Rivian says it intends on launching both the R1T electric pickup and the R1S SUV in Australia.
Like in the United States, pickup trucks and SUVs are extremely popular in Australia and while recently speaking with Stuff, Rivian chief engineer Brian Gase said that the company’s two models will be launched Down Under.
“Yes, we will have an Australian launch and I can’t wait to come back to Australia and show this to all of those beautiful people,” he said.
According to Gase, it is difficult for the company to put an exact date on an Australian launch as the car manufacturer will need to carefully select the right markets to first venture into.
“The ‘when’ is a tough question. How do you pick the right strategic markets on what’s core to your brand, where you’re going to see sales? And that’s why Australia is so exciting to us because you guys share a lot of the off-road and nature values that I think we have as a company. And you’re not on Italian narrow roads where this vehicle is a harder footprint to fit in,” he said.
“The truck makes sense in the Australian market. We see significant value, particularly with the SUV in right-hand drive markets. And we’ve communized everything on the vehicles forward of the B-pillar, so by default, getting a right-hand-drive truck is a low barrier, because I’ve got a right-hand-drive SUV.”
Both the Rivian R1T and R1S are based on a ‘skateboard’ platform where the batteries are located beneath the floor and individual electric motors power each wheel. Rivian intends on selling the two vehicles with a series of different battery packs, including a massive one with 180 kWh.
Rivian will build its vehicles at a former Mitsubishi production facility in Normal, Illinois and plans on starting deliveries in about 18 months. Rivian chief executive R.J. Scaringe has previously said that he wants to introduce six vehicles by 2025.