Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Rivian has disclosed its end-of-year goals and outlined its trajectory for 2024, including the development of a new simplified battery pack structure set to be integrated into upcoming R1 electric vehicles (EVs).
Entering Q4 with notable momentum, Rivian has navigated through supply chain delays and varying demand for EVs, presenting better-than-expected production numbers in its Q3 report. The American automaker has maintained price points, with continued interest from U.S. consumers aiding in the ramp-up of electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) and R1 EV production at its Normal, IL plant.
According to Claire McDonough, Rivian's Chief Financial Officer, the company is currently contribution margin positive on both EDVs and R1 vehicles, anticipating gross margin positivity in 2024. McDonough shared these insights during an interview at Barclays' 2023 Global Automotive & Mobility Tech Conference.
In the interview, McDonough discussed Rivian's journey through the year, addressing early challenges and optimizing assembly lines for improved efficiency. She highlighted the successful production of commercial and passenger EVs, along with the introduction of in-house technologies such as the Enduro drive unit designed for dual-motor vehicles.
One key development highlighted by McDonough is the introduction of Rivian's Standard battery pack, expected to reach customers in 2024. This innovation aims to broaden the market for R1 vehicles, offering a starting price in the low $70,000 range.
In a surprising revelation, McDonough mentioned a new battery in the works designed to simplify the battery pack and module structure, reducing costs and mass significantly. She emphasized that this innovation will enhance operational efficiency, including cost efficiency, with its introduction planned for the following year.
When questioned about the production cadence in 2024, McDonough mentioned a temporary shutdown of assembly lines in Q2 to prepare for new introductions. She highlighted a methodical approach to reintroducing R1 variants, including three battery packs, two drive units, and a new network architecture. The CFO emphasized that this phased approach will impact both Q2 and Q3 volumes.
As Rivian gears up for these changes, McDonough mentioned the company's focus on ramping up new supply chains to support the integration of these technologies within the plant. The developments, including the new simplified battery pack, are expected to be further clarified in Q1 2024, ahead of the temporary assembly line shutdown.