Rivian Quick Facts
- Rivian makes an all-electric truck (R1T) and an all-electric SUV (R1S)
- Every Rivian truck and SUV comes with all-wheel drive
- You can only order a new R1T or R1S on the carmaker’s website
- Rivian builds its R1 vehicles in Normal, Illinois
Of all the electric-vehicle (EV) startups out there, Rivian looks like one likely to survive. Oh, there are others, but Rivian seems to have positioned itself well enough to go the distance. It seems to have the cash, the battery technology, and the vision to endure among established car brands that are also getting into the electric truck and SUV business. For example, the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Chevy Silverado EV, and the BMW iX are EVs.
Starting a car company from scratch is no small feat. Creating assembly plants, finding suppliers, hiring talented staff, establishing a marketing pipeline, and so forth take time, energy, and billions of dollars. That Rivian has gotten this far is a tribute to perseverance.
Rivian Issues: What Happened?
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. As with nearly every all-new model, no matter the manufacturer, there is always a setback or two in the early going. Even the J.D. Power darling Lexus had to recall every one of its LS sedans in its first year. Lexus handled the issue brilliantly and turned lemons into lemonade. Addressing the issue promptly and minimizing owner inconvenience helped cement Lexus’s reputation for unparalleled customer service.
To date, Rivian has voluntarily issued two recalls. One centered around an improperly torqued nut on the front upper control arm. The other involved a cross-threaded bolt in a seatbelt-height adjuster.
Apparently, Rivian is finding other non-safety issues that it is addressing on the run. It recently announced two features on the R1T truck that are no longer available as Rivian redesigns them. One is the power-operated tonneau cover, and the other is the Camping Kitchen. Rivian reached out to buyers with trucks already in the assembly pipeline, notifying them these features are temporarily discontinued. Buyers had the option to wait for completed trucks without those features at a lower price or give up their place in line to wait for trucks with those features whenever available.
However, in some ways, Rivian has an advantage over established brands. Its greatest edge is its lack of baggage. In getting its EVs to market, it didn’t have to contend with labor unions, out-of-date assembly plants, engineering an EV around existing platforms and models, and so on. Every penny spent, every person hired, every bit of research, and every drop of expended energy has been to bring its R1T (truck) and R1S (SUV) to market.
10 Reasons to Buy a Rivian R1
If you are considering an electric SUV or pickup truck, Rivian is probably on your radar. If not, its futuristic, high-tech vehicles should be. Unless your motivation to buy a Rivian is simply to be an early adopter, you probably have a lot of questions. We can’t anticipate and answer them all here; however, we can provide a solid foundation for your research.
In that spirit, we bring you 10 reasons to buy a Rivian.
1. Rivian Range
Let’s face it, the number one question on most of our minds in a discussion of EVs is how far will it go on a charge? In other words, what’s its range? As for every EV, for the R1T and the R1S, the range depends on several variables. Factors include battery size, wheel size, outside temperatures, and others. Considerations such as driving habits, payload, towing, etc., also affect range.
When you see range estimates for the R1T (314 miles) and R1S (316 miles), they are for the Large battery pack, 4-motor all-wheel drive (AWD), and 21-inch wheels. Rivian offers three battery packs for its R1T and R1S. They range in size, beginning with Standard (260 miles), Large (314 miles), and Max (400 miles). The maximum estimated ranges are for Rivian vehicles shod with the standard 21-inch wheels and tires. Dropping down to 20-inch wheels reduces the range by 10-15% while stepping up to 22-inch wheels reduces the range by 5-10%.
With the 2-motor AWD, the R1T range increases by 6 miles per charge and the R1S by 4 miles per charge.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Longest-Range Electric Cars of 2022
2. Rivian Charging
The second-most-asked question is how long does a Rivian EV take to charge? You can charge your Rivian EV at home or on the road, experiencing wildly different charge times. The estimated added miles in range per hour of charging are
- Household 115-volt circuit: 3 miles
- Rivian Wall Charger: 25 miles (best home solution)
- Rivian 240-volt Portable Charger: 16 miles
- Level 3 Public DC Fast Chargers: 140 miles in 20 minutes
RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Fastest-Charging Electric Cars
3. Towing & Payload
Touting pretty respectable maximum towing and payload numbers, the R1 EVs are no slouches regarding work. However, the more you tow or haul, the shorter the range on a charge. It’s a tradeoff. The R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds and haul up to 1,700 to 1,800 pounds of people and cargo. For an SUV, the R1S is equally impressive. It has a maximum towing limit of 7,700 pounds and a maximum payload of roughly that of the R1T.
