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Rivian CEO issues strong statement about people who purchase gas-powered cars: 'Sort of like building a horse barn in 1910'

"I don't think I would have believed it."

Rivian CEO says buying an ICE vehicle is like ‘building a horse barn

Photo Credit: iStock

The CEO of the fast-growing electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive has shared some strong statements about purchasing a car with an internal-combustion engine (ICE).

In conversation with Robinson Meyer of Heatmap, Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe suggested that those buying an ICE vehicle would be ignoring the progress being made in the EV space and would soon experience regret for their decision. 

"I think the reality of buying a combustion-powered vehicle … is sort of like building a horse barn in 1910," he said. "Imagine buying a Chevy Suburban in 2030 … what are you going to do with that … in 10 years?"

"Gas stations will be slowly disappearing," he added. "It's just weird."

Rivian, which has high-end SUVs in the R1T and the R1S on the market, has sold 42,000 EVs since 2021. With shifts in consumer attitudes, positive policy decisions regarding EVs worldwide, and improved drivability, Scaringe told Heatmap that the increased interest and uptake in EVs is "awesome to see." 

"If you'd told me just a few years ago," Scaringe went on, "that Europe would be committing to 100% of new vehicles being electric … that California would be making that commitment in the same way, that the United States, through EPA regulations, is going to be 60% EV of new sales by 2030, I don't think I would have believed it."

While Heatmap reported Rivian has been dealing with scaling issues in recent years, Scaringe is hopeful for the future and expects to deliver its R2 model at the start of 2026

"It's a new product, leveraging a lot of the existing technology topology that we have in R1," he told Heatmap. "R2 will be a much lighter product, inherently. And that's, I think, where you start to see where the vast majority of demand is going to be — that mid-size or smallish crossover and SUV space."

And customer confidence in the R2, as well as future R1 vehicles, might just soar thanks to a new deal with Tesla, which will allow Rivian vehicles to be charged in Tesla's Supercharger points. Adapters for existing Rivian models will be available in spring 2024. 

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