Rivian needs to go for big air to upend Tesla. Presently, they’re off to a pretty good start with the 2022 Rivian R1T. It’s territory Tesla has yet to cross into: the electric truck. Moreover, the Rivian R1T looks to beat Tesla on all fronts. That means range, usability, quality, and most importantly range. Also, range. However, Tesla previously won out in the “cool tricks” segment, with in-car games and fart noises. Now, Rivian wins there too.
Your 2022 Rivian R1T is a watertight off-road machine
You wouldn’t think that EVs and water would mix very well, but I guess we were both wrong. The 2022 Rivian R1T (and presumably the R1S) are just about as aquatic as a fish. Rivian CEO R.J Scaringe tweeted on August, 29th the video you see above. In it, you can see an R1T test mule wading through water at some considerable speed. Based on the video, it looks like the 2022 Rivian R1T will be able to wade around 3-5 feet of water without issue.
In all likelihood, it’s the one weakness of an EV powertrain that lets the R1T wade with such ease. Normally, in a gas car, you’d need a snorkel and some skill, but not here. The electric motors are clearly insulated from the water, and that means that the wading depth isn’t affected by the powertrain. Instead, it’s more about how waterproof the rest of the running gear, and the cabin, can be made. It doesn’t sound cheap to be sure Which begs the question: Just how much are you going to have to pay for all that?
How much does a Rivian cost?
It’s well known that Rivian is well-funded. Recently, the company received a massive backing round from some big names, Amazon primarily. The company is aiming squarely at a segment that just isn’t there yet: the luxury electric truck. Yes, the Hummer EV will eventually be there for the fight. So too will the “maybe next year” Tesla Cybertruck. Generally speaking, we’re talking about six-figure trucks here (barring the Cybertruck, for now).
And that’s the case with the Rivian R1T and R1S. Both can go for north of $100,000. However, the good news is, that depends heavily on options. I spent some time on Rivian’s configurator, and my build came out to just under 100k for both the R1T and R1S. In my experience, there’s about $10,000 of “fluff” options that you don’t really need.
CEO R.J Scaringe is poised to hit Musk and GMC where it hurts
That means that most models will be coming out of the factory for under 6 figures. Per Car and Driver, that’s right about where the lower trims of the Hummer EV will be coming in. Of course, Musk says you can have a Cybertruck for under $40,000 before destination charges. However, Tesla has given us all plenty of reason to wait and see if that’s the case. Either way, Rivian are the only ones running through 3 feet of water right now.