Founded in 2009 by its CEO RJ Scaringe, an MIT graduate who holds a Ph.D. in automotive manufacturing. The start-up hailed from Florida but moved to Normal, Illinois in 2016 in anticipation of acquiring a scuttled Mitsubishi plant. Rivian Automotive strives to reimagine how vehicles are developed, manufactured and sold. The company currently employs around 100 employees and includes some industry veterans, such as:
- Chief Engineer – Lawrence Achram, a Chrysler Executive who worked on the Chrysler 300 and Crossfire;
- Electric Powertrain Developer – Gary Glovceri from Magna who developed the powertrain for the Ford Focus Electric;
- Design – Larry Erickson, a chief designer at GM and Ford;
- Winfield Coachman, a program manager from A123 Energy Storage and Chrysler.
Rivian received capital from a mystery investor. The 2.6 million square foot plant has a capacity of 240,000 units per annum.
RIVIAN EV SALES
Go to our detailed breakdown of Global EV Sales to see how the RIVIAN electric car strategy fares to its competitors in the fast-growing EV market.
RIVIAN AUTOMOTIVE IN THE NEWS
Week 21 2018 - Rivian raises $200 million for EV production
Rivian Automotive secured $200 million in debt financing from Standard Chartered Bank this week to commence EV production at its plant in Illinois, USA. The latest funding brings total funding in the company to nearly $500 million as it gears up to produce its first EVs in 2020. Rivian plans to roll-out an EV Pick-up truck and SUV from 2020, competing with the likes of local competitors Tesla, Bollinger and Workhorse which all plans to sell electric pick-ups by that time. The A1T (Truck) and A1C will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. The price range for the A1T and A1C will range between $50k and $90k.
Week 2 2018 - Rivian EV plans clearer
A year ago I reported on a stealthy EV-startup, Rivian Automotive acquiring a mothballed Mitsibushi assembly plant in Illinois. The past week Rivian Automotive lifted the veil slightly on its plans through a launch of a marketing campaign. Rivian announced that it will come to market by 2020 with two EV models, a seven-seater SUV, and a five-seater pick-up. Appart from looking more than an extreme sports site the automaker’s website does not provide more information other than that the AWD vehicles will be connected and equipped with advanced self-driving, accelerating to 60mph in under 4 seconds and have a wading depth of 3 feet. The site also mentions that the vehicles will have a massive lockable storage capacity and innovative cargo management solutions. Judging from the team of experts available to the company which includes Dodge Viper designer Tom Gale and former McLaren engineer Mark Vinnels the start-up has a fighting chance.
Week 1 2017 - Rivian Automotive acquires Mitsubishi's plant in Illinois
An Illinois-based start-up Rivian Automotive moves into old Mitsubishi plant which it closed with a full loss of employment opportunities to the Normal County in 2015. The newcomer hopes to invest $175 million in developing electric and autonomous vehicles which would create employment opportunities for 1,000 people. Rivian announced that it would unveil its first model later this year and start production in 2019.
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China’s 2018 batch of new EV models have some surprisingly good cars threatening Western automakers still grappling how to catch-up to the increased popularity of EVs. While big auto plans to bring new models to market in 2020 China is already pushing out large amounts of new EV models.