The Composition of Rivian’s R1T Customer Base:

BareBonesRivian

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I chose my screen name to represent what I believe will be a popular model to many, without all the bells and whistles. In particular I’d like more information on the details of what may be the possibilities of removing many non-essential items, such as a large screen display on the dash. As a vehicle ages these are the types of items that become very difficult to find replacements for. I’m thinking in terms of what would be popular in agricultural areas where a truck is used purely for what is needed in surroundings where a pickup truck can often be seen in the fields used for various work related tasks.


This vehicle could also double for recreational use. For example a removable camper shell should be able to be installed on the truck bed. A long bed truck would be a requirement for this, whose utility would benefit both work and recreational use.


So far the details on the above requirements are missing. However any information others find available will be much appreciated. I view Rivian as a possible successor to International Harvester due to the durability of electric drive trains and their suitability to tasks that require torque that is more even and controllable than that of an internal combustion engine.


I hope I’m wrong about this, but unfortunately, so far, it seems Rivian’s management is targeting the Wall Street crowd, rather than those who actually have always made the country “work’
 

U100

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You need to check into the upcoming Lordstown Endurance BEV pickup - it’s designed to be more of a utilitarian vehicle, and thus might be lacking some of the bells and whistles in which you’re not interested. I disagree with your statement that a long bed is a requirement for a camper shell - I currently have one on my short bed Ram 1500 and do agree that it is very useful. Once sufficient numbers of Rivian trucks have been sold, I’m sure one or more of the shell manufacturers will be happy to design one specifically for the R1T.
 

electruck

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So far the details on the above requirements are missing.
I don't believe these details are "missing", perhaps just not the answers you are hoping to hear. There are currently no plans to offer a "bare bones" R1T with steel coil or leaf spring suspension, solid rear axle, traditional shocks/struts, anti-roll bars, cloth interior, hand crank windows, no radio, manual heater/fan controil, no A/C, no gps, no Alexa integration, no autonomous driving, etc.

Rivian has quite clearly communicated that with the R1 models they are positioning themselves as a premium, aspirational brand more along the lines of Range Rover. They will not be offering a long bed version of the R1T at launch or anytime soon thereafter - 55" will be the only option. The large touch screen on the dash is key to controlling most of the vehicles features and will never be optional - this is a fully digital vehicle. Without the display you lose: media, hvac, nav, and control for most everything else in the vehicle.

Unlike Ford that offers variants from $28k to well over $70k, you won't find a "bare bones" version of a Rivian. The current economics of battery packs of this size really forces them into the premium market as do other choices such as their selection of a very high end suspension and "vegan leather" interior. Also don't forget the costs of building out and sustaining all of the digital infrastructure not only in the vehicles but also in the AWS data centers that will be required to process the extensive telemetry generated by a growing fleet of vehicles to support both vehicle health and service as well as advanced features such as AD.

While there will certainly be growing demand for "bare bones" electric work trucks, the profit margin on this doesn't lend itself well to a startup auto manufacturer. Couple that with a very high level of BEV skepticism from the hard core work truck demographic and trying to launch into that market would be nearly impossible (Lordstown is wisely pursuing large commercial fleets at launch to get that initial toe hold on the work truck market but even their truck starts at a lofty $52.5k). Support for the product you seek will come from others, if not eventually Rivian, as BEV acceptance increases within the work/farm truck demographic and economies of scale and technology improvements eventually drive down the costs.

I will also toss out that, over time, you may be forced to reconsider your definition of "bare bones" and the physical robustness of things like touch screen displays as the tech becomes ever more pervasive and even farm tractors have entered the digital age.
 

EyeOnRivian

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This vehicle could also double for recreational use. For example a removable camper shell should be able to be installed on the truck bed. A long bed truck would be a requirement for this, whose utility would benefit both work and recreational use.
Rivian already has plans in this area and has filed patents. Check out this thread "Rivian May Introduce Swappable Module System (Check Our Previews Inside)"

Also don't forget the costs of building out and sustaining all of the digital infrastructure not only in the vehicles but also in the AWS data centers that will be required to process the extensive telemetry generated by a growing fleet of vehicles to support both vehicle health and service as well as advanced features such as AD.
Excellent point. Side note/question. Before Amazon invested in Rivian I had read/heard RJ and possibly others mention they are developing their own secure cloud architecture. Rivian website states "Our cloud-based architecture, with its Ethernet backbone for enhanced security, keeps adventure top-of-mind. " However, I've yet to read they are using AWS. Make sense especially now with Amazon as a partner. No big deal, just curious. Do you happen to have a source for this?
 

electruck

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Excellent point. Side note/question. Before Amazon invested in Rivian I had read/heard RJ and possibly others mention they are developing their own secure cloud architecture. Rivian website states "Our cloud-based architecture, with its Ethernet backbone for enhanced security, keeps adventure top-of-mind. " However, I've yet to read they are using AWS. Make sense especially now with Amazon as a partner. No big deal, just curious. Do you happen to have a source for this?
"Developing their own secure cloud architecture" really implies nothing about the cloud provider or providers that Rivian may use. They could make that statement and be building on any or all of AWS, Azure, Google, etc. I would be shocked given what I see of RJ's philosophy on innovate vs buy if Rivian ever seriously considered standing up their own data centers which I think may have been how you were interpreting the statement.

