Among pure electric carmakers, Rivian is trying to differentiate itself with a brand that is equally rugged and premium. But there are other things that set Rivian apart, according to new analysis from IHS Markit.
According to the company, Rivian is the only pure electric vehicle maker to outsource electric motors, which the company noted in a recent blog post is doing so to help accelerate the launch of the Rivian R1T pickup truck. Rivian does plan to gradually adopt its own motor design, as well as a series of changes including a heat pump and an 800-volt electrical architecture.
Automaker outsources electric motors (via IHS Markit)
For now, though, Rivian is taking a different approach to the likes of Tesla and Lucid. For these automakers, proprietary, in-house motor designs are at the heart of driving efficiency.
The internal motor is also more in line with the conventions of the traditional auto industry. According to IHS Markit, about 90% of internal combustion engines are currently purchased in-house. Engine development has long been the pride of automakers, and engine characteristics have been an important part of many brand identities. Think BMW’s inline-6 or Chevy’s small V-8.
IHS Markit predicts that in the next decade, the motor development strategy will also revolve around insourcing.
2022 Rivian R1T
Volvo’s parent company Geely is currently listed as outsourcing nearly all of its electric vehicle motors, but both Volvo and Polestar have announced that they have in-housed motor development.
There are also companies that do it differently – like General Motors. The automaker said it has designed a new generation of electric motors but will not manufacture them directly.
That certainly leaves room for Bosch, Magna, Nidec, Toshiba, GE, and many other suppliers — including some names you might associate with internal combustion, like Yamaha.