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Rivian is in the same situation today as Tesla was almost a decade ago. It is struggling to increase production and sell enough cars to finance the growth of its business. But the company faces challenges that Tesla did not. One example is that interest rates are higher now than they were when Tesla was ramping up Model S production.

The other thing is that the fossil fuel community has woken up and realized that electric cars are really possible and a threat to gasoline the forces of evil the empire strikes backthey are doing everything they can to bash EVs and create fear and confusion among potential electric car buyers.

There is one big difference. While Elon Musk spent two precious years getting the Model announced three new models. Expand into segments of the new car market where buyers are more concerned about price.

New Rivian Medium Platform

Rivian R2

On March 7, 2024, Rivian announced the R2, a 5-seat SUV smaller than the R1S. This model has been anticipated for some time. What I didn't expect was his even smaller R3 and a high-performance version of that car known as the R3X.

Rivian R3 Hiking
Rivian R3
Rivian R3 Surfboard
Rivian R3
Rivian R3 Offroad
Rivian R3
Rivian R3 Outdoor
Rivian R3

All three are built on the company's new medium-sized platform, Rivian says, and thanks to intelligent design using high-pressure die-casting, parts are integrated and unnecessary. Additionally, there is a structural battery unit where the top of the pack also serves as the floor for vehicles built on that platform. There is also an advanced closure system that significantly reduces complexity. R2 and R3 use a network architecture, computer topology, and software stack developed by Rivian.

There's really big news inside that battery pack. Rivian uses 4695 cylindrical battery cells that are 15 mm taller than the 4680 cells developed by Tesla. BMW is also using taller cells in many of its Neue Klasse electric cars, which are expected to hit the market in 2025.according to motor 1, Taller cells have higher ampere-hour ratings, allowing them to charge and discharge at higher rates while making better use of the regenerative braking system.

motor 1 It added that the battery pack for medium-sized platforms consists of three large modules separated by heavy internal frame rails. Each module is 34 cells wide and 8 cells deep, for a total of 272 cells of content. Assuming the cells are connected in series, R2 and its siblings are using his 1000V architecture. This is a big jump up from his 800V architecture, which is becoming standard in the industry.

“If you connect three of these modules in parallel, the voltage remains the same, but the available current increases significantly. The ratings of the individual cells are unknown, but the other 4695 cells can handle up to 10C, or ampere-hours. This could mean up to 900kW, or about 1,200 peak horsepower, of available power.” motor 1 Say.

Rivian says both the R2 and R3 will feature two battery sizes. The larger pack achieves more than 300 miles of range on a single charge, and the fastest powertrain configuration allows him to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.

Rivian R2 specs

The R2 is 185.6 inches long, which is 15 inches shorter than the R1S and about 2 inches shorter than the Tesla Model Y. The width is 75 inches (84.4 inches with mirrors) and the height is 66.9 inches. The wheelbase is 115.6 inches long. All new Rivian models will reportedly be available with a single rear motor, or dual and tri-motor configurations. The company says the R2 will have a base price of less than $45,000 and deliveries are expected to begin in 2026. R3 and R3X will be released at even lower prices after the release of R2. All three vehicles leave the factory with a NACS charging port located in the rear for easy connection to a Tesla Supercharger.

Rivian promises a more powerful computer, complemented by a sensor suite that includes 11 cameras and five radars. The company said the R2 will have “significantly enhanced autonomy capabilities,” but other than to say that both the R2 and R3 offer “significantly enhanced autonomy capabilities,” it doesn't know what level of automation the system will have. He did not say whether it would be supported.

“I've never been more excited about a new product launch. The R2 and R3 are distinctly Rivian in performance, features, and ease of use, but at a price point that makes them accessible to the masses.” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. “Our design and engineering teams are extremely focused on innovating not only product functionality but also manufacturing approaches to significantly reduce costs. We offer buyers a much-needed option starting in the $45,000 price range, with an advanced technology platform. We can't wait to bring these to our customers.”

