Who is Rivian? Everything You Need to Know About the EV Company

Rivian
rivian logo
Rivian
Founded:2009
Employees:11,500+
Founder:RJ Scaringe
HeadquartersIrvine, CA
Plants:Normal, IL
*Atlanta, GA coming 2024
IPO:November 10, 2021
Models:R1T
R1S
Rivian Facts

History of Rivian

Rivian
Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe, drives the first production R1T pickup off the production line in Normal, IL. | Image courtesy of Rivian

Rivian Mission Statement

Rivian is on a mission to keep the world adventurous forever. We believe there is a more responsible way to explore the world and are determined to make the transition to sustainable transportation an exciting one. We designed our emissions-free Electric Adventure Vehicles to challenge what’s possible.

Who Founded Rivian?

The electric vehicle company, Rivian, was originally founded in 2009 as “Mainstream Motors” by CEO Robert “RJ” Scaringe. Scaringe, born in 1983, grew up a car enthusiast, restoring cars in his neighbor’s garage. His father, also Robert Scaringe, is an engineer and founded Mainstream Engineering Corporation.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe
Rivian founder RJ Scaringe | Image courtesy of Rivian

RJ grew up in Melbourne, Florida, and graduated college with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. After that, he received a master’s in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then a doctorate in mechanical engineering at MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab. 

RJ had a passion for the outdoors, as he would drive for miles out into nature to hike. Eventually, he realized he was only contributing to the pollution of the environment he was so passionate about preserving, which resulted into his pursuit into a new EV company, Rivian.

Where did Rivian get its name?

The name Rivian is a play on words derived from the Indian River in Florida, where RJ spent much of his youth in his rowboat. 

Rivian’s Story

Rivian Cars
Rivian electric vehicle lineup | Image courtesy of Rivian

Rivian aims to electrify trucks and SUVs, claiming they are often the most polluting vehicles on the road and would like to cater to a market who enjoys being active and outdoors, and requires a ride that can handle all types of terrains while hauling gear and loved ones effortlessly.

In 2011, Rivian unveiled it’s first prototype, a sporty coupe, but shortly afterwards, decided to pursue a larger impact on the automotive industry. As a result, they scrapped the coupe.

After that, Rivian began working exclusively on electric autonomous vehicles in 2015 after receiving a large investment from backers. In 2017, Rivian acquired former Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, Illinois. 

Rivian Plant Normal IL
Rivian Manufacturing Plant in Normal, IL | Image courtesy of Rivian

Rivian unveiled the R1T truck and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in 2018, with production set to begin in 2020.

How many employees does Rivian have?

Rivian Employees
CEO, RJ Scaringe and family at Rivian factory | image courtesy of Rivian

The EV company Rivian had 250 employees at the start of 2018. Then, that number jumped to 750 by February 2019. In 2022, Rivian employs more than 11,500 employees across facilities in Michigan, Illinois, California, and the UK and is continually looking to bring on new talent.

Notable Investors

Ford Motor Company, Cox Automotive, T. Rowe Price, and Amazon, along with Amazon through its Climate Pledge Fund, a fund that manages their investments for the Climate Pledge Initiative.

What electric vehicles does Rivian produce?

Ford initially invested heavily in Rivian and planned to co-develop an electric vehicle, but that plan ended in 2021, partially due to the pandemic fallout. Meanwhile, Ford announced they would still retain a 12 percent stake in Rivian.

In comes Amazon

In 2021, Amazon announced that it owned a 22% stake in Rivian. Additionally, they are working together to build a fleet of electric delivery vans. 

Amazon Delivery Vans

Rivian Amazon electric truck
Rivian Amazon electric truck | Image courtesy of Rivian

Amazon and EV company Rivian agreed to partner on a contract to produce 100,000 electric vans by 2030. These vans, with an estimated 200+ mile range, are set to be built exclusively for Amazon. Amazon expects to have 10,000 electric delivery vans on the road by the end of 2022. Some have already been spotted out in the wild.

Rivian R1T Pickup Truck

Rivian R1T Pickup Truck
Rivian R1T Truck | Image courtesy of Rivian

The Rivian R1T pickup truck is one of the first electric pickup trucks on the market, with deliveries beginning in 2021. The truck earned Motor Trend Truck of the year honors for 2022.

Battery range is estimated at between 260-400+ miles depending on the battery packs (large or standard) and motor (dual or quad).  

The AWD R1T seats five and can tow up to 11,000 lbs, with a 0-60 mph time as quick as 3 seconds, depending on configuration

The R1T is made from aluminum alloy, ultra-high-strength steel, and carbon fiber to give it enhanced safety features and ratings. 

The truck also offers a range of driver assistance features that come standard on every Rivian vehicle. It is also known for it’s ample storage and features, including the much-publicized gear tunnel.

Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T Truck with open storage | Image courtesy of Rivian

The truck currently comes in 3 packages, Explore, Adventure, and Launch Edition. But, the Launch Edition reservations are currently closed. Prices range from $67,500 for the Explore package up to $85,000 or more for the Launch (Price increases announced in March 2022).

Rivian R1S SUV

Rivian R1S
Rivian R1S | Image courtesy of Rivian

The Rivian R1S SUV shares the same proprietary skateboard platform chassis as the R1T but offers more room for seating and cargo than the R1T.

Battery range is estimated at between 260-320+ miles depending on the battery packs (large or standard) and motor (dual or quad).  

The AWD R1S offers three rows of seating for up to 7 passengers and can tow up to 7,700 lbs, with a 0-60 mph time as quick as 3 seconds depending on configuration

The R1S is made from aluminum alloy, ultra high-strength steel, and carbon fiber, giving it enhanced safety features and ratings. It also offers a range of driver assistance features that come standard on every Rivian vehicle. 

Rivian R1S
Rivian R1S outdoors | Image courtesy of Rivian

The SUV currently comes in 3 packages, Explore, Adventure, and Launch Edition. But, the Launch Edition reservations are currently closed. Prices range from $72,500 for the Explore package up to $90,000 or more for the Launch.

What else is Rivian working on?

Rivian is not only focusing on developing vehicles but also software, charging solutions, and services “designed to help increase uptime and lower operating costs while helping businesses achieve ambitious sustainability goals.”

In 2021, the EV company Rivian announced plans to develop a network of public charging stations across the US and Canada by 2023 to compete with Tesla’s supercharger network. They plan to offer a combination of fast chargers, slower destination chargers, and home chargers. They are also targeting chargers at various state parks and recreation areas, with some installations already complete in Moab, Utah, and Radnor Lake State Park in Tennessee.

Is Rivian planning to expand?

In December 2021, Rivian announced its next manufacturing plant will begin development in Morgan and Walton Counties, east of Atlanta. Construction begins in the summer of 2022, and the start of production is slated for 2024. 

Rivian IPO
Founder RJ Scaringe and team on opening day at Rivian’s manufacturing campus in Normal, IL | Image courtesy of Rivian

There have also been rumors in the past of Rivian building a factory in the UK, but those talks have yet to substantiate. However, it does seem likely a deal will eventually be struck for the EV company Rivian to start a plant in Europe, with multiple countries vying for the EV maker’s factory

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