Off-road vehicle manufacturer EV Rivian has Australia in its sights


Rivian may be focusing on the North American market at the moment, but Australia seems to be in its future plans.

He mentioned his global plans in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a section titled Long-Term Growth Strategy.

“Our launch is focused on the US and Canadian markets. We intend to enter Western European markets in the near term, followed by entry into key Asia-Pacific markets,” the company said in the filing.

“To meet our global demand, we plan to locate production and supply chains in these regions.”

Australia is specifically referenced in two other places in the record.

Rivian says it has analyzed key laws in the United States, European Union, China, Japan, United Kingdom and Australia regarding its distribution model, concluding that it will comply with the laws of each jurisdiction.

Camera iconRivian R1T (closest) and R1S. Credit: Provided

He cautions, however, “laws in this area can be complex, difficult to interpret and may change over time, and therefore require continuous review” and says he has not conducted a comprehensive analysis of all jurisdictions to which it “may sell” vehicles.

In a section on data privacy legislation, it also mentions “large geographies that could become important to our future success, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and India.”

When contacted by CarExpertRivian did not confirm its plans for an Australian launch, instead reiterating that it is focusing on its home market first.

“In the near term, we are targeting the pickup truck, SUV and commercial van market segments in the United States, Canada and Western Europe,” the company continues in its filing.

“We plan to achieve long-term growth by expanding in our existing markets, building a broad portfolio of vehicles and services with global appeal, entering major global automotive markets, strategically investing in our ecosystem and expanding into adjacent verticals.”

These filings give us our clearest indication yet that Australia is in its plans, although an introduction date has yet to be specified.

Double cabin Rivian R1T.
Camera iconDouble cabin Rivian R1T. Credit: Provided

Other elements of Rivian’s long-term growth strategy include:

  • Increase share of existing markets by offering additional vehicle variants in a wider price range
  • Launching “multiple vehicles in consumer and commercial segments”, which “serve a variety of form factors, price points, use cases and geographies”
  • Launched additional subscription services allowing purchase of more features via over-the-air software updates

Rivian also says his expertise in running what he says will become “the largest centrally managed electric vehicle fleet” – his electric delivery van (EDV) for Amazon – will help him unlock new models. commercial, including autonomous mobility services for people and goods.

The company has just started production of its R1T electric utility vehicle, with the related R1S SUV entering production in December 2021.

The brand’s S-1 prospectus, filed with the SEC ahead of its Nasdaq IPO, reveals losses of US$426 million in 2019, US$1.0 billion in 2020 and US$994 million in the first half of 2021.

“We do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future as we invest in our business, build our capabilities and scale our operations,” Rivian said in its S-1.

It’s worth noting that Tesla took almost 20 years to turn a profit, so it’s not unusual for start-ups to burn through cash and suffer big losses as they grow.

Rivian has 48,390 pre-orders for its R1T electric utility, each with a $1,000 down payment, and says its Normal, Illinois plant can currently build up to 150,000 vehicles a year.

It plans to expand that capacity to 200,000 per year by 2023.

Double cabin Rivian R1T.
Camera iconDouble cabin Rivian R1T. Credit: Provided

Not all of this capacity will be dedicated to the R1T and R1S; Rivian has an agreement with Amazon to build 100,000 VEDs, with the first 10,000 to ship in 2022.

The company is also rumored to be considering building a second factory in the US, as well as a factory in the UK, and it was confirmed in the filing that more factories are in its plans.

Rivian has beaten all-electric rivals in production, including the Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer EV and Ford F-150 Lightning.

Manufactured in a factory formerly owned by Mitsubishi, the two-model Rivian range will be powered by a choice of three different batteries, with capacities of 105 kWh, 135 kWh and 180 kWh.

The R1T and R1S will offer up to 505 km and 508 km of range respectively and up to 596 kW of power from a four-wheel drive powertrain.

They will hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.0 seconds in their fastest spec.

The R1T and R1S can wade through water up to 1m deep, while the R1T has a payload of 800kg and a trailer weight of 5,000kg.

* William Stopford is a journalist at CarExpert.


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