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Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Rivian Announces Dual Motor And Smaller Battery Options; Hefty Price Increases

Rivian today has announced three pretty dramatic developments regarding expanded product offerings and pricing that affect both the R1T and R1S lines. We’ll start with the good news.

The electric vehicle startup will be adding dual-motor options for both the R1T and R1S which are expected to be available starting in 2024. Unlike the Bosch-sourced units used in the quad-motor setup, Rivian is engineering and manufacturing these motors in-house.

The dual-motor R1T will have a base MSRP of $67,500 and the dual-motor R1S will start at $70,000 (both prices are before any incentives are factored in, and don’t include destination or delivery fees).

If those numbers sound familiar it’s because you’ve seen them before. They are exactly the same prices that Rivian has been touting to reservation holders of the quad-motor vehicles. And while the dual-motor products are less expensive, as you’d expect, they are seeing a price increase that’s likely to take reservation holders by surprise. 

Effective immediately, The Rivian R1T’s price is increasing “approximately 17%” which will increase the base cost from $67,500 to approximately $78,975. The R1S will see a whopping price increase of “approximately 20%” bringing the new base price from $70,000 to about $84,000. Additionally, the cost of certain options, upgrades, and accessories has also increased.

The new pricing structure isn’t just for new reservations. The price increase will also also be applied to existing reservations. This will affect the majority of reservation holders except for the customers who were already in the final steps of completing their transaction with Rivian. Therefore, unless you’ve spoken with your Rivian representative lately, and your vehicle is already in, or entering production right now, the price increase will be applied to your order. 

Rivian R1S

In an effort to alleviate some of the sting of the price increase, Rivian is announcing the lower-cost dual-motor option at this time to offer customers a way to retain their R1T or R1S reservation without paying any more than they have already committed to.

Unfortunately, in order to keep the same price, they will have to accept the following:

  • The dual-motor vehicle instead of the quad-motor they originally reserved
  • A 260-mile (EPA-estimate) battery instead of the 314-mile (EPA rated) battery
  • Wait one to two years longer to take delivery. (Rivian estimates dual-motor deliveries will begin in 2024) 

Yes, Rivian is also introducing a smaller battery option that is expected to deliver 260+ miles of EPA-rated range. The R1T with the dual-motor powertrain that costs $67,500 will also have the smaller (Standard) battery pack, as will the R1S. Dual-motor customers will have the option to select from three battery pack options:

  • Standard Pack: 260+ miles (estimate)
  • Large Pack: 320+ miles (estimate)
  • Max Pack: 400+ miles (estimate)
Rivian Battery Rivian Battery and front motor on a dual motor layout.

You’ll notice that Rivian is estimating that the Large Pack will deliver more than 320 miles of EPA-rated range, while the same battery pack in the quad-motor R1Ts has a 314-mile EPA range rating. The slightly greater range is attributed to the fact that vehicles with the dual-motor setup will be lighter and the motors designed and built by Rivian are more efficient.

As for performance, the dual-motor setup will have in excess of 600-hp, and Rivian states it will propel the R1T from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds. Not quite as fast as the quad motor, which can accomplish the feat in 3 seconds, but very fast nonetheless. We’re told towing capacity will remain the same at 11,000 lbs. 

Powertrain Horsepower Torque Towing R1T Base Price R1S Base Price
Dual Motor 600+ HP 600+ lb-ft 11,000 lbs $67,500 $70,000
Quad Motor 800+ HP 900+ lb-ft 11,000 lbs $78,975 (est) $84,000 (est)

The dual-motor setup biases more torque rearward and also features front-to-rear torque control, which will provide a high level of on-road and off-road performance, as well as towing capability.

Rivian dual motor Rivian’s new motor, designed in-house, will propel the dual-motor powertrains.

Rivian is attributing the price increase to a number of factors. First, they point out that pricing was set four years ago in 2018. The company experienced a variety of production delays due to the global pandemic and subsequent supply chain challenges. All of which has conspired to make it necessary for the startup to adjust pricing upwards to meet the additional costs. 

Like most manufacturers, Rivian is being confronted with inflationary pressure, increasing component costs, and unprecedented supply chain shortages and delays for parts (including semiconductor chips).

This rise in cost and complexity due to these challenging circumstances necessitate an increase to the prices of the R1T and R1S models we offer today — prices which were originally set in 2018. This decision will allow us to continue to offer competitive products that maintain the high standard of quality, performance and capabilities that our customers expect and deserve from Rivian.

Along with the adjusted prices for our current offerings, we are also announcing Dual-Motor AWD and Standard battery pack options for R1T and R1S, which will provide a broader range of choices for customers as part of our expanding portfolio of options, upgrades and accessories. – Jiten Behl, Rivian’s Chief Growth Officer

Rivian also pointed out that since the R1T’s initial pricing was announced in 2018, transaction prices for new cars have increased by 37%

Rivian R1T Red

We’re not sure how customers are going to feel about delaying their delivery a year or two, accepting a dual-motor version instead of the promised quad-motor setup, and also accepting a smaller battery pack in order to keep the same price they believed they were getting from the start. Of course, they have the option of keeping their original order and paying the extra 17% – 20%, which, with options may be between $12,000 and $14,000 extra.

We love the new dual-motor option, especially since it’s developed in-house, increasing the company’s vertical integration. The smaller battery pack is also a good idea, as not everybody needs the extra range and the smaller pack will offer a lower-cost option for those customers. It’s unfortunate that the good news about these new options will certainly be overshadowed by the price increases. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. We’d like to hear from Rivian reservation holders as well as those that don’t currently have a reservation. 

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