More About Rivian
Rivian was founded by Robert RJ Scaringe, a Mechanical Engineer who earned his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company has focused on the design of utility vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs from the beginning with a vision to capture the biggest market of the United States automotive industry. With a unique approach to the design of their vehicles, Rivian has been one of the upcoming names in the EV industry with high potential. With a smart CEO along with a hardworking team, the company managed to showcase its first two vehicles at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show, provisionally named as A1T which is a pick-up truck, and A1C an SUV.
To build an automotive company is no cheap feat, and Rivian has been fortunate enough to be backed by some of the big players in the market. In 2015, Rivia Got its first investor which assisted them in opening their research facilities in Michigan and San Francisco Bay Area. Thus began the full-fledged development of semi-autonomous electric vehicles. By 2017 Rivian’s team grew to a total of 160 employees after which came another big investment from Sumitomo Corporation that brought the total investment in the company to $450 million.
2019 was one of the crucial years for Rivian. As the testing of its vehicles was coming to an end, the manufacturing setup has to be established which required additional investment. It proved to be the year of the highest investment the company has ever received when Amazon invested $700 million in the company. This was followed by Ford Motors who invested $500 Million. The total raised to $1.5 Billion when in September 2019 Cox Automotive invested $350 Million into the company. As of 2020, the company has received a total investment of around $5.6 Billion which has put the company on the track to successfully design and manufacture their products.
The company currently has its operations spread out over four different locations. Initially, the headquarters of the company was shifted to Plymouth, Michigan which posted them closer to the majority of the suppliers. Along with the growth of the company, the locations expanded to Normal, San Jose, Irvine, and the United Kingdom. Each of these locations had a particular significance in terms of the development of the vehicles. With the initial investments, Rivian bought a manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois which was previously owned by Mitsubishi Motors. It was a clever move by Rivian as the plant in Normal was almost production-ready which helped the company save time and money in their process.
A similar move was seen when Tesla bought its first manufacturing plant owned by NUMMI, a joint venture of General Motors and Toyota. This has become the company’s primary North American manufacturing facility. The location at Plymouth, Michigan handles the finances, design, and engineering of the vehicles. The locations on the west coast mainly focus on the software development side for the vehicle. At Irvine, California the development of batteries, electrical hardware, and vehicle software control is taken care of, while the San Jose office takes care of the self-driving technology for the vehicle. The UK office location looks into power conversion along with advanced engineering for the development and testing of the vehicle.
In 2018 Rivian showcased the first working model of its two vehicles named A1T and A1C, which were renamed to R1T and R1S later that year. The R1T is an all-electric pickup truck with a proposed mileage of 300+ miles on a single charge and is equipped with a quad motor setup that delivers the power to all the wheels. The pickup truck has some serious capabilities combined with performance. Once released, the R1T would be able to tow up to 11,000-pounds of load and can accelerate to 60-mph in just 3-seconds. Designed to take you through all the different terrains which may vary from 130F to -25F, the Rivian is ready to be reliable over all the ranges. The R1S is a full-size SUV that has a similar performance as the R1T. Designed for more room and cargo space inside the cabin, the R1S would a family vehicle for all your off-road adventures.
Along with the goal to provide a sustainable transportation solution to this world, Rivian is also keen on the social development of communities through the use of sustainable energy technologies. The company has collaborated with Alex Honnold, who is a professional rock climber. Honnold runs a nonprofit organization named Honnold Foundation. Along with Honnold Foundation and another nonprofit named Casa Pueblo in Puerto Rico, the company plans to build a solar grid to power the areas affected by Hurricane Maria. To set up the system, Rivian plans to store the energy from the grid into the used battery packs from its vehicles. Thus the project would ensure overall sustainability.