Rivian has become an electric vehicle brand evoking adventure and off-road fun with its first two electric SUVs. The R1T electric pick-up and the R1S electric SUV could be joined by a new brand responsible for developing and manufacturing its first electric bicycles. The announcement, made by the company’s CEO, will be made official starting next year.
Electric bicycles are the best-selling electric vehicles in the world, far above cars, vans, buses, or trucks. Their lower cost of production and their demand allows them to be offered at lower prices and their usefulness is increasingly appreciated by customers.
Its integration into the Rivian catalog would make a lot of sense as a complement to its first two electric cars. A strategy that other brands have already initiated, among which Porsche stands out, is the manufacturer that seems to have the greatest interest in this sector after its latest announcements and the acquisition of Fazua.
The interview that its CEO, RJ Scaringe, published by the TechCrunch Youtube channel offers a more detailed vision of the moment in which the company finds itself for the launch of its new brand of electric bicycles. Scaringe expanded on the company’s strategy around light electric vehicles and their place in a larger electric ecosystem. “When I look at what transportation will look like in the next 10 to 15 years, the core part of the way we think about our product portfolio is that we are moving more and more towards multimodality.” The leader refers in the interview to the mixed use of private and public transport. “We are thinking more and more about electric bicycles.”
“For us to be part of this mosaic of different mobility solutions, we have thought of a large number of products that are quite far from what you see here,” he says, pointing to the Rivian R1S electric SUV. “The electric bike space is something that we are very excited about. We haven’t announced anything or said anything, but I do think it’s going to play an increasingly important role for transport, both in the movement of goods for commercial purposes, but also for the movement of people”, adds Scaringe.
Recent years have seen dizzying growth in sales of electric bikes. The pandemic, which distanced citizens from collective public transport, and the advancement of technology, has fueled interest in cycling in cities and has also increased the supply of electric bicycles for recreational use. They are also beginning to be considered as an alternative by delivery companies, such as last-mile vehicles.
Rivian is considering these companies as potential clients. After discussing the company’s electric vehicles, Scaringe explained how the company’s upcoming small electric delivery vans could be a harbinger of electric bikes to come. “We will be moving into even smaller form factors and as we see a lot of urban deliveries are of very small packages that are done on electrically assisted bikes, and so it is a product portfolio that we have given a lot of thought to. ”.
One of Rivian’s latest additions further increases the chances of a Rivian electric bike appearing in the company’s future. The former CTO of Specialized’s electric bike division was selected to work on Rivian’s “future programs.”
In recent years, several car manufacturers have shown their interest in this market, bearing in mind its rapid expansion and low-cost barrier to entry for light electric two-wheelers. Peugeot has long had an extensive range of electric bicycles. SEAT has teamed up with Silence to launch its own electric scooters and scooters. General Motors developed an electric bike in-house although the project was scrapped early in the COVID pandemic. Škoda has released one of the strangest electric bike concepts ever unveiled, though there’s no sign it could make it to production.
Jeep has entered the high-power electric bicycle market through licensing deals. Even motorcycle manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and BMW have also wanted to get a piece of this succulent cake.