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Tesla sells more electric vehicles than any other automotive brand, with popular models such as the Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Model Y. Also, the Cybertruck is on the way. While Tesla still dominates the EV landscape, in recent months, an EV startup has garnered a considerable amount of positive publicity: Rivian, with the R1T electric pickup truck and the R1S electric SUV. Rivian has multiple advantages. Here are three reasons to buy a Rivian instead of a Tesla.

Rivian Membership program is better than anything that Tesla offers

Blue 2022 Rivian R1S parked at a charging station, highlighting how it's the best electric SUV
2022 Rivian R1S | Rivian

The first reason to buy a Rivian instead of a Tesla is the Rivian Membership program. For the Rivian Membership program, Rivian followed the Tesla playbook of creating a unique ownership experience. However, the Rivian Membership program is much better than anything that Tesla offers. This is a big advantage. Benefits of the Rivian Membership program include:

  • Free unlimited charging via the Rivian Adventure Network and all Rivian Waypoint chargers
  • Charge Assurance, in which Rivian will send someone to get your electric vehicle recharged if it runs out of battery power
  • Rivian off-Roadside Assistance, including Adventure Extraction, in which Rivian sends a recovery car to Rivian owners that get stranded out in the wilderness
  • Rivian mile-matching program: For every mile that you drive, Rivian matches that with contributions to sustainable energy, such as solar and wind power. 
  • Unlimited access to 4G LTE connectivity
  • Rivian experiences: Rivian Hubs, educational programs and workshops, Rivian-led adventures, unique gatherings, stewardship meet-ups, and children’s activities

Rivian vehicles are much better for off-road and all-weather driving capabilities than Tesla cars

Orange-red 2022 Rivian R1T driving off-road, highlighting advantages of electric vehicles vs. gas-powered cars
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

Another advantage of Rivian for EV buyers is off-road capabilities. Tesla and Rivian offer electric vehicles that boast excellent on-road driving dynamics. However, for off-road capabilities, Rivian vehicles are far superior to Tesla cars. 

Both the Rivian R1T and R1S have a quad-motor system, which doles out 800 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. The high torque is especially beneficial for off-road use, for it improves traction on challenging terrains. Examples include sand, rocks, and gravel. Also, with an electric motor for each wheel, the R1T and R1S can channel power to where it’s needed most for optimal traction. 

Red 2022 Tesla Model S driving on a road, highlighting electric road in Detroit
2022 Tesla Model S | Tesla

Additionally, the R1T and R1S have an adjustable air suspension. The adjustable air suspension enables you to raise the ground clearance of the EVs to a height of 14.9 inches for when you drive off-road. You can also lower the ground clearance to 7.9 inches to make it easier to load up your gear. Furthermore, the R1T and R1S have selectable driving modes. This includes Off-Road Auto, Off-Road Rock Crawl, Sport, Off-Road Rally, Off-Road Drift, Conserve, Tow Mode, and All-Purpose. 

Even if you never take a Rivan vehicle off-road, these positive attributes are beneficial for on-road driving. Eventually, most drivers will encounter roads that are in poor condition, such as potholes and broken concrete. Also, these attributes are advantageous for all-weather driving. For adverse weather conditions, such as snowy and icy conditions, Rivian vehicles are more capable than Tesla cars.

Rivian is better for conversation and protecting the environment than Tesla

The third reason to buy a Rivian instead of a Tesla is that Rivian is better for conservation and protecting the environment than Tesla. Many automotive shoppers choose to buy an EV for eco-friendly reasons. With their emissions-free electric powertrains, EVs are better for the environment than gas-powered cars.

While Rivian and Tesla sell only electric vehicles, Rivian makes conservation and protecting the environment a greater priority. The Rivian Forever Fund places 1% of Rivian’s equity into initiatives that address climate change and preserve and restore ecosystems. Also, as mentioned earlier, Rivian has a program to match every mile that Rivian owners drive with renewable resources like solar and wind power.

Blue 2022 Rivian R1S driving off-road, highlighting how it's the best electric SUV
2022 Rivian R1S | Rivian

In comparison, the eco-friendly credentials of Elon Musk and Tesla took a hit in recent years. One of the low points for Musk and Tesla is their handling of lithium mining. Lithium is used for EV car batteries and has environmental and human rights concerns for the impoverished countries where it is mined, such as Bolivia. Musk and Tesla faced accusations that they tried to destabilize the Bolivian government to secure its large reserves of lithium when Musk tweeted, “We will coup whoever we want. Deal with it.”

Are you thinking about buying either a Rivian or a Tesla? With the Rivian Membership program, off-road and all-weather driving capabilities, and an emphasis on conservation and protecting the environment, Rivian has multiple advantages over Tesla for electric vehicle buyers.


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