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Who is Rivian and When Will They be in Canada?

4 min read

Have you heard about the new electric vehicle company generating lots of excitement in the States? Their truck promises long-range travel to the tune of 505 kilometres, so much storage and amazing tech! Rivian is their name, and they are finally making the move to Canada and we can not wait!

by Emily MacKinnon, Executive Assistant in
Brain Fuel
Image by Rivian

The Imagination Behind Rivian

Robert “RJ” Scaringe grew up tramping all over Melbourne FL. If it contained a river, hill, or pile of stones, he hiked it. In time, he came to drive many kilometres in order to hike. It occurred to him that he was polluting his much-loved environment, and the seed was sown. He needed an education first, though. He obtained a BS in mechanical engineering

from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT. It was at MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab that RJ obtained his doctorate in mechanical engineering. Now he was set to design and manufacture the rugged yet luxurious electric vehicle, specifically a truck and an SUV, he dreamed of when he was seeking creeks and piles of stones to climb in Florida. He needed a place to build his prototype EV.

How And Where It All Began

Scaringe founded his company in 2009. Six years later, he had raised enough money to open research facilities in California and Michigan. RJ chose Michigan for the company headquarters in order to be close to the manufacturers he needed. He bought a Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois with an eye toward it being his main American manufacturing facility. It’s now 2017. RJ’s two prototypes are now complete, with the R1T pickup and R1S SUV debuting at the Auto Show in Los Angeles a year later. Production was planned for 2020. RJ slowly moved his headquarters to California, retaining his Michigan facility for technological research and development.

Rivian Funding From Major Names

Presently worth $28 billion, the EV maker is producing 100,000 of its R1S vans for Amazon in the coming year. The online shopping giant also added $700 million in investment funds to the order. Cox Automotive invested $350 million and T. Rowe Price $3 billion in Rivian’s business. Ford wanted to invest $500 million, but the pandemic put paid to that. However, Ford says it will work with the electric vehicle maker in the future.

About The Electric Truck

The major automakers are planning to use the skateboard chassis on their electric cars, but Rivian is already there. It looks somewhat like a skateboard, but the components of the car are integrated inside it: the battery, the alternative motor, and the driveshaft connecting to the wheels. The Rivian R1T electric truck uses separate motors on its wheels.

Those motors allow the truck to faultlessly use every speck of friction available on any surface. Winding roads, dirt roads, mud, and rocky slopes are no match for the Rivian R1T whose independent suspension, springs, dampers, and cross-linked hydraulic anti-roll bars are the basis of this capability, says Motor Trend.

We’ve discussed the kph of which the battery is capable. Did you know that the truck is capable of 811.1 horsepower with a 0-100 kph in 7s? The motors on the wheels allow the truck to spin on its axis or what its maker calls a “tank turn”

The truck is capable of towing up to 11,000lb with a 1760lb payload. Buyers planning to tow a tiny house or another large load might want to buy a larger battery pack such as the 180 kWh pack capable of 643 kilometres. The EPA has rated the R1T at 31 kilometres per litre in the city, 28 kilometres per litre on the highway, and 29 kilometres per litre overall, the first electric truck to be so rated by the agency.

The Inside

Luxury, anyone? What else would you expect from a $70,000 vehicle, electric or otherwise, but leather seats, wood touches, as well as displays housing all the technology of an expensive vehicle? A large trunk or “frunk” under the front hood, storage between the cab and bed, and in-bed storage that locks add to the overall luxury of the vehicle.

The 16-inch display incorporates the usual gauges, safety features, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as entertainment in windows sliding out from both sides. The necessary information remains readable across the bottom of the display.

Safety features include cruise control, lane departure warning, and emergency braking, all standard. The generous warranty covers 281635200 meters or eight years on the powertrain, and 96,000 or five years on a limited warranty.

Motor Trend’s Truck Of The Year

Not simply innovative colours, motor size, kilometres per litre, and/or performance goes into deciding what vehicle, electric or otherwise, is designated truck of the year. In the EV arena, no one has yet come up with a viable vehicle for Motor Trend to gasp over. Until now. The pickup truck has been the go-to vehicle for Americans for a couple of years now. Today’s pickups are family vehicles, leisure vehicles that go off-road or to monster truck rallies, and they’re performance vehicles. RJ Scaringe completely re-thought the pickup truck, electric vehicles, and luxury vehicles and devised one that topped the charts of all three. He designed the Rivian R1T to be not only a 21st-century vehicle with all its technology and futuristic good looks, but he designed a great truck by any definition. These two aspects of a vehicle are what earned the Rivian R1T electric truck the 2022 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. The fact is that it looks like any other pickup on the roads. It offers subtle headlights and minimalist grilles in addition to its modern materials and technology inside. This, too, impressed Motor Trend and added to its determination of the R1T as the truck of the year.

Canadians may expect their pre-ordered vehicles to be ready in March of 2022!

Who is Rivian and When Will They be in Canada?

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