Rivian Is Developing a Smaller Car Platform For More Affordable EVs, the R2

At Rivian’s Q4 2021 earnings call, RJ Scaringe said that the company was developing a new EV architecture with 800V, bidirectional charging, and LFP batteries. We would be waiting for more information on that if it was not for an Automotive News chat with Rivian’s CEO. Scaringe said the company is developing a new platform named R2, focused on more affordable cars.
Rivian is developing a new platform for more affordable cars, the R2 16 photos
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That is probably the architecture that will get all these improvements. If its goal is to be affordable, the LFP cells would fit it like a glove. The information also helps us understand the naming strategy of the EV maker. The first two digits refer to the platform, and the following letter, to the body style. That said, the R1T and R1S belong to the R1 architecture and are, respectively, a truck and an SUVs. That allowed us to connect some dots.

We already had a fairly long list of names the company trademarked for future products. Among these 14 new names – which exclude R1T and R1S – there are six with R2: R2T, R2S, R2A, R2C, R2R, and R2X. We already know for sure that the company will make a truck and an SUV over this new platform. Regarding the other vehicles, we can only guess what they are.

The theories around them are that A refers to sedans, X to crossovers, R to performance versions, and C to cross country, probably referring to high-riding station wagons. However, Rivian seems to have focused on vehicles with an outdoors proposition. For a sedan to fit in that idea, it would have to present a high ground clearance. At the same time, there are not many SUV and pickup truck body styles that fit in all these letters.

Rivian has also trademarked R3, R4, and R5 names. It could be only a way to prevent other companies and people from having these trademarks and later charge the EV maker for them. It could also mean that the company will have three other platforms apart from the R1 and R2, which is not the way the automotive industry is doing things right now.

Almost all relevant car companies now have modular architectures that allow them to create vehicles in different sizes without the need to develop something from the ground up. That’s the case for Volkswagen’s MEB, Toyota’s e-TNGA, and several other platforms. Rivian will also have to pursue that solution to remain competitive.

The new R2 architecture revealed by Automotive News should be manufactured at Rivian’s new plant in Georgia, which is involved in controversy. Although the company said it wants to talk to the local community, the residents in the area where the plant will be built are concerned with their groundwater reserves, something that Tesla also faced with Giga Grünheide.


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