- Rivian has announced large price increases for its R1S and R1T EVs that affect even current reservation holders.
- A letter from Rivian posted by one customer on the Rivian owners' forum blames the price hike on supply-chain woes.
- Pricing for optional equipment and for battery-pack and power level choices are all in play for those who still want to order one of the EVs.
UPDATE 3/3/22: Rivian backtracked on price increases for its R1T and R1S electric vehicles after major backlash and will now honor the original pricing for orders placed before March 1. CEO RJ Scaringe admitted in a letter to customers that the price hikes “broke the trust we have worked to build with you” and said that customers who had canceled orders following the increases can now reinstate them with the original pricing and delivery timing.
Rivian's R1T pickup debuted last fall to rave reviews, but reservation holders (each of whom put down a $1000 deposit) of the promising EV pickup recently got bad news: The company is jacking up prices for the quad-motor variant (the only one initially offered) by $6000. And buyers who want that version no longer can get it with the Standard battery pack and so must upgrade to the Large battery pack for another $6000. The price of some optional equipment also appears to have increased. It's the same story for the R1S electric SUV, which has yet to go on sale.
Buyers unwilling to stomach a big price increase have another option: accept a less powerful truck and wait longer for it. Rivian's configurator still shows an "estimated" vehicle starting price of $67,500 for the R1T and $72,500 for the R1S. But that's for a lower-spec vehicle: new dual-motor (rather than quad-motor) variants. This dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain makes "over 600" horsepower and "over 600" pound-feet of torque, versus 835 hp and 908 pound-feet for the quad-motor version. Shipping for the dual-motor models won't begin until 2024.
While an email from Rivian to reservation holders (and posted on the Rivian Owners Forum) said the price increases were "the result of inflationary pressure on the cost of supplier components and raw materials across the world," it is possible they might have been planned from the outset. In her wrongful-dismissal lawsuit against the company, former Rivian vice president of sales and marketing Laura Schwab claimed that Rivian's prices were unsustainably low. Her superiors said that they would be raised after the company's initial public stock offering. That IPO took place in November.
This story was originally published March 2, 2022.