Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer, is field testing dual-motor versions of its R1T pickup and R1S SUV. According to a tweet from CEO RJ Scaringe that InsideEVs spotted, the automaker is currently putting those models through their paces in New Zealand’s winter.
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In March, the company announced that it would offer R1T and R1S variants with its dual-motor Enduro powertrain.
It stated that these models would be less expensive than their four-motor counterparts, with the R1T starting at $67,500 and the R1S starting at $72,500. The four-motor R1T starts at $79,500 without the destination fee, and the R1S starts at $84,500.
Rivian created the Enduro motors in-house, and the system is already in use — the electric van Rivian is building for Amazon includes an Enduro drive unit. The company hopes that the Enduro powertrain will help it cut costs and keep the R1S, R1T, and upcoming R2 models affordable.
That’s an important consideration for Rivian, given that the Senate’s recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes new federal EV tax credit rules. Electric SUVs, trucks, and vans costing more than $80,000 will not be eligible for the $7,500 subsidy.
Rivian raised the prices of the four-motor EVs by $12,000 when it announced the dual-motor R1T and R1S. Following a backlash, it limited the price increases to new orders, but the automaker was quickly hit with a shareholder lawsuit over the matter.
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Meanwhile, Rivian is attempting to increase R1T and R1S production. Despite a 71,000-vehicle backlog as of early July, it expects to build around 25,000 vehicles this year. It laid off 6% of its workforce late last month in order to devote more resources to production.