Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe recently shared some new insights about the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV in an interview with auto publication The Drive. During his interview, Scaringe discussed Rivian’s battery technology, the company’s plans for the vehicles charging systems, and the media’s usual comparisons between himself and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Rivian’s trucks are luxury adventure vehicles, and they are designed to carry several people in off-road conditions. As such, it is pertinent for Rivians to have the best battery technology available. When asked by the publication about the R1T and the R1S’s capability to charge its batteries, the CEO noted that the all-electric trucks would be capable of putting 200 miles of range in 30 minutes. With their 180 kWh battery packs, Scaringe pointed out that a 400-mile range is very feasible.
In the event that Rivian owners find themselves in remote areas without easy access to a charging station, Scaringe noted that the company is preparing solutions that will enable drivers to recharge their vehicles off the grid, such as auxiliary battery packs. The CEO also added that the company would allow vehicle-to-vehicle charging, allowing two Rivians to charge each other. “We’ve designed the vehicle so you can have auxiliary battery packs. You can also charge Rivian-to-Rivian, which is a neat thing. You connect the two vehicles, and then I could hand you some electrons,” Scaringe said.
These solutions will most definitely make Rivian’s vehicles an attractive purchase for the luxury adventure demographic, particularly among overlanders, who are known for taking long trips off the grid. Using Rivian’s vehicle-to-vehicle charging system, groups of overlanders can simply utilize a Rivian truck loaded with auxiliary battery packs as a designated charger for other vehicles that will be used primarily for camping, or even cooking, for that matter.
Being an electric car maker and having a striking physical resemblance to Clark Kent, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has been compared to Tesla’s Elon Musk, whose bold, ambitious, and rockstar CEO persona has brought comparisons to billionaire-superhero Tony Stark. Back in February alone, Forbes even wrote an article about Scaringe, dubbing him and Rivian as “Tesla’s worst nightmare.” In his recent interview, the Rivian CEO noted that this is far from the truth.
“In so far as we both build electric cars, we’re similar. Other than that, we’re building very different types of products for different companies. I say that with the deepest admiration and respect for what they’ve done. Tesla has really helped make electric cars exciting. They’ve helped shift the world towards electrification. We as Rivian, and we as the planet, owe them a thank you. But I think there’s a need for more flavors.
“The world needs more than one new electric and new innovator within the space, and we’ve been thoughtful also to not try to compete directly in the space they’re in. If we’re going after that type of a use case, I think it doesn’t make any sense. There are companies that are doing that. There’s a number of Chinese backed companies that are doing products that are very similar to the brand experience and sort of product experience that you get with Tesla,” he said.
Since unveiling the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV last year, Rivian has received overwhelming support from the electric car community, thanks in part to the design and capabilities of its two vehicles. The company has also been receiving support from large investors such as Ford and Amazon, both of which have helped Rivian raise over $1 billion in investments.