Jeff Hammond, Chief Design Officer at Rivian, added: “Our R1 flagship vehicle served as a handshake with the world. Our relentless goal with the R2 and R3 is to stay true to Rivian product characteristics while ensuring that more people enjoy our products. By tightly integrating hardware, software and human-centered design, we balance form and function while building on a compelling and iconic design language. and designed R2.”

Features of Rivian R2

The R2 has plenty of legroom for rear seat passengers. Both the rear seat backrest and front seat can be folded to increase cargo capacity or be used for camping. The Frank is generously sized, and in the interior he has two large gloveboxes that the R1 and R1T didn't have. The rear glass opens upwards, allowing long items to be loaded with the tailgate closed, and an ingenious cycle carrier is also available. According to the company, R2 has three great features:

  • adventure: The R2's four passenger windows and rear powered glass are fully lowered, and powered rear quarter window vents let outside air in, creating a unique open-air driving experience. The R3's hatch-style design maximizes space while maintaining a sporty, athletic silhouette.
  • space: The R2 and R3 are designed with thorough pursuit of rear seat leg space, making them comfortable even on long journeys. Fully fold-flat seats, generously sized front and rear trunks, and additional interior storage space ensure there's room for everyone and all their gear.
  • sophisticated touch: Rivian's new steering wheel with an integrated tactile control dial makes it easier to stay focused on the road ahead. Materials balance durability and sustainability, with easy-care textiles and finishes.

Rivian R3 and R3X — big fun in small packages

Rivian R3 Frank
Loading the flank of a Rivian R3.
Rivian R3 home charging
Rivian R3 charging at home. (By the way, what a lovely house!)
Rivian R3 charging port
Rivian R3 charging port.

The Rivian R3 is a midsize crossover that the company says is dimensionally uncluttered but offers performance, off-road capabilities, passenger comfort and storage. R3X is a performance variant of the R3 that offers even more dynamic capabilities both on and off-road. The R3's exterior and interior design are attractive and iconic. R3 remains instantly recognizable while demonstrating the extensibility of the Rivian brand across a variety of form factors.

Rivian R3 Steering Wheel Front Interior
Rivian R3 steering wheel.
Rivian R3 front interior
Rivian R3 interior.
Rivian R3 rear seat interior
The back seat of Rivian R3.
Rivian R3 rear seat center console and drink holder
Rivian R3 rear seat and drink holder.

Manufacturing returns to normal in Illinois

A year ago, Rivian announced it would build a new $5 billion factory in Georgia, but the company has faced major financial headwinds since it laid off some employees. They're also burning through cash at an alarming rate.

The company manufactures the R1T and R1S at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, and plans to start producing the R2 and R3 there to reduce costs. The Georgia plant remains important to its future plans, but it will need to sell some cars and bring in some cash before considering a new production facility.

The company believes this approach significantly reduces the financial risks associated with new model launches and expansions. The Illinois plant's production capacity can be expanded to 215,000 units per year. Once its financial foundation is solid, Rivian plans to pursue a factory in Georgia.

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Rivian is in a precarious position. We have exciting new products to offer, but that doesn't mean we can successfully bring them into production. And while the single-motor R2 with a smaller battery retails for less than $45,000, his three-motor long-range version of the All Singing All Dancing easily costs his $15,000 to $20,000 more. There is a possibility that The company has not yet disclosed whether the new model will be eligible for the federal EV tax credit/rebate.

For now, the Rivian R2 and R3 may be a bright spot in the EV revolution, but as my elderly Irish grandmother often warned me, “there's a lot of potential for cup and lip slippage.” It means. It takes more than great design and press releases to run a successful car company. Some people wouldn't be surprised at all if two years from now Rivian were to close its factory in Illinois and abandon its dream of building a shiny new factory in Georgia.

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