How Rivian will Rollout the R1T Lineup

electruck

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UPDATE: Per official communication from Rivian, the timeline suggested by this youtuber has officially been debunked thus the other details shared are likely equally manufactured.

Wish we knew who and how reliable the mystery source was (video makes it sound like an inside source). Anyone follow this guy on youtube to know how credible his info tends to be?

Here are the big details that caught my attention:
  • suggests early Q1 2021 deliveries
  • Rivian Adventure Network - first 51 station online by mid-June 2021, 47 stations currently in permitting process
  • first deliveries top-end model, base and mid-tier deliveries starting June 2021;
  • Canadian deliveries also mid 2021
  • European market 2022; potential factory in England perhaps in partnership with Mercedes?
  • anticipating another covid shutdown of up to a month
  • software ahead of schedule
  • no Zoox integration planned for consumer vehicles
Unfortunately, not much mention of the R1S in all of this.

 
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skyote

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Supposedly the configurator will have production ETAs for specific configs, so I'm hoping that drops soon & we'll have better info...especially on the R1S 135kW since that's what I'll be getting. ;-)
 

Coast2Coast

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It does sound like he has an inside source, but some predictions don't sound logical or don't square with the general info that's circulating. Much depends on who's the inside source and what position s/he's in.

What's not so logical?
1. Why top end model only? Yes, the margin's best on top end but demand may be limited. Of course, production volume is limited initially, but it shouldn't take a year for the mid-term version to come off the line, and the lowest level model may be delayed the longest or just be deleted.

2. A factory in the UK? The UK's leaving the EU; the EU's the market, not the UK. After Brexit, Japanese auto makers are leaving their UK plants for the EU, so spare plants may be available in the UK. But the EU and other continental countries are the market, not the UK.

3. We know level 2 autonomous capability is built-in, but level 3 will come online in the future. Why is no Zoox for consumer vehicles? Once it's activated, presumably for Amazon, Zoox's owner, there's no reason not to deploy it in consumer vehicles. That's not the way Amazon works.

What's not squaring with general info?
1. The pricing that's mentioned - $100K for a 185 kW model and, once again, $69K for entry level - seems wrong. We know RJ has said $69K for 135kW model with electrochromatic roof.

2. Early Q1 2021 deliveries seems unlikely. Given ongoing construction, need for trial production line runs, & more trial production runs, getting suppliers ready to go, getting battery production line up & running, and so, early Q1 2021 seems unlikely. Late Q1 2021 is more likely.
 

skyote

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1. Why top end model only? Yes, the margin's best on top end but demand may be limited. Of course, production volume is limited initially, but it shouldn't take a year for the mid-term version to come off the line, and the lowest level model may be delayed the longest or just be deleted.
The midrange should only be a matter of months after the long range, so this doesn't seem off to me. I do believe it might make sense to forego the 105kW due to the price reduction on midrange, but that probably depends largely on their market analysis of starting price of $10K less (my swag).

2. A factory in the UK? The UK's leaving the EU; the EU's the market, not the UK. After Brexit, Japanese auto makers are leaving their UK plants for the EU, so spare plants may be available in the UK. But the EU and other continental countries are the market, not the UK.
I also question the UK, but remember they have an office there & employees that came from McLaren. I question more the Mercedes/Daimler connection, especially with Ford as a large investor. However, Mercedes does have the knowledge & equipment for aluminum body construction.

3. We know level 2 autonomous capability is built-in, but level 3 will come online in the future. Why is no Zoox for consumer vehicles? Once it's activated, presumably for Amazon, Zoox's owner, there's no reason not to deploy it in consumer vehicles. That's not the way Amazon works.
With the amount of development already done by Rivian on AD, it would likely be a "forklift" or difficult integration of Zoox. This could be something where certain capabilities could be integrated over time, or even a complete rewrite in the long run (a la Tesla FSD). Also, much of this development is sensor-dependent (due to sensor processing on chip), and we don't know how much overlap there might be with the Zoox sensor suite. This is a complex problem & something you can't just throw in.
 

azbill

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2. A factory in the UK? The UK's leaving the EU; the EU's the market, not the UK. After Brexit, Japanese auto makers are leaving their UK plants for the EU, so spare plants may be available in the UK. But the EU and other continental countries are the market, not the UK.
This does not make sense to me. The fact that the trucks will be built in the UK does not mean they cannot be delivered to the EU. Jaguars are built in the UK, do you really think they will not be able to deliver them to the rest of Europe after Brexit? The EU is a political alliance not a trade blocker. Nissan is moving manufacturing back to Japan, not to EU.

Here is a quote from an article I read on this subject:

"The Swindon plant was established in 1985. But in recent years, it has operated at less than full capacity, citing falling demand from Europe. That caused Honda to suspend a production line with a capacity of 100,000 units in 2014.

Brexit uncertainty
Japanese car producers, including Nissan, have said that Brexit uncertainty is not helping them "plan for the future". Nissan recently opted to build the next X-Trail model in Japan, rather than in Sunderland.

But, Honda said that the plant closure in Swindon wasn't related to the UK's decision to leave the European Union. It said that restructuring would bring it closer to key markets such as China or the US."
 
