Rivian Tackles Mass Market With Next BEVs

Rivian moves downmarket with R2 and R3 battery-electric vehicles, priced at $45,000 or less when they go on sale in 2026 and beyond.

Joseph Szczesny

March 8, 2024

4 Min Read
Rivian R2
Larger battery pack in Rivian R2, R3 good for more than 300 miles of range.

Rivian offers a look at its future plans by unveiling the R2 midsize SUV and the smaller R3 and R3X CUVs, which moves the company closer to its goal of making its battery-electric vehicles more “accessible” to a wider audience even as it pauses construction of an additional plant in Georgia.

R J Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, says while the R2 will not go on sale until the first half of 2026, it will carry a price tag of $45,000, which is less than the average price of a vehicle sold in the U.S. today and less than half the price of the ultra-luxury BEVs Rivian began selling in 2022 with the launch of the R1S and R1T. Rivian is now taking reservations, at $100 each, for the R2.

“I have never been more excited to launch new products – R2 and R3 are distinctly Rivian in terms of performance, capability, and usability, yet with pricing that makes them accessible to a lot of people,” Scaringe says during a livestream introducing the new vehicles critical to the company’s fate.

“Our design and engineering teams are extremely focused on driving innovation into not only the product features but also our approach to manufacturing to achieve dramatically lower costs,” he says. “R2 provides buyers starting in the $45,000 price range with a much-needed choice with a thoroughly developed technology platform that is bursting with personality.

“I can’t wait to get these to customers.”

The R3 (pictured, below) will be priced below R2, according to Scaringe, who quickly adds Rivian's development teams have been making literally “millions of decisions” aimed at reducing each vehicle’s cost through manufacturing and design innovation.

Rivian R3.jpeg

Deliveries of the R3 and R3X deliveries will start after R2, to ensure a smooth launch and rapid ramp-up of R2, which is adapting lessons from Rivian’s simultaneous launch of the R1T, R1S and EDV in Normal, IL, the CEO says.

Scaringe says to enable R2 to be launched earlier and at less cost, Rivian plans to start production of R2 at its existing plant in Illinois as it pauses construction of an additional assembly plant in Georgia. The decision saves the company more than $2.25 billion.

Beyond significantly reducing the amount of capital needed to bring R2 to market, the company believes this approach considerably reduces risk to the launch and associated ramp-up; efficiently leverages its existing manufacturing and operations teams; and expands the total capacity for the site to 215,000 units per year. The automaker lost $5.4 billion in 2023 and reduced the size of salaried workforce by 10%.

“Rivian’s Georgia plant remains an extremely important part of its strategy to scale production of R2 and R3. The timing for resuming construction is expected to be later to focus its teams on the capital-efficient launch of R2,” notes a press release outlining the company’s plans.

The R2, R3 and R3X will be available internationally following their North American launch, Scaringe says.

Scaringe says the R2 will offer a combination of performance, capability and utility in a 5-seat package optimized for both “adventures and everyday use.” The silhouette and face of R2 are distinctly Rivian, and the powered rear glass fully drops into the liftgate for carrying all types of gear and enabling a unique open-air driving experience.

On the inside, R2 also features first- and second-row seats that fold completely flat, for gear, cargo and car camping once an air mattress is added to mix, according to Scaringe. The interior also features dual gloveboxes and sustainable materials that are both attractive and easy to clean.

Scaringe describes the R3 as a midsize crossover with smaller dimensions than the R2, but with performance, off-road capability, passenger comfort and storage. R3X (pictured, below) is a performance variant of R3 offering even more dynamic abilities both on and off road.

Rivian R3X.jpg

The R2 and R3 will feature two battery sizes. The larger pack will achieve over 300 miles (483 km) of range on a single charge and offer 0-60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration in under 3 seconds, according to Rivian.

The all-new platform underneath the R2 and R3 can deliver performance, range and cost efficiency. It also consolidates and eliminates parts with the use of intelligent design, including the use of high-pressure die castings, a structural battery unit where the top of the pack also serves as the floor, and closure systems that dramatically reduce complexity. R2 and R3 also utilize Rivian’s drive-unit platform and internally developed network architecture, computer topology and software stack.

The R2 and R3 will feature three motor variants, leveraging Rivian’s in-house drive-unit platform and technology and featuring a single-motor or rear-wheel-drive variant, a dual-motor or all-wheel-drive variant, and tri-motor with two motors in rear and one in front.

The battery pack utilizes 4,695 cylindrical cells that offers significant improvements in energy density and output.

Utilizing Rivian’s new perception stack featuring 11 cameras, five radars and a more powerful compute platform, R2 and R3 will provide dramatically enhanced autonomous capabilities, Scaringe adds.


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