Car companies and investors have been eagerly awaiting the ‘Tesla moment’, when sales of electric vehicles threaten to overtake their combustion engine rivals.
In a bid to push the arrival of their Model 3 saloon forward by a year, Tesla had to slash the price on the luxury car’s base model. The move, which also was aimed at encouraging lower income buyers, pushed Tesla’s 2017 quarterly revenue up 47 percent on the previous year to $3.4 billion. Tesla also made an unexpected profit.
If you’re on the Tesla Model 3’s waiting list, you’ve certainly noticed several companies are well behind you. While the company just reported a 50 percent increase in new Model 3 reservations in the fourth quarter of 2017, record new EV deliveries have pushed Rivian’s US-based sales up by a factor of five in the last year alone.
Rivian introduced its first production vehicle late last year, the Rivian R1T concept. The vehicle is a compact, four-seater, plug-in electric SUV with a price tag of $60,000. A version of the R1T, dubbed the R1S, was introduced last week.
While Rivian hasn’t revealed any specific pricing for the the R1S, the original R1T will start at $73,000 when it goes on sale in 2020.
“Rivian is truly excited to be starting R1S deliveries and moving closer to the time when drivers will be able to order an electric vehicle for nothing and get rid of gas altogether,” company officials wrote in a statement last week.
Like Tesla, Rivian’s design highlights an exterior made up of composite panels made of metal or carbon fiber. Tesla’s design adds to the swelling “trollt” of sound that emanates from the electric motors’ combustion engine. Rivian’s interiors are all about luxury, with leather and wood trim.
Rivian’s R1T has been road-tested in the wild by those closer to the company than those outside of it. Notably, a woman who has a big stake in Rivian was a member of Elon Musk’s motorcycle-riding “Boys Scout” group.
Tesla Model 3 Price
First published January 22, 2018, 6:25 am ET.