Rivian Electric R1T Truck and R1S SUV,
  • American company to launch with all-electric pickup and SUV
  • Backed by big investments from Ford and Amazon
  • Vehicles to be made in America at Illinois plant
  • Range of up to 400 miles, 3-second 0-60 mph time

Rivian is among the newest automakers focusing on electric vehicles, but despite its newcomer status, this startup is already generating significant waves and has received massive injections of funding. This might be the first you’ve heard of Rivian, but it likely won’t be the last.

After debuting a pair of innovative electric vehicles at last year’s Los Angeles International Auto Show, Rivian quickly set itself on a trajectory for success. Here’s more of what you need to know about Rivian.

What is Rivian?

Rivian is a brand new car company focusing on electric vehicles. The company is based in Plymouth, Michigan, and has tech centers in California and an engineering facility in the United Kingdom. Its vehicle assembly plant is in Illinois, at a former Mitsubishi factory. The company was founded in 2009 by RJ Scaringe, who holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT.

What vehicles does Rivian make?

Rivian will initially make two vehicles: The R1T pickup truck and the R1S sport utility vehicle. Both debuted last year and are expected to go into production in 2020 as 2021 models, a Rivian spokesman told us. The R1T and R1S are all-electric, all-wheel drive, with novel designs and features throughout. The R1T truck features seating for 5 passengers thanks to its dual-cab setup, and in addition to a traditional truck bed features a hidden compartment the width of the truck behind the cab.

RELATED: The Rivian R1S is one of our 10 Best SUVs Worth Waiting For

The Rivian R1S sport utility vehicle will be offered in 2-row/5-passenger or 3-row/7-passenger configurations. This R1S promises to be a truly rugged SUV, offering the ability to tow heavy loads and wade through up to 3 feet of water. Rivian says its electric truck can pull up to 11,000 pounds, while the SUV can tow up to 7,700 pounds. Both figures are comparable to a traditional gasoline-powered truck or full-size SUV.

Rivian has plans for a total of six models, primarily trucks and SUVs, by 2025.

What is the range of a Rivian?

Rivian says that both the R1T and R1S will have a range of up to 400 miles per charge. They will be quick, too: Rivian says each is capable of going 0-60 mph in 3 seconds. That’s exotic-car fast.

What powers a Rivian?

The Rivian R1T and R1S are all-electric, using an innovative setup of batteries and four electric motors – one at each wheel. At launch, Rivian says a choice of two battery packs will be available. The first is a 135-kWh battery pack that enables an estimated range of 300 miles in the R1T or 310 miles in the R1S. A more powerful, 180-kWh version will increase those ranges to 400 and 410 miles, respectively.

Later, Rivian says an entry-level 105-kWh variant will also be available.

Is the Rivian powerful?

Yes, very. The 135-kWh variant is good for 753 horsepower and 826 lb-ft of torque, enabling that 3-second 0-60 mph time. The larger battery pack has less horsepower but the same torque, with an emphasis on increasing driving range.

How much will the Rivian cost?

Rivian says the R1T pickup truck will start at $69,000 and the R1S SUV will begin at $72,500. Both prices are before a $7,500 federal tax credit. Rivian is currently taking refundable $1,000 deposits on the vehicles.

When will the Rivian be available?

Deliveries of the new Rivian electric vehicles are slated for late 2020.

RELATED: Ford invests in Rivian

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