I hope Rivian can eventually target more middle class consumers

huskylord

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I've been a fan of Rivian for years now and love both the R1T and R1S. Can't wait to see them hit the road later this year. But sadly, I've reconciled myself that this first generation of Rivian models are beyond my financial means. I know it's a huge cost to create a new company and we've seen with Tesla that you start with the Roadster/Model S/X and then come to market with the more affordable models (Model 3/Y). Rivian has done a fantastic job at targeting a niche market, coming up with a brand, and it's not cheap to bring a new vehicle to market. So I understand, they have costs to pay and it's a huge undertaking.

Will Rivian follow a similar path? I would love to think that Rivian is starting off as Lexus and then the Toyota models eventually come to market.
I've given myself two years to hold onto to my aging Subaru SUV and then plan to switch to electric. I know there's the Lordstown, Ford F-150, VW ID.4 which will be what I can afford and let me sleep at night, but a guy can always dream.

I"m just whining at this point. Take care.





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MReda

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My wife and I have owned a handful of Subarus and she still drives one. I would think a less expensive Rivian would be a direct competitor to the Subaru EV that is a couple years out. In a lot of ways, they are targeting the same type of user, although as you pointed out, with different budgets.

A well equipped Forester or Outback was approaching $40k last I checked, so if we assume a $40k CUV from Rivian to compete with a $40k BEV Subaru CUV, it would be interesting to see how they would compare.
 

DaveA

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Auto manufacturers can get away with these increasing prices on vehicles since banks are offering 84 month loans, which is insanity. As long as people are taking out such loans, the auto manufacturers will continue to increase prices. :(
 

ajdelange

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It depends on battery development. Right now costs are flirting with $100/kWh. That's close to or is the petrol/BEV breakpoint. But there are those that think $50/kWh is reachable (with Li ion) and if we get down to that level a 75 kWh battery pack is going to cost around $7500. At that point the market will be flooded with "consumer" BEVs. Whether Rivian decides to make one or not depends on the direction in which they wish to take the company,
 

Pedritho

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I've been a fan of Rivian for years now and love both the R1T and R1S. Can't wait to see them hit the road later this year. But sadly, I've reconciled myself that this first generation of Rivian models are beyond my financial means. I know it's a huge cost to create a new company and we've seen with Tesla that you start with the Roadster/Model S/X and then come to market with the more affordable models (Model 3/Y). Rivian has done a fantastic job at targeting a niche market, coming up with a brand, and it's not cheap to bring a new vehicle to market. So I understand, they have costs to pay and it's a huge undertaking.

Will Rivian follow a similar path? I would love to think that Rivian is starting off as Lexus and then the Toyota models eventually come to market.
I've given myself two years to hold onto to my aging Subaru SUV and then plan to switch to electric. I know there's the Lordstown, Ford F-150, VW ID.4 which will be what I can afford and let me sleep at night, but a guy can always dream.

I"m just whining at this point. Take care.
Appreciate the sentiment of your post a lot. Curious though, what do you think Rivian could do to make their vehicles more middle class friendly? Do you think it's the interior accouterments that is making the R1T and R1S luxury? Do you think offering a smaller battery pack would make it more appealing to a different market? Maybe a "weekend warrior" trim that uses more sensible materials for the casual outdoorsy person?
 

azbill

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To support the middle class, I have seen an article that talked about three criteria to get people into EVs:

1) $35K price
2) 300 mile range
3) 30 minute time to charge

I do not think a smaller battery that reduces range below 300 will make it in the market. I suspect they would really need to reduce the number of motors to 1 or 2. Offer something like a RWD 1 motor design, and AWD design with 2 motors. That would cut the weight and the electronics, then maybe a slightly smaller battery could get to 300 miles.
 

dlerojo

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For me to make the electric switch I would want 400+ range. My current vehicle has a 330 mile range on a tank of gas. I would want 400+ due to the time required for charging along with weather/towing range reduction and battery degradation. That puts me at about 90k for a R1T.

I configured an F150 hybrid how I would want it for 60k.
A new Bronco 53k.

If I wanted an adventure vehicle I could pick either of those two and buy about 200,000 miles worth of gas to be equal in price to an R1T.

If I could get a R1T with 400+ miles of range for around 70k that would be worth it in mind. At the current pricing its a little expensive for what you get. I would imagine other middle class consumers might have similar thoughts.
 

ajdelange

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Curious though, what do you think Rivian could do to make their vehicles more middle class friendly? Do you think it's the interior accouterments that is making the R1T and R1S luxury?
That's part of it.