RELATED ARTICLE: Payload and Towing Capacity on Electric Vehicles
Every R1T and R1S arrives with AWD. However, there’s a catch here, as well. The standard AWD system is the same as on most AWD EVs: two electric motors, one on each axle. Rivian takes AWD up a notch or two with its optional 4-motor AWD. An $8,000 upcharge on the 2022 Rivian configurator, this option puts an electric motor on each of the four wheels. Opting for the 4-motor AWD scrubs a few miles from the vehicle’s range.
The coolest part about the 4-motor system is that it allows the vehicle to make “tank turns” under certain conditions. By rotating the two wheels on one side in the opposite direction of the two wheels on the other side, the vehicle can spin 360 degrees without moving forward or backward.
5. The 04 Driver+
This is Rivian’s standard suite of safety and driver-aid technologies. Through over-the-air (OTA) technology, Rivian can enhance the current ones and even add more safety tech to the bundle. At the core of 04 Driver+ are 11 cameras, five radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and surround-view monitoring. It features Driving Assist, which is driver-assistance technology that allows the EV to accelerate, steer, and brake itself in certain conditions with driver supervision. It includes lane-change assist and adaptive cruise control.
The standard bundle also includes:
- Lane-keeping assist
- Lane-departure warning
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Surround sensors (360-degree alert for nearby objects)
- Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection
- Automatic emergency braking
- High-beam assist
RELATED ARTICLE: Our Favorite Electric Car Safety Features
You can access your R1T or R1S in four ways:
- Rivian key fob
- Smartphone as key
- Rivian key card
- Rivian wristband key
RELATED ARTICLE: Cars That Use Digital Keys
7. Rivian Warranty
Rivian provides a bumper-to-bumper limited warranty for five years or 60,000 miles, on par with many luxury brands. Its drivetrain limited warranty is for eight years or 175,000 miles. As for the battery pack, Rivian warranties it for eight years or 175,000 miles.
RELATED ARTICLE: Car Warranty Guide: Everything You Need to Know
8. Rivian Maintenance & Repairs
Currently, Rivian is taking a 3-prong approach to scheduled maintenance and repairs.
- Rivian app – Downloading this app allows you to schedule service or request service help. A direct toll-free line to Rivian’s service department is also available.
- OTA diagnostics – Along with system updates, Rivian provides OTA diagnostics to determine the source of an issue you might experience.
- Mobile technicians – With plans to establish a network of service centers across the United States and Canada, Rivian is filling maintenance and repair needs with mobile technicians. These factory-trained techs will come to you by appointment to service your Rivian.
RELATED ARTICLE: Study: EVs Cost More to Repair, Less to Maintain
9. Eight Drive Modes
Every R1T and R1S comes with four off-road and four on-road driving modes, controlling ride height, suspension stiffness, power delivery, and throttle mapping. The maximizes ride comfort and capability for almost any surface. Moreover, you can manually adjust the ride height from a low of 7.9 inches to a high of 15 inches. This is probably a good place to mention that the R1 EVs can safely ford up to 3.5 feet of standing water.
Our engineers going for a quick dip! pic.twitter.com/1FYukLXXZl
— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) August 29, 2021
When Rivan first began taking orders for its R1 EVs, it restricted combinations for trim level, motor count, and battery size. Consequently, you may see prices wildly more expensive than we list here. However, the following pricing is currently showing on the R1T and R1S configurators. Any exterior color other than silver will add either $1,750 or $2,500 to the price.
- Explore: $67,500 (not available) – This price is for the Explore with the standard battery pack (260-mile range) and 2-motor AWD. The Explore is not available in any configuration.
- Adventure: $73,000 – As with the base Explore, this price is with the standard battery pack and 2-motor AWD.
- Large battery pack (320-mile range): $6,000
- Max battery pack (400-mile range): $16,000
- 4-motor AWD: $8,000
- Wall charger: $750
- Explore: $72,500 (Not available) – This price is for the 2-motor AWD and standard battery pack.
- Adventure: $78,000 – With the 2-motor AWD and standard battery pack.
- Large battery pack (316-mile range): $6,000
- 4-motor AWD: $8,000
- Wall charger: $750
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Disclosure: Cox Automotive, the parent company of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, invested $350 million in Rivian in 2019.