Rivian’s electric adventure vehicles compete in a niche that they pretty much created. They do not directly compete with the Ford F-150 Lightning and its work-focused features, nor do they compete directly with GM’s hulking Hummer EV. They are adventure vehicles meant for enjoying the outdoors, and they are excellent at what they do.
This was probably one of the reasons why automotive legend and Emmy award-winning host Jay Leno proved enthusiastic when he drove a Rivian R1S with the company’s CEO and founder, RJ Scaringe. In a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno and Scaringe talked about Rivian, the company’s vehicles like the EDV for Amazon, and the electric vehicle sector in general.
Leno and Scaringe touched on several topics, with the CEO confirming that Rivian had grown to about 14,000 employees for now. Leno also talked about some of his concerns about the Rivian EDV’s range, which Scaringe noted was not really an issue because high-density markets like New York actually involve well under a hundred miles of driving in a typical eight-hour shift. The Rivian CEO did, however, highlight that there is a need to ramp battery supply to support the growth of the EV sector.
During his time behind the wheel of the R1S, Scaringe commented that the veteran talk show host seemed like he was already very familiar with the all-electric SUV. Leno noted the vehicle was great, and its features such as its one-pedal driving system worked very well. Leno’s familiarity with the R1S is understandable considering that his vast car collection includes electric cars from well over a hundred years ago.
Jay Leno is an automotive enthusiast, and he is also a big supporter of American-made vehicles, so his support of Rivian is unsurprising. This is also one of the reasons why he has been an open supporter of Tesla, which kickstarted the modern electric vehicle revolution with the release of the original Tesla Roadster and the Model S sedan. In past comments, Leno has called for Tesla to be recognized for its American ingenuity and not bashed unnecessarily.
Watch Jay Leno take the Rivian R1S for a spin in the video below.