As to actual evidence of using AWS, well, the most obvious evidence is the multiple job postings referencing "Deep knowledge of Amazon’s AWS ecosystem".
 
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BareBonesRivian

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You need to check into the upcoming Lordstown Endurance BEV pickup - it’s designed to be more of a utilitarian vehicle, and thus might be lacking some of the bells and whistles in which you’re not interested. I disagree with your statement that a long bed is a requirement for a camper shell - I currently have one on my short bed Ram 1500 and do agree that it is very useful. Once sufficient numbers of Rivian trucks have been sold, I’m sure one or more of the shell manufacturers will be happy to design one specifically for the R1T.
The thing about putting a camper shell on a standard bed is that the structure may not be strong enough to hold some of the camper shells available. I don’t currently have the link to the example of what takes place when the structure is not sufficiently strong, but watched a youtube example where the owner discovered the frame had collapsed because the shell was too heavy to support the load. The solution was to insert 4x4 lumber into the frame where it had collapsed along the structural members where structural failure took place. The fix straightened where the failure took place, but no owner wants to have that experience.

With efforts to engineer the lightest possible frame members to reduce overall weight, and extend range, that factor has to be addressed to accommodate expected loads. The manufacturer needs to disclose these sorts of limitations.

This appears to be a common problem with electric vehicles, including those by Rivian. Important information is lacking when it comes to expected usage. Any modification, such as addition of a camper shell, should be approved first to avoid the previously described problems. That could, for example, require that certified camper shells will not compromise structural integrity and would be a joint effort between the EV manufacturer and that of the shell manufacturer. With today’s software it should be a simple matter by shell manufactrers to determine the safety of installing approved shells.

One of the problems with a short bed shell installations, of course, is how constraining it is on inner comfort. Short beds are more likely to survive shell weight from what’s available, but the risk remains absent manufacturer approval..
 

electruck

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With efforts to engineer the lightest possible frame members to reduce overall weight, and extend range, that factor has to be addressed to accommodate expected loads. The manufacturer needs to disclose these sorts of limitations.
FWIW, Rivian has indicated a spec for payload of 800 kg (about 1760 lbs). Given the short bed, I'm not real sure about the practicality of a camper shell.
 
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BareBonesRivian

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You need to check into the upcoming Lordstown Endurance BEV pickup - it’s designed to be more of a utilitarian vehicle, and thus might be lacking some of the bells and whistles in which you’re not interested. I disagree with your statement that a long bed is a requirement for a camper shell - I currently have one on my short bed Ram 1500 and do agree that it is very useful. Once sufficient numbers of Rivian trucks have been sold, I’m sure one or more of the shell manufacturers will be happy to design one specifically for the R1T.
I did check out your suggestion at Lordstown Motors. Unfortunately the sound quality was so poor that all I got from it was visuals of their manufacturing facility; which by the way was very impressive.
 

jimcgov3

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Per Rivian press release photos, the bed is strong enough to support a rooftop tent and two adults sleeping in the said rooftop tent. So there should be no reason why a camper shell wouldn't work.
 

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ElectricTrucking

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Rivian says that every R1T can tow more than 11,000 pounds and the pickup offers a payload capacity of 1760 pounds. A 55.1 inch long bed would make a camper shell very questionable.

From Car and Driver.
 
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EyeOnRivian

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There was a flurry of comments and press releases about Rivian's patenting of swappable modules for the R1T. Haven't heard anything further and it would seem to require a lot of extra effort on Rivian's part. Maybe produce a chassis only version and let third party vendors do the rest?
https://www.teslarati.com/rivian-patent-utility-modules-auto-adjust-features/
And to read more about it, it's discussed in this forum in a different thread as indicated in post #4. ;)
 

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EyeOnRivian, sorry about that. Once a thread runs for several days or weeks, it's easy to forget what was posted earlier. It's interesting that swappable modules haven't been mentioned for quite a while, and my guess is the Amazon 100,000 van order pretty much eliminates the need for Rivian to be developing swappable modules in-house. Third party development is another matter, however.

The Amazon vans don't really need four wheel drive, I wouldn't think, and maybe not the fancy air suspension either. It will be interesting to see if a two motor, more standard suspension gets built for Amazon and, of course, for other commercial truck clients.
 

thrill

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I've long had the impression that, as long as it's not a loss leader, Rivian wants the R1T to be a highly desirable technology demonstrator targeting the adventure market, so I wouldn't be surprised to see any sort of swappable module or other unique adventure and utility item made available.
 

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Future directions for Rivian are a really interesting topic. It won't abandon the adventure market - it's the brand's cache - but utility and commercial markets are huge, and the versatility of Rivian's skateboard seems unquestioned. Lots of variations, models and spin-offs are possible.

My worry is brand dilution. I don't see adventure and package delivery in the same category, yet that's exactly what's happening with R1Ts and R1Ss being built along Amazon vans. Presumably, there's going to be a Rivian logo on the Amazon vans, but 100,000 Amazon vans sends a very different message than adventurous forever.

Should Rivian expand its branding to include utility & adventure or develop branding for 2 different sorts of vehicles - personal/aspirational/adventurous and commercial/utilitarian/practical? Don't forget, it's not just an Amazon investment and an order. Ford, Cox Auto and others are in the mix too.

Don't know but it's an important issue that should be under consideration now. It's much easier to adapt, rethink and rebrand now than it will be after tens of thousands of vehicles are on the road.
 
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