Rivian has recently given an update on the challenges the automaker faces in getting production up to speed. Buried in all of the supply chain issues noted in the update is a hint at where Rivian wants to go in the future. The company is working on the R2 platform, something that could underpin smaller, more affordable vehicles one day.
On April 18, Automotive News reported about Rivian’s struggles in getting its production up to speed. The Normal, IL-based automaker has beat the competition in getting an electric pickup truck on the market and managed to steal our hearts in doing so. Joining the R1T pickup is the R1S SUV and the RCV van, and people are wondering when Rivian will be able to crank them out in high numbers.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe spoke to Automotive News about it and admits that supply chain bottlenecks are slowing the company down. Scaringe explains that out of the 168 hours in a week, they’re producing vehicles for only a fraction of those hours. And production is being hampered by a bunch of small parts like semiconductor chips and supply chain complications because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rivian is even struggling to get enough wiring harnesses.
But buried in all of this was a mention of new motors, a different battery architecture and a new platform, from Automotive News:
The automaker is moving forward with plans to build a new generation of electric motors in-house and to develop a proprietary 800-volt battery architecture. Longer term, Rivian is working on a second platform dubbed R2 for smaller vehicles with more affordable prices.
Currently, the cheapest way into a Rivian is to reserve the R1T Explore at a starting price of $67,500. Rivian has already previously trademarked names that seem like they would go with a new platform: R2T, R2S, R2A, R2C, R2R and R2X.
Based on Rivian’s existing naming scheme, this would suggest that an R2T is a smaller pickup while the R2S is a smaller SUV. Nothing else is known about this platform or what those model names mean, but if Rivian’s naming scheme is applied here than an R2X could be a crossover while the R2S is a sedan. And they could be built at the automaker’s new plant in Georgia.
Meanwhile, Rivian is sitting on 83,000 reservations for the R1T and R1S as well as an initial order of 100,000 RCVs for Amazon. The automaker estimates that it could build 25,000 vehicles this year, half of what it could with a better parts supply and a fraction of the factory’s total capacity.
I have reached out to Rivian to see if it can give us any more information.