Rivian in Australia - Factory made or locally converted - Thoughts?

Would you prefer your RHD rivian to be RHD from factory or converted from LHD?

  • LHD to RHD conversion

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  • Total voters
    7

Dohmar

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Howdy,
Just read an article here in Australia regarding a company that wants to import Rivians...
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https://www.news.com.au/technology/...e/news-story/4c913ddba123a415f488ca11fc22ebe8

The Tesla-fighting Rivian all-electric super ute is one step closer to Australia.

A Queensland-based independent importer and converter of vehicles from left- to right-hand drive is already taking pre-orders for the Rivian R1T pick-up truck and R1S SUV ahead of the American on-sale date later this year.
Deliveries of the Rivian R1T are set to start in the US later this year.

The co-owner of AUS MV and SCD Remanufactured Vehicles, Eddie Kocwa, says Rivians will soon be on Australian roads.

“One way or another, the Rivian will be coming to Australia, whether it’s manufactured in right-hand drive or it needs to be remanufactured in right-hand drive,” says Kocwa, who already converts everything from the Dodge Challenger to the Ford F-150. “We’ve taken pre-orders … securing your spot in the queue.”
The R1S SUV will also be available for order.

AUS MV is positioning itself to be the local engineering partner and/or distributor of Rivian, which has a near-cult following despite not producing a single car yet.

Until recently the R1T – which will compete with the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer – and R1S were listed on the AUS MV website, but Kocwa says they’ve been removed to instead be listed on the EV-dedicated sister website AUS EV, due to launch soon.

AUS MV has a national distribution network and has partnered with Ultra Tune for servicing and warranty.

He believes the unique model will be appealing to EV start-up brands such as Rivian that don’t want to invest in dealerships and distribution.
The Rivian electric ute promises impressive performance and range.

It’s the engineering and conversion side that potentially adds to the appeal.

Ram and Chevrolet each use Walkinshaw for factory-approved conversions in Australia and SCD Remanufactured Vehicles partly competes with them by converting an assortment of American-sourced cars and utes.

Kocwa says he can provide a quality conversion to right-hand drive if the vehicles come out of the factory with the steering wheel on the left, as is the case with many American cars.
It is pitched at campers with plenty of adventure accessories such as electric kitchenettes.

“If it’s made right-hand drive, we’ve got the network to distribute it,” says Kocwa of the Rivians. “If they want to do a deal with us and we remanufacture, that’s cool too. Or if they decide … ‘we don’t want to enter the right-hand drive market’, we still go through our original avenue of purchasing them, bringing them over, remanufacturing to right-hand drive.”

While there are dozens of EV start-ups planning to take advantage of the increased interest in electric vehicles, many are expected to fade away in the battle to muscle in on an intensely competitive market.
Rivian R1T electric utes for sale in Australia.

Despite a recent delay in production – pushing anticipated first deliveries to September – Rivian is one electric vehicle maker many believe is here to stay. It has financial backing from online retailing behemoth Amazon and car maker Ford, the former giving it a guaranteed order book of sales for an electric delivery van also in the works.

As well as big performance from four electric motors, the ability to tow five tonnes and an EV range of more than 500km, Rivian has an innovative selection of accessories for its R1T.

It includes an electric kitchenette that slides out from the centre of the car as well as an integrated tent.
The ute can even come with an integrated tent in the tray.

There’s also an intense focus on off-road ability, but it also has a “vegan leather” interior, panoramic sunroof and Meridian sound system as well as advanced driver assistance and crash avoidance technology.
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Theres two ways they would go about it - either importing RHD versions direct from the USA, or converting LHD to RHD (among other things)

Anyone in the RHD market, what would be your preference?

Personally, I would prefer RHD from factory, but if a local factory could be set up here, then that would be ideal..

-D





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MIG

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No deliveries yet in the U.S., a waitlist well into next year (if not later) and they're "taking orders"?
 
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Dohmar

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No deliveries yet in the U.S., a waitlist well into next year (if not later) and they're "taking orders"?
Yeah. More like expressions of interest at this stage. All the publicity/hype they get now will help determine just how the RHD market will operate in Oz...

That said, I never expected deliveries to oz till at least 2024, the US delivery delay surprises me not at all, especially given the semiconductor shortages

-D
 

Zoidz

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I'm curious as to some of the details on how they do this conversion process. If they have a formal agreement with Rivian, it would make sense to ship the vehicles without the dashboard, steering gear and pedal hanger installed, saving the removal labor.

Other items that would/might need converting:
- Seats?
- Mirrors?
- Infotainment UI? I'm assuming important menus, buttons, etc. are designed to be closest to driver location.

What else?
 

skyote

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What else?
Driver monitoring.

I had a Pontiac G8 GT (aka Holden Commodore), and it was interesting to see how symmetrical they were in order to accommodate left or right hand drive models.
 
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Dohmar

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I'm curious as to some of the details on how they do this conversion process. If they have a formal agreement with Rivian, it would make sense to ship the vehicles without the dashboard, steering gear and pedal hanger installed, saving the removal labor.

Other items that would/might need converting:
- Seats?
- Mirrors?
- Infotainment UI? I'm assuming important menus, buttons, etc. are designed to be closest to driver location.

What else?
Inverter - we'd be using 240v as opposed to 110v
Charging location - which side?

-D
 

Gshenderson

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Not to mention you’re below the equator, so the truck is also upside-down…. 🤔
 

CliveM

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Inverter - we'd be using 240v as opposed to 110v
Charging location - which side?

-D
This one bugs me The charging port usually ends up on the passenger side on RHD models. I do wonder how many people drive off with the cable still plugged in!!
 
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Dohmar

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This one bugs me The charging port usually ends up on the passenger side on RHD models. I do wonder how many people drive off with the cable still plugged in!!
This one doesnt really bother me, upon the logic that we have smaller houses these days and people would have most of their storage and charging stuff on the left hand side with the car so close that the passenger door wouldn't open. At least thats how my garage is. I would plug the car in to the wall on the passenger side and the color of the LED's on the front would be an indication in itself that the thing was still plugged in (or at least, thats my hope). Actually, I see no reason why there can't be charging ports on both sides.

I should put another poll up - home charging - indoors or outdoors? Would be interesting to see
-D
 

skyote

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This one bugs me The charging port usually ends up on the passenger side on RHD models. I do wonder how many people drive off with the cable still plugged in!!
It's easy to move & was actually on the right side of earlier prototypes.
 

2serious

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No deliveries yet in the U.S., a waitlist well into next year (if not later) and they're "taking orders"?
I'm not convinced this is fully legit. It doesn't fit Rivian's delivery model, and I cannot imagine enough information is publicly available to enable RHD conversion by an independent third party.
 

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