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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Lai

I Like Rivian.

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Rivian.

Not very companies are able to capture my heartstrings in a mere matter of seconds except for a select few. Some of these exceptions Include Apple, Peak Design, Dyson, and (though I bash them a lot) Tesla. [Why they got to all be so expensive though???] Though some have continued to disappoint in recent years, these companies to me produce absolutely perfect products right down to the smallest details. I must admit that I’m a picky guy. A truly great product can’t just “do is job”for me. I want it to be beautifully designed down to a screw, natural and ergonomic to use, and hopefully symmetrical and simple. Sadly this often lands me in product categories that my bank account clearly isn’t worthy of, and now it looks like I’m still in the same deep waters with Rivian.

Seemingly out of nowhere, I stumbled across a video in my sub box covering Rivian’s public debut of their R1T and R1S. Curious, I gave it a click just to see what this company I had never heard about was all about. The next thing I know, I’m scouring their website and all of the internet trying to find out every last thing I could about these amazing cars. Within minutes, I found myself going from not even knowing the company's name to wanting their R1T very very very badly… and I don’t even really like pickup trucks!

You see, when Tesla blasted into the mainstream market oh so many years ago their appeal wasn’t based solely on the fact that their cars were electric. Instead, they had the vision not only make an electric car a more practical for everyday use, but also to see what other areas EV technology could improve upon your normal vehicle with an internal combustion engine. Additionally, their cars looked good. They were different enough to set themselves apart from the market, but not so different that they looked alien. Sure the company has moved to new ventures like falcon wing doors and autopilot, but that initial vision was what got them their foot in the door.

In recent years, many new companies have tried to chase this sort of success only to miss the mark completely. With their efforts to out-innovate Tesla, these companies release concepts with bold new claims saying things like “there will be screens everywhere”, “it will drive itself”, “it will have Alexa and AR built in”, etc. However, in doing all that, they forget to do the most important thing: making an actual car first. Without that, all their claims are just nothing but empty promises.

In the case of Rivian though, it seems they have gotten it right. They took that initial vision that Tesla had and applied it to the world of adventure vehicles and oh my have their efforts paid off. Rivian’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, stepped onstage and introduced not a “Tesla Killer” but two working and beautiful electric adventure vehicles with full interiors: the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV. Remember what I said about having a working car first?

With our attentions grasped, he proceeded to then talk about the vehicles’ incredible features. In the R1T these included a full vehicle width storage pass through, a frunk, underbed storage, a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds, 4 motors, 0-60 in 3 seconds, 750 horsepower, a range of over 400 miles, and a wading depth of 3 feet. All these features took center stage and not the fact that the vehicle was electric. That was only mentioned as the way they were able to achieve all of this. As a result, I wasn’t thinking “cool, it’s an electric pickup” but rather about all the cool adventures I could be having in it. With that thought, I was hooked. They had checked all of those boxes I mentioned at the beginning of this post and I am now a fan. Sure it may be a misplaced emotional connection, but in the end isn’t that what really sells things?

The vehicles are scheduled to go into production during the second half of 2020. The R1T is slotted at $69,000 and the R1S at $72,500, which means I am fully ready to be jealous of anyone who has one.

If anyone on the Rivian team ever actually reads this, I wish you the best of luck.

Photos Courtesy of Rivian.

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