Rivian’s truck and SUV are two of the more compelling EV options on sale now, but the automaker wants to streamline its operations to increase volume and reduce costs. Company CFO Claire McDonough recently shed some light on how Rivian plans to get there.
McDonough’s comments came during an automotive conference hosted by Barclays. The CFO noted that the company’s early days were shaky as it navigated the pandemic and production delays of its first consumer product, the R1T pickup. Many of those challenges appear to be behind Rivian now, as the company is also pushing forward with commercial vehicle deliveries.
McDonough said that Rivian plans to introduce a new standard battery for the R1 vehicles that lowers the starting price to appeal to a wider audience. The simplified structure will reduce costs by thousands of dollars and be easier to build. That could mean Rivian models with much more reasonable prices. It’s very easy to spec an R1T or R1S to well over $100,000 now, so any easing of that pricing will almost certainly help Rivian boost sales.
Having said that, the automaker faces significant challenges on the horizon. It had the first electric truck on the streets, but Ford quickly followed with the F-150 Lightning. Tesla finally got a few Cybertrucks out the door last week, and GM has two electric pickups coming soon. Ram isn’t far behind and will bring two electrified pickups to market in the next couple of years, so Rivian’s block is about to get much more crowded.
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