The electric vehicle (EV) market is crowded with highly rated companies and dozens of models of sedans, coupes, SUVs, and trucks. While Tesla is the biggest name in the industry, there are many other notable EV automakers with similarities and differences. Find out how Rivian Automotive compares with Tesla, Inc. today. Review these two companies and their best-selling electric SUVs and pickup trucks head to head to see their pros and cons.

Tesla vs Rivian: Side-by-Side Comparison

Tesla, Inc.Rivian Automotive
What It Is:Largest EV company in the world with a focus on renewable energy solutionsElectric vehicle automaker focused on fully electric sport utility and off-road vehicles
Company Founder:Elon MuskRJ Scaringe
Founded:20032009
Units Sold:1,917,4502,147
Number of Employees:Over 99,000Over 11,000
Headquarters:Austin, TX (Formerly Palo Alto, CA)Irvine, CA
Vehicle Lineup:Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Roadster, CybertruckR1S, R1T
Company Net Worth:About $797.3 billionAbout $77 billion

Tesla vs Rivian: Four Must-Know Facts

  • Rivian became the first automaker to start production of an EV pickup truck.
  • Tesla is named after Nikola Tesla, the 19th-century electricity pioneer.
  • Tesla filed a lawsuit against Rivian in July 2020 alleging Rivian stole trade secrets and actively recruited former Tesla employees.
  • Both Rivian and Tesla are working on driver assistance and autonomous driving features.
Consumers have a tough choice to make when choosing between Tesla vs Rivian.

Tesla, Inc. vs Rivian Automotive: The Complete Comparison

Originally founded in 2003 as Tesla Motors, Tesla, Inc. is an American automaker dedicated to EVs, home power storage systems, solar panels, and other technologies for sustainable energy. It’s best known for its electric vehicles, which dominate the EV market in terms of sales.

Tesla EVs are stylized, luxurious, and modern. They feature excellent safety features, streamlined touch screen dashboards, and zero emissions. The company focuses on direct sales and rolling out charging nationwide charging stations to encourage the increase in EV ownership. The Model Y is the current best seller, followed closely by the Model X and Model 3. Tesla is known for providing a unique customer experience, including driver profiles and a customizable dash.

Rivian was founded by Robert “RJ” Scaringe and was initially backed by Amazon and Ford, though Ford has since distanced itself from the company. Rivian is known for creating “Electric Adventure Vehicles.” It offers the R1T, a fully electric pickup truck, and the R1S, an SUV created for off-road driving. Despite the similarities, there are key differences between these two brands.

The company is best known for its radically different focus in the EV industry. While many companies are targeting the luxury sedan, SUV, and sports car market, Rivian took a dramatic turn with the world’s first EV pickup truck. The company’s goals include preserving the planet and creating a loyal following through a membership program and unique customer experience.

In terms of sheer company size, Tesla is the easy winner. Tesla’s net worth and the number of employees are about 10 times that of Rivian. Tesla also offers more vehicle models and an entire line of home energy solutions.

Rivian, however, pulls ahead in some key areas. It was the first company to produce an electric pickup. Ford has followed with the F-150 Lightning but the Tesla Cybertruck isn’t expected to be manufactured until 2023. Both companies offer free membership plans with a vehicle purchase but the Rivian plan includes unique features like roadside assistance if you run out of power or are stranded in the wilderness. Rivian members can expect meetups and adventures as well as renewable energy resource donations matched with miles driven for a personalized customer experience.

Tesla filed a lawsuit against Rivian due to allegations of stolen trade secrets and hiring former employees. Secrets include trade secrets surrounding battery technology and other features.

Tesla Cybertruck vs Rivian R1T

The Rivian R1T was released in 2021.

Shopping for an EV truck wasn’t a possibility before 2021. As the electric pickup truck race commenced, Rivian was the first to offer vehicles available for customers. While the R1T may have had the first release date, sales of the Tesla Cybertruck are expected to follow in 2023. Explore the pros and cons of both trucks today to see if the Rivian R1T is right for you or if you should wait for the release date of the iconic Tesla Cybertruck in the near future.

Just like Tesla’s other EV offerings, the Cybertruck promises to include a host of one-of-a-kind features and a radical look. The Cybertruck is expected to be larger, tow slightly less, and come with three different configurations. Here are some key features of Tesla’s electric pickup truck:

  • A 30x cold-rolled steel exoskeleton and armor glass safety features
  • Towing capacity between 7,500 and 14,000 pounds
  • Adjustable air suspension
  • Drive range of over 500 miles
  • Six seats
  • A transparent armor glass roof
  • Additional autopilot capability and full self-drive option, once legally available for use on the road

The flagship Rivian vehicle, the R1T electric pickup truck, boasts its own unique features and advantages. Similarities include state-of-the-art features, durable designs, and plenty of passenger room. There are some major differences as well, such as the exterior design, storage areas, and price. This EV alternative looks far more like a standard pickup and offers a host of handy tools and tricks. From off-road weekend trips to your daily commute, here are some features that make the R1T a serious competitor: 

  • An onboard air compressor that reaches all four tires
  • A carabiner-shaped key fob
  • Tank turn functionality (pending its release date) to allow the R1T to spin on its axis
  • Waterproof frunk with drain plug to allow it to be used as a cooler
  • Gear tunnel storage area, under-the-seat storage, and flashlight hidden in the door
  • Gear Guard security cameras for added safety

Tesla Model X vs Rivian R1S

The Tesla Model X boasts the largest panoramic windshield in the world.

