robert ’RJ’ Scaringe, recently spoke with AutoExpress and discussed how he plans to make Rivian the biggest and the baddest player of the industry.

This is Harvey Specter versus Mike Ross In The Making

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Tesla started off in a similar fashion; starting as a start-up which dreamt big and within a few years, it became a company that even mainstream billion-dollar automakers fear.

But Tesla is not the only one; Rivian is shaping up to be the next big thing along with start-ups like Byton and Faraday.

Speaking to the publication, Scaringe mentioned many things that are fear-instilling stuff from a competitor’s point of view.

Rivian Lets Its Products Do The Talking

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If to be seen, Rivian came out of the blue and surprised the auto community with its products and plans. Companies today announce even the smallest news in an exaggerated manner and make bold claims to create hype, but Rivian did exactly the opposite.

With a staff of nearly 600 employees, Scaringe’s start-up did not even surface the news until very recently.

In fact, this move worked well for the company as the Rivian EVs became the most-talked about vehicles at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November last year. When asked about this, Scaringe said, “We had a policy to be very deliberate about not making big claims or showing stuff that wasn’t ready. The problem with a lot of the companies in this space is a bunch of people who’ve done one percent of the work claiming they’ve done 90 percent of the work. For us, it’s the flip of that. We knew people would see us and say ‘Holy smoke! Where did they come from?’”

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

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Rivian has been smart with its finances as well, thanks to Scaringe’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology education and his entrepreneurial background. Instead of spending a bomb on building a production factory from scratch, Rivian purchased an ex-Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois. Explaining this move, Scaringe said, “We bought it for about $16million. We’ll invest $200m in the place, and then we will, in effect, have a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that would otherwise have cost a couple of billion bucks.”

This way, the company has brought down the overheads by a huge margin and can pass on that benefit to the customer, something that Tesla has been struggling to do.

So, for a product that matches in terms of features and specifications, Rivian will prove to be a better value-for-money proposition.

Rivian Is a Younger And Hungrier Version Of The Musk-Owned Company

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Up until now, Tesla was ruling the EV industry by steamrolling anyone and everyone who came in its way.

But the bully is now facing this newcomer, which works on the business plan wherein the company’s battery, electric motor, and chassis tech can be licensed to other brands, too. “We’re not of the belief that the existing auto industry is wrong,” Scaringe said. “There’s a lot of strong capability there, but they do have structural challenges, with doing new platforms and so forth. We are actively in talks with both car manufacturers and non-car manufacturers about them using our tech on models that don’t directly compete with ours.”

Meet The Rivians

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Speaking of the Rivian products, the R1T is the company’s flagship truck that comes with not one or two electric motors, but four of them!

This allows the pickup truck to develop a combined power output of 788 horses. The R1T can also zoom from 0-60 mph in three seconds flat and can drive for 400 miles on a single charge. The Rivian R1T has a payload capacity of 1,760 pounds and a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds.

Like the R1T, even the R1S comes with four electric motors. In its highest capacity, the R1S can cover 410 miles on a single charge with its 180 kWh battery. The quad-motor setup produces a combined output of 700 horses and 826 pound-feet of torque. This seven-seater SUV can speed to 60 mph in less than three seconds! Both these vehicles are set to arrive in 2020.

Our Take

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If you notice the trend here, Rivian is doing exactly what Tesla did a decade back – announce itself as a start-up that has the potential to make it big, make the smartest guy with a vision the face of the company, and creating open technologies that can be licensed by other brands as well (read, hyperloop). Well, Hyperloop is not exactly the same thing, but you get the gist. Tesla might be the recipient of this ass-whooping. Seeing this, we have no doubts believing that Tesla will get a taste of its own medicine. But the master is the master, and Tesla will definitely not succumb to this pressure. As on today, this war is evenly poised, and I cannot decide which company will eventually come out as the winner. Grab a seat and get your popcorn, folks. Sh*t is about to get real!

Which American company do you think will trump (pun intended) the other? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Further reading

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Read our full review on the 2020 Rivian R1T pickup.

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How Does the Rivian R1S Compete with the Tesla Model X?

2020 Tesla Pickup Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Tesla Pickup.

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Tesla Model X.

Source: AutoExpress

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