Do you think offering a smaller battery pack would make it more appealing to a different market?
That's clearly part of it.

Maybe a "weekend warrior" trim that uses more sensible materials for the casual outdoorsy person?
Same idea as with an ICE vehicle. Take out all those bells and whistles such as 4 wheel drive, fancy stereo, classy looking materials, camp kitchens, tie downs, compressors and AC outlets in bed, autopilot, heated seats, adjustable rear seats, gear tunnel, spare tire...
 
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Their pricing isn’t that far out of line. Cutting battery capacity is unlikely to reduce their build cost much. This will never compete with a base model Tacoma but I could see a stripped version competing with mid-level 1500’s. I think it still remains to be seen if they make it. I hope they do but competition will get worse and i don’t think they have much IP to monetize
 

ajdelange

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Cutting battery capacity is unlikely to reduce their build cost much.
The difference between the 180 kWh and 135 kWh battery packs in the mid and max range models offered today is 45 kWh. At today's battery costs that probably $5000 savings to the manufacturer. It represents about 7% of the cost of the vehicle and is thus probably the largest single saving that the manufacturer can realize except perhaps taking out the front motors.
 
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huskylord

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Yeah, wish I had the magic bullet to solve this issue, but the only things I can think of that might help eventually bring down costs:
  • Don't need autonomous driving.
  • Have no idea whether Rivian is using some sort of customized battery format instead of a more generic, supplier available style
  • reducing number of electric motors
  • Relying on other charging networks instead of creating Rivian Adventure Network
  • Lower quality trims
  • I don't need 0 - 60mph times similar to a porsche.
  • More mainstream tire suppliers
Anyways, yes, eventually costs will come down, but a guy can dream.
 

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They are following up with R2 models which are on a smaller skateboard. The lifted rally car might be more their sports car, but RJ has said in interviews the other follow-up models will be more accessible. I would guess more than 35k though. Probably more Model 3/Y pricing. Original plan for those was by 2025. I have a feeling things may be accelerating though, given the massive additional investment they've pulled since that was their goal. I think R2S is confirmed. R2T seems like a no-brainer. Fisker is also likely to have a smaller pickup out in late 2023 so they might not want to be too late to that party. They also wasted no time expanding the factory floor when they got he Amazon van deal. Like way before they needed to build the vans. Could be planning on needing factory space for the R2s before 2025. They think really long-term though so it's hard to speculate.
 
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DucRider

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If I could get a R1T with 400+ miles of range for around 70k that would be worth it in mind. At the current pricing its a little expensive for what you get. I would imagine other middle class consumers might have similar thoughts.
An R1T Max pack "Explore" is $77,500. If you factor in the Federal Tax Credit you are right at your $70K number.
 

thrill

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Reducing the number of electric motors is a minimal reduction in the price of the vehicle *once the engineering is done for those four motors*. The material cost for each motor is around $1000. The engineering cost to design and fit everything around them is far greater, and the cost to make them work in concert, and once that's spent there's little value in removing any of them. Indeed the smarter play is to continue to optimize around their existence and press to make it a distinguishing feature (hellooo tank turn).

By far, the battery is the most expensive component, as any savings there can be directly passed to the end user with their plug and play component nature, if the market requires price adjustment. I suspect the current targeted market, along with the ever-growing reputation of being a mass producer (100,000 planned far) of EVs for commercial purposes, means that price reductions are unnecessary anytime soon,. Any price reduction would be far more valuable by targeting how it was offered, in order to cement the company in the current and future buyers' minds - i.e. "freebies" and loyalty benefits for early and returning buyers, etc.

That said, the expenses of the large number of people to put it all together and position it in the market, and popularize it appropriately, is not trivial. There's the additional expense of standing up from scratch a workable service capability, setting up charging capability where it's not currently a focus by either other commercial endeavors nor the ever shifting political winds.
 
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huskylord

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Good call. Rivian without 4 motors is quite knee capped and as you said, minimal costs for the motor themselves, and more about the engineering and optimization (which should get cheaper in time with added scale and experience).

There's been other news with more electric vehicles oustourcing parts to providers (such as Magna). Obviously you lose quality control when you outsource, but there are potential cost savings.

I guess the other option which might come down the road is the Chinese knock off potential. Take a look at Xpeng, basically cloning Teslas and selling to to the market. Success by Rivian will likely lead to other providers piggy backing off Rivian design.
 

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