Article: Rivian has a real edge over Tesla’s Cybertruck. Here’s why.

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via https://www.technologyreview.com/s/...edge-over-teslas-cybertruck-isnt-its-battery/

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The Rivian pickup’s real edge over Tesla’s Cybertruck isn’t its battery

The electric vehicle startup’s platform approach helped it raise nearly $3 billion this year.


Dec 23, 2019

The sheer spectacle of Tesla’s Cybertruck unveiling, from the severe angles to the smashed windows, will go down as the biggest news in electric pickup trucks this year.

But a rival startup that has yet to deliver a single truck arguably had a more monumental 2019—and, in the end, may do more to create a market for these vehicles.

On Monday, Rivian announced it had raised $1.3 billion in its fourth funding round of the year, led by T. Rowe Price, bringing its total for 2019 to nearly $2.9 billion. Meanwhile, the company struck deals to produce 100,000 delivery vans for Amazon and provide technology that Ford will use to develop its next-generation electric vehicle. Both of those companies were also among Rivian’s major investors this year.

Rivian has been quietly developing vehicles for a decade, but it seized the industry’s attention in late 2018, when it unveiled a pair of eye-catching, high-end electric trucks. The R1T pickup and R1S SUV promised to be all-electric versions of what American consumers like: big, tough-looking trucks (but not necessarily postapocalyptic ones like Tesla’s). They’re built to handle off-road conditions and supposedly will run for more than 400 miles with an add-on battery. (Initial deliveries are slated for the end of 2020.)

But Rivian is pursuing a much bigger play here. The company’s own vehicles, as well as Amazon’s and Ford’s, will all be built upon the company’s so-called “skateboard” chassis. It packages together the battery, suspension, braking system, and mechanical components all below the height of the wheels, lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity. That improves handling and increases storage space, the company says.

Above all, it’s a flexible system that other companies can build on top of, potentially easing the path for incumbent automakers to develop their own lines of electric vehicles. The Ford partnership will be a test of that. “We can leverage our skateboard technology in its entirety or sell pieces of it, such as the battery pack,” R.J. Scaringe, Rivian’s founder and chief executive, previously told Forbes.

By providing such a platform technology, Rivian is positioning itself as a sort of Microsoft to Tesla’s Apple—hoping it can capture a larger share of the market. If that gamble works, Rivian could do far more to accelerate the shift to low-emissions electric vehicles than any single company focused on producing its own cars and trucks could—whether they’re “bulletproof” or not.

Then again, there are hundreds of thousands of Teslas on the roads, while Rivian hasn’t even started offering test drives, so all of this depends heavily on the performance living up to the hype.
 

skyote

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Check out this article from October 2018, prior to the R1T & R1S reveal.

It also references the platform play, and some other intriguing mentions as well. For instance reference to using modified version of the platform for jet skis or snowmobiles; I'm sure there was some foundation for this, and my comment is, badass UTV please!

It also is an early mention of 6 vehicles, and conversations with 6 potential strategic investors...this lends credibility IMO.

Also says up to 450 miles range & shipping w/ Level 3 and future capability for Level 4. Is this another case of Rivian underpromising in their more recent statements?!?

https://www.axios.com/ev-startup-rivian-scaringe-96ea138a-bbea-47c6-9c57-f09616f5e6a9.html
 

ajdelange

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The day after the 1.3 Bn tranche from T. Rowe was in the news it was announced that a consortium of Chinese banks had granted Tesla 1.4 Bn in loans so Tesla pulls ahead if only by 100 M.

Clearly Tesla is miles ahead of Rivian by any reasonable metric. That does NOT mean that Rivian will not be able to produce a product nor that the product will be anything other than one we will all be pleased to own and operate. Every indication (not that there are than many) is that Rivian is on track.
 
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