Rivian has had a few interesting weeks that included its alignment with big legacy automakers to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) on future vehicles and a little poaching of Tesla’s head of raw materials. But under the radar is one more surprise: CarBuzz is reporting the growing EV company revealed some pricing details last week on its upcoming R2 platform vehicle.
The smaller-size SUV, built on the lower-cost R2 platform, will cost from $40,000 to $60,000. That’s according to Rivian CFO Claire McDonough, who spoke at last week’s Deutsche Bank conference. McDonough said that it “creates a nice stretch for the brand,” mentioning that the current R1 platform vehicles start at around $73,000.
McDonough also shared that the R2 SUV “still maintains some of that adventure aesthetic” that the R1S has but points out that the automaker will have to work on how to make it more affordable. “We’re spending a lot of time in the studio on some of those key trade-offs today, but wanting to make sure it truly has some of that Rivian brand essence embedded in it as well.”
Rivian’s R2 is sounding like a Tesla Model 3 and Model Y moment for the automaker. It’s going to borrow the best of the R1T and R1S (or comparatively, the Tesla Model S and Model X) and put it in a smaller and more affordable vehicle. And like Tesla, part of the Rivian experience above other automakers is usable and intuitive in-vehicle software and overall positive customer opinion about the brand.
“That’s where I think we will continue to shine,” McDonough said, also eluding that the R2 may share the “unique design aesthetic” of the R1 vehicles. “They are very noticeable when you’re driving down the road.” The R1T and R1S have approachable pill-shaped headlights on a nonaggressive facade — it’s cute, even.
Finally, McDonough also mentioned that reducing parts and supply costs is going to be a big factor in getting the R2 to a lower price point. Rivian, as a young company, had big struggles with supply chains over the years and risked its reputation by trying to increase prices on preorders, which it rolled back. “We are starting from a different place of negotiation,” McDonough said.