Insiders claim that the electric vehicle manufacturer will expand beyond trucks and SUVs shortly.
Citing insider sources, Bloomberg reports that electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is developing an electric bike. The report says that Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe announced the development of an e-bike to staff in a company meeting on Friday, adding that a small team is already at work on the new product. Interestingly, it was not made explicitly clear whether the new project is a battery-assisted bicycle, otherwise known as an e-bike, or an electric motorcycle. However, Scaringe has previously teased the possibility of an electric bicycle, which would make sense considering the automaker's focus on adventurous outdoor living. But is this the right project for Rivian to focus on right now?
Rivian recently announced layoffs after falling short of its 2022 production target, which may be the motivation for this new venture. Perhaps Rivian is hoping that additional revenue streams beyond those offered by its pickup and SUV will help to consolidate its financial position as it looks to a better year in 2023. But the micromobility space is very competitive and highly saturated, so we doubt that Scaringe and the company are looking at an e-bike as a cureall for Rivian's current difficulties. Instead, it seems likely that this will be yet another accessory that is intended to complement the image and lifestyle marketed by the R1S and R1T.
In all likelihood, Rivian is developing an e-bike simply to hedge its bets in the event that the micromobility industry swells and flourishes. Porsche, BMW, and even Tesla have shown interest in e-bikes, and considering Rivian already has plenty of expertise working with electric motors, it should not be difficult to scale its knowledge down to an electrically assisted adventure bike.
But if e-bikes fail to achieve mainstream popularity, Rivian may have devoted resources to a project that costs more than it's worth. Considering how many delays and challenges have plagued the automaker, one can't help but wonder if Rivian should focus on core products and services exclusively, at least until everything is running smoothly.