It's been two years since Rivian began its journey into the EV realm. The company has faced down production hell and all kinds of snarls, and come out still swinging. Since finding its feet, Rivian has taken a significant leap forward with the launch of its own in-house electric motor design, which promises to be a game-changer for the company.
As reported by Automotive News, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe sees the Enduro motor's arrival as a landmark moment, not unlike the company's first foray into vehicle production. The new in-house motor design represents a new level for the still-young automotive startup. "More than just what this motor represents in terms of performance or efficiency or range, it's also emblematic of the capabilities we have as an organization today," Scaringe emphasized during a recent visit to the company's plant in Normal, Illinois.
The new Enduro drive unit combines the gearbox, power inverter, and motor into a single unit. This integration leads to cost savings, allowing Rivian to shave a considerable $8,000 off the base model's price compared to their existing third-party motor setup. The R1T pickup now has an inviting price tag starting at $74,800, and the R1S crossover at $79,800.
When it comes to performance, the original Bosch-supplied quad-motor configuration still boasts the most impressive figures with a whopping 835 hp. In comparison, the dual-motor Enduro setup delivers 533 hp in base form. However, Rivian has a performance version of the Enduro, giving an impressive 665 hp for $5,000 extra.
Rivian's commitment to the Enduro project is evident in their new 620,000-square-foot addition to the assembly plant. According to Tim Fallon, Rivian's Vice President of manufacturing operations, the motor is a cornerstone of the company's plans to ramp up production. Where Rivian built 25,000 vehicles in 2022, it hopes to produce over double that by building 52,000 units this year. It's an ambitious plan, but not out of the question for a new automaker rapidly improving its facilities.
The Enduro is also pegged as the basic motor to be used for Rivian's upcoming R2 vehicle platform, expected to roll out in 2026. This R2 platform is especially noteworthy as it will be geared toward smaller, more affordable vehicles, broadening Rivian's market reach.
Real-world tests of the R1T with both configurations showcase their prowess. With an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds for the quad-motor and a close 3.5 seconds for the dual-motor performance model, it's clear the Enduro motor is no slouch. For a lot of customers, it's likely that 665 hp is more than they've ever had in a pickup truck before.
Rivian isn't resting on its laurels, though. The company has its sights set on launching the "max pack" battery this fall after long delays. This battery, exclusively available with the Enduro setup, promises an estimated 400-mile range. Those opting for the Enduro performance with the max pack will be looking at a top-tier trim, starting at $95,800. This offers a competitive alternative to the quad-motor setup, which gives a range of 328 miles in its longest-range configuration, priced at $88,800.
By developing its own motors in-house, Rivian doesn't just secure cost savings that help the bottom line. It also gives itself the ability to create a point of difference between itself and other EV automakers. Investing in this area and getting the motor to market is a good sign that Rivian is building a strong base for its future growth.
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