- Photo Credit: Rivian

Why the Rivian R1S gives me hope for the future of electric vehicles.

In a time when the the big auto manufacturers look to electrify what they already have, Rivian is showing us the future, and it looks bright.

7w ago

As a legitimate Petrol Head or Gear Head (depending on where you’re from) electric vehicles had been nothing more than another fad to me, but in the last couple of years or so I have had to accept that electric vehicles are here to stay. Since coming to this acceptance of vehicular electrification, I have had a hard time getting behind any new EV manufacturers because they all market themselves as virtuous saviours of the planet instead of a business in the game to make money.

Rivian is prime example of virtue marketing (which I detest). Visiting their website and reading through their mission statement and advert fluff you might think they manufacture their cars in a grassy meadow surrounded by wildlife and babbling streams. Their cars seemingly are made out of angel tears, kind speech, and vegan leather. Which of course are not true - except the vegan leather. However when you look through all the marketing nonsense, what you would see is that they have, in fact, produced a proper SUV, which is striking to look at and, on paper, performs every bit as good as it looks.

When you compare specs against the perennial SUV Champ Toyota 4-runner, it beats it in every discernible feature from departure angle, ground clearance, cabin space, and storage. If your thinking that the range won’t be sufficient, you’re wrong. Rivian published a EPA estimated range of 316 Miles which of course changes depending on your wheel selection and such but for a large SUV it provides more than enough range between charge points. Per the Rivian website, the R1S can: “Drive through 3+ feet of water. Rock crawl at a 100% grade. Traverse just about any terrain with 14.9 inches of ground clearance. Tow up to 7,700 lbs. With a 0-60 mph time as quick as 3 seconds, depending on your tire selection, it also delivers the on-road handling of a sports car.”

0-60 in 3 seconds is the same ball park as a Ferrari Roma, which is otherworldly for a vehicle like the R1S which will probably weigh over 5000 lbs. Add in things like Highway assist, the Rivian’s self driving feature (which is not a fully autonomous diving feature), eleven cameras, five radars, twelve ultra sonic sensors ( not sure what they do to be honest), and 360 field of vision and you have an SUV that is functional, fun, and full of all the tech you could possibly need. Also the R1S offer loads of Cargo space with 104 cubic feet of storage space and comes in either five or seven seat configurations. So you can not only pack all your kids and sports equipment into the vehicle you can leave 15 minutes later because you’re basically driving a Ferrari Roma.

In spite of the poor (in my opinion) marketing, I want to cheer for Rivian. From the outside, it appears they care about their product and have assembled a team that wants to build great vehicles. In a time when the the big auto manufacturers look to electrify what they already have, Rivian is showing us the future, and it looks bright.

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