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EV Startup Rivian Interested in Building Smaller EVs to Sell in China, Europe

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【Summary】Now that the automaker unveiled the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, the electric automaker is looking to expand its lineup with smaller electric vehicles that will be tailored for consumers in Europe and China.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Nov 22, 2020 8:00 AM PT
EV Startup Rivian Interested in Building Smaller EVs to Sell in China, Europe

Rivian may have just launched the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV to eager consumers, but the automaker isn't interested in only selling these two models. The automaker is already looking to expand its lineup with smaller electric vehicles for specific countries. At least, that's what a report from Reuters claims. While the R1T and the R1S are its first two products, more are soon to follow.

More EVs For China And Europe Coming

The outlet states that Rivian is set to come out with two small EVs that will be targeted for consumers in China and Europe. The automaker may even look to build some electric cars in those countries. Rivian plans to sell SUVs in Europe in 2022, with sales in China starting shortly after. Rivian founder and Chief Executive, R.J. Scaringe told the outlet that smaller, tailored vehicles for customers in other countries is what will help the company drive volume in those markets.

"We wouldn't be serious about building a car company if we weren't thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term," said Scaringe.

While smaller in scale, the upcoming EVs will share a lot of components as the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. We assume powertrains, styling, and features will all be shared among the vehicles, similar to what Tesla does with its electric cars.

Rivian Wants To Build More Factories

One thing that's iffy about the upcoming EVs is the timeline. While Rivian has plans to start selling electric SUVs in Europe in 2022, it took quite a long time for the automaker to bring its first two vehicles to market. Originally, we first saw the R1T and R1S in 2018. The first two versions of the vehicles will go on sale in June 2021, marking nearly three years of waiting for interested consumers. It would be a stretch to assume that Rivian already has one of the smaller EVs in the development process for Europe.

Currently, Rivian is building the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV at its manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. Setting up shop elsewhere would cost the company a fortune and take some time to set up – take a look at how long it's taken Tesla to get set up in China.

Aside from expanding to other countries, Rivian is also working on an electric delivery van for Amazon. Those vehicles are expected to come out within the next few years with an estimated amount of 100,000 units in the company fleet.

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