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Canada shafted again :crying:. I suppose that makes some sense if they want to do a slow start, though if given the option for an earlier delivery, I would fly to the Normal factory and drive my R1T home (assuming COVID is under control by next year).

I saw this video earlier, but didn't watch it, thinking it was clickbait. Could be someone just starting rumors to drive their 8-month old YouTube channel. I have my doubts as to why an insider would reach out to this person rather than the much larger EV media sites or YouTubers. If they truly have a source, my only explanation would be it's a friend or family member, a pretty risky move publishing this.
 
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electruck

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I saw this video earlier, but didn't watch it, thinking it was clickbait. Could be someone just starting rumors to drive their 8-month old YouTube channel. I have my doubts as to why an insider would reach out to this person rather than the much larger EV media sites or YouTubers. If they truly have a source, my only explanation would be it's a friend or family member, a pretty risky move publishing this.
Absolutely, I am very skeptical of unverified statements like these. That said, it could be Rivian has decided a controlled leak at this point might be a way to provide an unofficial update without the risk associated with an official statement and then potentially not being able to deliver what was promised (especially in light of covid). No clue if that's really what is behind this video but it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
 

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The @Rivian video in question seems more than clickbait, but it doesn't seem particularly well informed either. My guess is an amalgamation of some inside info/whispers, some online research, and braggadocio. As aAlpine said, trying to drive traffic to a new YouTube channel.

But it's probably not all hot air. Bringing the highest margin model to market first makes sense, but I doubt that would last too long. Certainly not a year. The middle level model is the market sweet spot. The lowest level model may exist to satisfy certain state & federal regulations; in California, at present, state BEV tax credits don't apply to vehicles costing in excess of $60K. In an email from Rivian, Rivian acknowledged it was aware of this.

As for Brexit, it definitely has revenue, logistics, tax and regulatory implications. If Rivian's going to Europe, it won't set up in the UK. Given the Green New Deal the EU just adopted, one of the bigger EU economies, Germany or France, would be a likely location.
 

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"contacted by an anonymous source"........I stopped there. May be true, may not be. This is getting to be a regular go to phrase, that I have found to be very unreliable. May be true, may not be. IMHO, wait for news where there are named sources, that will answer to their statements.
 

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We know RJ has said $69K for 135kW model with electrochromatic roof.
Other than being mentioned in the Reuters report, has this been confirmed by any other sources? I found where Electrek contacted Rivian and received back...

"our original listed prices represent a well-equipped vehicle. We’ll be releasing more details about pricing soon."

This doesn't mention a 135kWh battery pack. I think many people (and Rivian themselves) would consider an R1T or R1S with a 105kWh battery and several additional options added to be "well-equiped" and I think that is what they are talking about in their response to Electrek. So I take the above quote to mean that the original starting price corresponds to a "well-equiped" version of the 105kWh battery size. I hope I'm wrong but I haven't been able to find other quotes or sources that confirm the 135kWh battery pack for $69,000 reported by Reuters.
 
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electruck

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Other than being mentioned in the Reuters report, has this been confirmed by any other sources? I found where Electrek contacted Rivian and received back...

"our original listed prices represent a well-equipped vehicle. We’ll be releasing more details about pricing soon."

This doesn't mention a 135kWh battery pack. I think many people (and Rivian themselves) would consider an R1T or R1S with a 105kWh battery and several additional options added to be "well-equiped" and I think that is what they are talking about in their response to Electrek. So I take the above quote to mean that the original starting price corresponds to a "well-equiped" version of the 105kWh battery size. I hope I'm wrong but I haven't been able to find other quotes or sources that confirm the 135kWh battery pack for $69,000 reported by Reuters.
I was at the Mill Valley event when the Reuters story first surfaced and confirmed the details directly with RJ. He told me face to face that they wanted the prices they were talking about to reflect the vehicles they were out showing at the events - with 135 kWh pack and electrochromic roof. I'm sure there were far more factors influencing their pricing decisions but that is what he shared with me. I believe others have had similar conversations with Rivian employees.
 

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The original Reuters report was based on RJ's comments at the Mill Valley/SF event last year which I attended as did electruck (see #11). Other Rivian employees confirmed RJ's comments at the time - a mid-level, well equipped R1T/S for $69K. This followed the CT reveal and Amazon investment & 100K unit order.

Of course, we'll know for sure when the configurator goes live, but the mid-level, well equipped model for $69K seems legit.

As for Zoox and what it may mean for Rivian, this Forbes piece argues it's a shot across Tesla's bow. https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviergarret/2020/07/21/amazon-just-put-tesla-on-notice/#5b8942b06590
 

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I was at the Mill Valley event when the Reuters story first surfaced and confirmed the details directly with RJ. He told me face to face that they wanted the prices they were talking about to reflect the vehicles they were out showing at the events - with 135 kWh pack and electrochromic roof. I'm sure there were far more factors influencing their pricing decisions but that is what he shared with me. I believe others have had similar conversations with Rivian employees.
That is great to hear! Thanks for that info, you just made my day! I am so much more excited now!
 

skyote

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I saw this video earlier, but didn't watch it, thinking it was clickbait. Could be someone just starting rumors to drive their 8-month old YouTube channel.
Same here, but figured it was worth a watch since @electruck posted.
 

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