Rivian’s Next-Gen Electric Vehicles

Rivian’s Next-Gen Electric Vehicles

Rivian has recently launched its next-generation R1S and R1T electric vehicles. The primary aim of this launch is to reduce costs without compromising the driving experience. In fact, Rivian is enhancing it.

The need for cost reduction in Rivian’s operations is no secret. The company is currently incurring a loss of approximately $36,000 on every vehicle it delivers. However, Rivian is aiming to turn this into a slightly positive gross margin in the upcoming Q4.

To achieve this, Rivian has been exploring various strategies, including renegotiating with suppliers. But the most significant impact is expected to come from this redesigned next-gen version of the R1 platform.

Introducing the Next-Gen Rivian R1
Rivian has officially started deliveries of the next-gen R1S and R1T today. From a design perspective, the vehicles bear a strong resemblance to their predecessors, with a few new design accents. These include attractive new plaid accents throughout the vehicles, updated front and back lighting, and numerous UI changes.

However, the majority of the update lies beneath the surface. Rivian has concentrated on updating hardware for better efficiency, manufacturability, and cost-effectiveness.

Battery Module Updates
Rivian has updated its battery module. The new module design, along with the electronics system, has been revamped for better efficiency and easier manufacturability. Rivian’s new Large and Max battery packs feature redesigned modules and more efficient packaging, making them easier to manufacture and service. These packs offer up to an estimated 420 miles of range.

Rivian has also introduced a new module design for its Standard pack that now accommodates the use of LFP battery cells. This new pack is expected to provide an EPA-estimated 270 miles of range.


Drive Units Updates
Rivian has also updated its drive units. The company has brought more motor design and manufacturing in-house, allowing for more efficient packaging and implementation in its vehicles. The new R1 platform offers more power, performance, and range, thanks to a Rivian-designed and built drive unit offered in Tri-Motor and Quad-Motor configurations. These motors are now designed, engineered, and manufactured entirely in-house.

Electrical Architecture and Compute Platform Improvements
One of the areas where Rivian has made significant improvements is in its electrical architecture and compute platform. The company has reduced the number of ECUs from 17 in first-generation vehicles to just 7 in this new one.

This new architecture has allowed Rivian to remove 1.6 miles (2.6km) of wiring from each vehicle. This not only improves the efficiency of the vehicle but also enables Rivian to eliminate many steps in its manufacturing process, which should greatly improve its manufacturing costs.

Despite cost-cutting being a priority, Rivian has not compromised on its premium feel. For instance, the automaker has significantly improved its ADAS hardware suite in the second-generation Rivian R1. The company has increased the number of megapixels in the cameras all around the vehicles by eight times and has decided not to go vision-only. The automaker also has 5 radars and ultrasonics all around the vehicle.


Rivian also has a new on-board computer to handle all the data coming from those sensors. The company plans to release increasingly more advanced driver-assist features, starting with autonomous lane changes, but it expects that its hardware suite will enable up to level 3 autonomous driving in the future.

One of the few design changes to the next-generation R1 is the lighting system. The automaker has updated its lighting to communicate the charging state with this new design. There are also a few new colors, both inside and outside, and Rivian is not cutting down on its premium feel there, which is great news.

The UI and software have been greatly updated with the new generation. Some of the new features include car keys in Apple Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch, and some Google Pixel devices, Connect+, a new subscription service, supports streaming video through Google Cast and provides access to more than 3,000 apps, and Apple Music with Dolby Atmos support in Connect+.

The new second-gen R1S will start at $75,900, and the new R1T will start at $69,900. Prices go up fairly quickly if you want the bigger battery packs and tri- or quad-motor powertrains. Rivian is already producing and delivering the new generation.


Source: Electrek