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Tesla’s Competition

Previously published December 10, 2021.

Previously published December 10, 2021.


Rivian Motors

Within the next few years, Tesla may face some challenging competition for the best vehicle in the electric car market. Rivian and Lucid Motors are upcoming electric car companies that have impressive range, acceleration, and quality, especially for their price.

So far, Rivian has released the designs for two cars: the R1T and R1S. The R1S is an electric truck which is excellent for off-roading, while the R1S is the SUV version of the truck so it has more seats. To kickstart the startup, Amazon funded them by purchasing 100,000 Rivian vans made solely for deliveries. Another investor is Ford, who put in $500,000,000. Rivian’s truck starts at around $67,000. Many of the features in Rivian cars overlap with Tesla’s cars, such as the panoramic roof and an autonomous driving system. In 2022, the R1T took advantage of every inch to create tons of storage space, even in unexpected places. Of course, they have the standard frunk (front trunk) and truck bed. Other unique aspects of this 5-seater is a gear tunnel located on the side of the truck, a mini-stand for cooking, and a distinct platform which many experts describe as a “skateboard.” The quad motor lets the car quickly accelerate from 0-60 mph in three seconds, which is extremely quick for a truck, and the truck has a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs, in comparison to the Ford Raptor’s towing capacity which is under 8200 lbs. Most notably, this electric truck model boasts a range of 314 miles.

The most accurate comparison to Rivian’s pickup truck is Tesla’s upcoming Cyber Truck, which will probably be released in 2022 as well. Depending on the variant, the truck can achieve up to a range of 500 miles. Surprisingly, both trucks are somewhat targeted for off-roading and camping adventures, as demonstrated by the pictures  on the official website.

Next, we’ll discuss the R1S, the SUV version of the truck, which is essentially equivalent to the R1T in its statistics and looks. However, the R1S sacrifices some storage space for two extra seats. The SUV-version can conveniently lower its height, making it easier to load groceries or get into the car. This car is most comparable to the Model X, Tesla’s SUV.

Both of the car models will have chargers that are compatible with Tesla’s superchargers, although Rivian also plans to make their own charging destinations that any electric vehicle can charge with. One of the most impactful features that these cars will support is Driver+, Rivian’s version of Tesla’s autopilot. In Driver+, the car has Adaptive Cruise Control for automatic steering, braking, and acceleration, Lane Change Assist, Park Assist, Collision Mitigation, and Lane Safety. Both Tesla’s autonomous driving system and Driver+ has an SAE level of 2. An SAE level measures the automation capability of vehicles. The R1T and the R1S will have three variants: the Adventure Package, the Explore Package, and the Launch Package. The Explore Package is the base model; and the Adventure Package is the premium version; and the Launch Package is the limited version of the Adventure Package.

Interestingly, Tesla is currently suing Rivian because they believe that their rivals are encouraging their workers to leave and share non-disclosure secrets. Employees from Tesla are influenced to accept a job at Rivian due to higher wages, according to a source who works at Tesla. This lawsuit could alter the release date of the cars or even cancel the production of the cars if it is serious enough. Nonetheless, the R1T and R1S are amazing cars that will be revolutionary to the future of electric SUVs and trucks.

On the other hand, Lucid Motors have made one car –a sedan called the Lucid Air that they plan to release this year. Since their headquarters are in Newark, CA, you may have seen one driving near you for road testing purposes. The Lucid Air has four variants: the Air Pure, Air Dream Edition, Air Touring, and Air Grand Touring. Each of these variants have significantly different prices and features. For example, the base model, which is the Air Pure, starting at $77,000, has around 400 horsepower and a range of 406 miles.On the other hand, the Lucid Air Dream Edition will be priced at $139,000 with a range of 520 miles and 1111 horsepower. The founders plan to deliver the cars in 2022. This model is most similar to the Tesla Model S Plaid. The Plaid, however, is more sporty than Lucid’s luxury sedan due to the faster acceleration and track-focused steering wheel. Lucid also wants to release an SUV, called Project Gravity, in 2023. As of now, there is little information about this SUV, but just like the R1S, it will have seven seats with abundant storage space. Likewise, the Lucid Air will break new barriers in electric vehicles.


The Lucid Air

All in all, Tesla’s main competitors are developing fast. They plan to release their revolutionary cars in the next couple years, and are on track to break records in terms of range, acceleration, horsepower, and more. Be prepared for industry-changing advancements for electric vehicles soon.

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Aman Varshney
Aman Varshney, Staff Writer

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