Rumors continue to swirl on whether General Motors—and Amazon—will invest in the Michigan-based electric vehicle start-up Rivian. A Reuters report earlier this week, relying on anonymous sources, said the Detroit automaker was in talks to invest in the EV company. There are a few reasons why GM could be attracted to the new EV company, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas who spoke with CNBC.
Jonas cited Rivian’s “clean sheet” approach to business. This is where a company looks to solve a problem by starting from scratch, allowing workers to attack a new project without any preconceived constraints. It’s this approach that Jonas says could make Rivian the next Tesla, which is a bold claim considering the troubles Tesla faced getting to where it is today.
But that’s not all. At the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Rivian debuted two concepts—the R1S and R1T. They’re a seven-passenger SUV and a pickup truck, respectively. Anyone following the automotive industry knows crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks are the hot-ticket item right now. And it’s Rivian’s truck that could interest GM the most.
Rivian’s R1T could give GM an easy avenue to enter the budding EV space with an in-demand vehicle. Even the R1S, the seven-passenger SUV, could be enticing. However, General Motors is developing its own seven-passenger electric vehicle. Rivian says the R1T can reach 60 miles per hour in three seconds while delivering up to 400 miles of range. All four wheels are powered with four electric motors.
While the powertrain is important, giving the R1T an 11,000-pound towing capacity, the truck is packed with unique features. Neat design features include a ventless HVAC system, a gear tunnel between the passenger compartment and bed, an electric trick tailgate, and more. Rivian started with a clean sheet and created a fascinating electric truck.
General Motors plans to debut 20 new electric vehicles by 2023 with an electric Cadillac crossover leading the automaker’s EV efforts. The new Cadillac will ride on an all-new, scalable architecture that’ll underpin several of GM’s new electric vehicles. However, it’s unlikely that architecture would be capable of underpinning an electric truck. That’s where Rivian could come into play for the company, giving General Motors an electric pickup truck and allowing it to capitalize on the booming market as soon as possible.