by Morton E. . Oct 10, 2023

Rivian Faces Tesla Cybertruck Challenge

Image Credit: Tesla/X

Rivian will face a major test in the coming months when Tesla launches the Cybertruck.

The Irvine, California-based electric vehicle maker gained early success with its R1T pickup and R1S SUV, but Tesla is the 800-pound gorilla of the EV market.

Why it matters: Rivian has positioned itself as a leader in the luxury electric pickup truck market, but the Cybertruck is expected to be more affordable and offer similar performance, according to Forbes.

By the numbers: Rivian's R1T pickup starts at $73,000, while the Cybertruck is expected to start at around $50,000. The Cybertruck was initially unveiled with a price of $39,900 for a Single Motor RWD variant, $49,900 for a Dual Motor AWD version, and $69,990 for a Tri-Motor AWD variant. 

What's next: Rivian is planning to launch its R2 platform in 2026, which will bring down prices significantly. But the company will need to weather the Cybertruck storm in the meantime.

Go deeper: Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has said that the Cybertruck will not compete directly with Rivian products, but analysts are skeptical. Edmunds' Ivan Drury says that the Cybertruck is likely to become the number one cross-shopped vehicle against both Rivian R1T and R1S on Edmunds once it launches.

“That vehicle is technically in a very different class than either of Rivian's offerings. It is far more reasonable to assume Cybertruck will become the number one cross-shopped vehicle on Edmunds once it launches,” he said.'s Damon Bell agrees, saying that there is more overlap between the two trucks than Scaringe implies. Price will also be a major factor for consumers choosing between a Rivian and a Tesla, especially since the Cybertruck was initially announced with a lower price than a Rivian R1T.

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