Electric startup founder RJ Scaringe says Rivian’s next-generation vehicles will benefit from the brand’s new network architecture, which will reduce costs and allow it to tackle Tesla head-on.
“R2 from a cost point of view has very aggressive targets,” said Mr Scaringe in a recent earnings call, referring to the upcoming models that will slot in under the existing R1S SUV and R1T ute.
“A 60 per cent reduction in the number of ECUs in the vehicle and along with that roughly 25 per cent reduction in the wiring harness length in the vehicle” will allow Rivian to reduce production costs and have a competitively priced vehicle to rival the Tesla Model Y.
“I can say we couldn’t possibly be more excited about what’s to come with R2 and really looking forward to showing our product in the early part of 2024,” he added.
The R2S compact SUV is expected to be revealed in early 2024, however the vehicle won’t be launched until 2026.
Mr Scaringe recently teased the mid-sized R2S, which wears similarly boxy styling to the brand’s existing models.
Pricing for the R2S is reportedly set to be around US$40,000-$60,000 (AU$61,791-$92,686).
Rivian plans to build its own components rather than combining a variety of components from separate suppliers.
Doing this will allow Rivian engineers to consolidate ECU functions and link them to vehicle zones – for example front, middle and rear ECUs.
The current network architecture has already had 22 major over-the-air updates for the R1 models, which Mr Scaringe says haven’t been easy to roll out.
“It’s a very cumbersome network architecture to work with and makes things like over the updates very, very difficult because you have to coordinate across multiple different companies on a software platform and software stack that you as the manufacturer would know,” said Mr Scaringe.
The reduction in ECUs and minimised reliance on ECU suppliers will allow Rivian to have better control over its vehicles.
Rivian also developed its own in-house Enduro powertrain which debuted on the Rivian EDV, the brand’s commercial van. It also began producing Enduro motors for the R1 models earlier this year.
The company will implement the new network architecture on the R1 range in 2024.
It’s expected the cut to production costs between the new network architecture and Enduro powertrain could open the door for Rivian to reduce pricing on its R1T and R1S.