Both the Model X and the R1S combine the convenience and versatility of an SUV with the eco-friendly, zero-emission performance of an EV. The Model X is one of the most expensive EV SUVs on the market, with an MSRP price starting at $114,990. It offers all-wheel-drive performance and a range of over 300 miles. The stylish interior has seating for up to seven passengers and a signature Tesla look. Here are some other notable features of the Model X:

  • World’s largest panoramic windshield
  • Large touchscreen dashboard
  • Tri-zone temperature controls
  • Falcon wing doors
  • Full self-driving capability, subject to availability, including autopilot, auto lane change, and autopark

The Rivian R1S is a direct competitor with the Model X, though the MSRP starting price of $72,500 makes it a more affordable alternative. It also offers seven seats and over 300 miles of range. The independent air suspension design and all-wheel-drive capabilities help this dynamic vehicle drive on and off the road. It also includes these features:

  • Folding seats for extra storage space
  • All-glass roof
  • Multiple exterior colors
  • Rivian Cargo Crossbars
  • Adjustable vehicle height
  • Driver+ hands-free driving assistance

Tesla vs Rivian: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

While Tesla and Rivian are direct competitors and two major names in the EV industry, it’s difficult to choose one company as the best for every consumer. Both are strong companies to invest in. Tesla, however, is larger, more established, and has a wider range of EV models available for consumers to choose from. It also has a broader range of products, like home energy systems. 

Rivian is a rising star in the industry. The success of both the R1T and the R1S makes this younger company a strong competitor. Both models offer distinct off-road design features and a strong membership plan.

Tesla vs Rivian: Compared FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are Tesla and Rivian known for?

Tesla is known for luxury EVs and home energy systems. Tesla vehicles have signature looks and minimalist interiors. Rivian is known for adventure EVs that are designed for light off-road use, camping trips, and more. Both companies offer innovative features and exclusive communities. Tesla has recently filed a lawsuit against Rivian alleging that former Tesla employees passed on trade secrets.

Who's more successful, Tesla or Rivian?

Tesla is currently more successful, with a net worth of around $797.3 billion compared to Rivian’s net worth of approximately $77 billion.

Is Tesla bigger than Rivian?

Yes, Tesla has sold an estimated 1,917,450 units to date and has over 99,000 employees. Rivian, a younger company, has only sold 2,147 units and employs more than 11,000 individuals.

Which is better, Tesla or Rivian?

Tesla and Rivian have different pros and cons. Tesla EVs tend to focus on luxury performance, self-driving features, and stylish looks. Rivian EVs focus on off-road capabilities, dynamic storage options, and customizable features.

How long do Tesla cars last?

Most Tesla vehicles can go up to 120,000 miles without any major issues. The electric drivetrain can reach up to 750,000 miles and the batteries only experience a 10% decrease in charge after 200,000 miles.

What are the weaknesses of Tesla?

The major weaknesses of Tesla as a company include manufacturing shortages, relying on Elon Musk as the sole representative, and the price of its vehicles. Tesla will need to keep up with demand and increase production in order to maintain its high demand for EVs.

Which is faster, Tesla or Rivian?

The fastest Tesla EV, the Roadster, can reach a top speed of over 250 miles per hour. It also changes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 1.9 seconds. The Rivian R1S, however, can only reach a top speed of 124.9 miles per hour and can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 3.9 seconds.

What makes Rivian different from Tesla?

Rivian EVs are designed for adventure, including off-road and all-weather situations. Rivian vehicles also look more traditional and come with unique storage features. Tesla EVs generally focus more on luxury, unique style, and speed.

Does Rivian have a future?

Despite facing losses in the first quarter of 2022, Rivian is expected to be successful. It offers unique features and in-demand alternatives in a crowded EV market.

How long does the Rivian battery last?

Both the R1T and R1S have a charge range of over 300 miles. Because Rivian EVs are just becoming available in 2022, the total lifetime of the battery is unknown.

What is so special about Rivian?

Rivian EVs are known for being adventure vehicles. This means more all-terrain, all-weather approaches, and unique storage options. Rivian is committed to creating EVs with more range per battery charge than Tesla and other competitors, though current ranges are comparable.

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