After Rivian van, Europe may see the Rivian R2S & Rivian R3S SUVs [Update]

At 202 inches (5,131 mm) long, 79 inches (2,007 mm) wide, and 72 inches (1,829 mm) tall, the Rivian R1S is way above what is considered a normal SUV in Europe. However, smaller electric vehicles like Rivian R2S and Rivian R3S are in the making and could be designed with a strong focus on European customers, it is reported.

Citing Robert Joseph Scaringe, Founder and CEO of Rivian, a report by MotorTrend suggests that a wide range of new passenger EVs will be launched after the Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S. It claims that the upcoming models would follow the current nomenclature, meaning that two of them could be Rivian R2S and Rivian R3S SUVs. MotorTrend adds that the upcoming series of models would ride dedicated platforms.

Rivian is scouting for a potential production site in Europe. UK, Germany, and Hungary are among the countries in consideration to get the regional factory, as per a report that was published in February 2021 in Bloomberg. According to the business publication’s sources, the plant is likely to first roll out a delivery van for Amazon and then produce passenger models. Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian and expects deliveries of the first 10,000 units globally by 2022.

Commercial real estate service provider firm JLL has been delegated to find the Rivian production site in Europe, it was reported. The California-based EV company is hopeful of beginning the Rivian van production at this site next year. With real estate advisers’ service, it is searching for retail space in the Old Continent to display vehicles.

On the Rivian compact SUV

Late last year, media reports read that the Amazon- and Ford-backed American startup company plans to enter Europe and China, which are expected to be the world’s biggest EV markets this decade. Currently, Rivian is present in the U.S. and Canada.

Speaking to in November 2020, Scaringe said that Rivian is working on smaller models that are fit for new markets. The Rivian R1S SUV and the Rivian R1T are simply too big for most countries outside North America. The company plans to launch the Rivian R1S in Europe and China anyway, in 2022. However, it expects “follow-on products” to “really drive volume” there:

We wouldn’t be serious about building a car company if we weren’t thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term.

Robert Joseph Scaringe, Founder and CEO, Rivian

Compact and sub-compact SUVs are the jet stream in Europe. Compact SUVs hold relatively higher potential in the U.S., and so, the company could introduce a compact SUV competing with the likes of VW ID.5 and Skoda Enyaq to penetrate the European market. The Rivian compact SUV could work well in making the brand more accessible in the U.S. as well.

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China and Europe are expected to be the biggest volume drivers for electric vehicles. Volkswagen Group, for instance, expects China to be its biggest EV market until 2030, followed by European countries, and then the U.S. at the third position. Scaringe sees the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck and the Rivian R1S electric SUV as the brand’s “halo products”. Prices of these models start at $75,000 and $77,500 respectively, so it would need smaller products at accessible price points to expand globally.

Volkswagen Group EV market sales
Companies like VW see Europe and China as the biggest EV markets worldwide this decade. Image source: Volkswagen

Production of the Rivian electric pickup truck R1T began in September 2021. The electric SUV R1S and the electric delivery van EDV for Amazon should begin rolling out in December 2021.

Rivian eyes production of one million EVs

Rivian’s blockbuster IPO debut on Nasdaq has brought the company under the spotlight, and investors are hoping it to be the next Tesla. The startup desires to be a global player a few years down the line. Citing Scaringe, a report from Reuters says that there will be four Rivian plants worldwide. The company is aiming for an annual production of no less than one million EVs by the end of the decade, Scaringe said. That’s an ambitious target, but it might be achievable once it has rolled out multiple EVs, built its reputation, and established a proper global production network in the second half of the decade.