The electric-vehicle company Rivian currently only makes three different cars. But the marque is already getting ready to expand into other forms of transport.
A Rivian electric bike is currently under development, Bloomberg has reported. It’s unclear whether that means a battery-powered motorcycle or bicycle, but the company does have patents for ebike components and designs. The move was disclosed last week at a company-wide meeting, sources told Bloomberg.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said that a small group of engineers was working on the ebike. In October, he had explained that one of the marque’s long-term goals was moving into the micro-mobility space, but Friday’s staff meeting was the first time he mentioned work on an actual product. (Rivian representatives declined to comment to Bloomberg.)
The ebike would join Rivian’s lineup of more substantial EVs: the battery electric R1T pick-up and the plug-in R1S SUV, along with electric delivery vans that the company builds for Amazon. Unfortunately, almost all Rivian EVs were recalled back in October, thanks to a loose bolt.
It’s an interesting time to announce the ebike news, given the rough start Rivian has had to 2023. Last week, it also said that it would be cutting 6 percent of its staff, after already reducing workforce numbers significantly in 2022. At Friday’s meeting, Scaringe said the layoffs were due to profitability and a desire to refocus on ramping up EV production. Sources told Bloomberg that Scaringe admitted that the company had tried to do too much too quickly.
The marque will find itself facing some steep competition in the ebike field, a market that’s expected to reach $48 billion by 2028. People are turning to the two-wheelers for various reasons: the health benefits, the lower environmental impact and the overall decreased cost when compared with having a car. The details of the Rivian model have yet to be disclosed, so we don’t know where it will fall on the spectrum of ebike options, but it will certainly enter a crowded field.
Hopefully the company’s ebike faces fewer problems than its larger EVs have already encountered.