As The Driven reported last Friday, the first two Rivian R1T electric ute and R1S electric SUV have arrived in Australia by plane and are to undergo testing before the launch of sales and deliveries.
Electric utes and SUVs are predicted to leave their internal combustion engine predecessors in their dust, thanks to a combination of built-in power in the form of a battery and instant torque afforded by their electric motors.
The recent arrival of two electric vehicles from US-based startup Rivian in Australia have naturally sparked a lot of attention, and of course the question: why are they here?
That question has now more or less been answered, thanks to a note from the company’s international comms team which is based in the UK.
“We’re committed to testing all our vehicles in climates all over the world, so you may well spot a Rivian,” the company’s spokesperson told The Driven.
Which leaves us to wonder where exactly in Australia will the Rivian vehicles be tested! Given Australia’s wide range of landscapes and climates we hope readers will get in touch if they spot any out on the road.
In addition to the veiled confirmation that Rivian is testing its R1T and R1S EVs on local roads, news is that while an official entry date to the local market is not yet set in stone, the company is aware of the high level of interest and has every intention of a local launch at some point.
“We haven’t announced delivery dates yet for Australia, but we can tell you that interest has been intense, and we can’t wait to meet our Australian customers,” wrote the spokesperson.
CEO and founder of electric vehicle startup Rivian, RJ Scaringe, has previously said that he considers Australia an important market for his EV company, firming up reports of the company’s intention to create a right-hand drive version of its rugged all-electric SUV, the R1S, and R1T ute.
Both the electric ute and SUV are due to be launched in the US in September in left-hand-drive format, and a UK factory is reportedly being considered by Rivian where right-hand drive vehicles would be made.
And with an IPO now on the horizon (reports are it will list in late November), the Amazon-backed company could soon have plenty of dosh to act on its planned expansion.
As The Driven reported on Monday, Rivian has filed for an initial public offering and is reportedly seeking a valuation as high as $80 billion.
Rivian plans to have 10,000 proprietary charging stations called its “Adventure Network” targeted at off-road locations in the US available by the end of 2023. President Joe Biden recently called for electric vehicles to account for half of all new auto sales in the US by 2030.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.