September 29, 2023
Rivian says its R1T pickup will be able to tow 11,000 pounds, be ready for the 2020 model year and start at about $69,000.

Photo: Rivian

R.J. Scaringe has shifted gears to focus on making an all-electric pickup.

Photo: Rivian

Research Florida

What happened to auto company Rivian?

Amy Martinez | 8/26/2019

What Happened to Rivian?

FLORIDA TREND discovered auto company Rivian in 2011 (Economic Engine?) when it was a 30-employee startup emerging from stealth mode in Rockledge. Its wunderkind founder, then 28-year-old R.J. Scaringe, who grew up in Cocoa Beach, formed the company name from a combination of Indian and River, as in Indian River County. An MIT-educated engineer, Scaringe planned to create — in Florida of all places — a car maker with a new way of making cars. His coupes would cost under $30,000, get 60 mpg and were just two years from production with revolutionary designs and manufacturing techniques that would slash the typical car manufacturing costs.

Eight years later, the coupes, gas engine and Florida base are no more. But Scaringe, at 35 still a boy wonder, has the automotive media’s motor running with his plan to begin production next year of an all-electric, Range Rover-priced pickup to be followed in 2021 with an SUV. Each wheel will have its own independent electric drive, which makes for a pricey machine but one in which the space under the hood goes for cargo. It will hit 60 in three seconds, have a 400-mile range, can climb mud and rocks, ford water a meter deep and meet other off-road challenges.

Rivian abandoned Florida for Michigan in 2015. “The prime reason was to be nearer the automotive supply base,” says Michael McHale, Rivian’s communications director. It plans to build its vehicles in central Illinois in a plant that once assembled Mitsubishis. Rivian also has operations in California. Scaringe has backing from Ford, Amazon, Sumitomo Corp. of America and a Saudi conglomerate, among others.

Scaringe’s challenges include getting vehicles produced and to market, a challenge heightened by plans from other auto newbies and longtime manufacturers to bring out electric pickups and SUVs, too.


Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.

Select from the following options:


Access Article Now!


Get a single DIGITAL copy of this issue



Get a single PRINT copy of this issue

plus $3 postage & handling


One year in PRINT

plus a FREE gift!


One year DIGITAL

plus a FREE gift!


One year Combo

plus a FREE gift!


If you are already a print subscriber,
to your existing subscription here!
(or call our office at 727-892-2643)

* offer valid for new subscribers only

Tags: Research & Development, Retail & Sales, Technology/Innovation, Transportation, Research Florida, Feature

Florida Business News

  • Florida’s population boom drives bigger hurricane losses, despite tougher building codes

    Florida leads the nation in strict building codes, and the decades of hard work have paid off in the increasing number of homes and buildings that survive each time a hurricane slashes the state. But all those hard-won gains have been undermined by the explosion of growth along the coast.

  • Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of September 29th

    Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video news brief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.

  • Enterprise Florida exiting

    The doors are ready to close on Enterprise Florida, the business-recruitment agency long targeted by state House leaders.

  • Seeking protection

    Three activist groups served notice to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they intend to sue to force the agency to invoke Endangered Species Act protection for the ghost orchid.

  • State jobless claims decrease

    An estimated 5,155 first-time jobless claims were filed in Florida last week, a decrease from the previous week and below the average for the year.

Florida News Releases

Florida Trend Video Pick

Radioactive roads? Florida has yet to submit application to EPA to start testing
Radioactive roads? Florida has yet to submit application to EPA to start testing

It appears no steps have been taken to begin testing whether slightly radioactive waste from fertilizer production can be repurposed for Florida road construction projects.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you believe that home values in Florida have finally peaked?

  • Absolutely!
  • No way!
  • The jury's still out...
  • Other (Let us know in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701

© Copyright 2023 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.