Home Substantial portion Rivian is one of the few pure electric vehicle manufacturers to have outsourced its electric motors

Rivian is one of the few pure electric vehicle manufacturers to have outsourced its electric motors


Pure electric vehicle companies have adopted many strategies to stand out from the competition. Tesla manufactures many of its components in-house, including the electric motors for its vehicles. Even Lucid Motors, which continues to ramp up production of the Air, proudly pointed out that its electric motors, which were also developed in-house, are incredibly compact and efficient. Rivian, on the other hand, seems to have adopted a different strategy.

Information services provider IHS Markit has taken a look at the motor sourcing strategies of several automakers, particularly in the context of the emergence of the electric vehicle sector. According to the company’s analysis, it appears that established electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla appear to view electric drive units as critical to their efficiency and as a potential source of competitive advantage. An example of this could be found in the new electric motors in the Tesla Model S and Model X Plaid, which feature carbon sleeved rotors.

Credit: IHS Markit

It was technology that was developed and eventually produced in-house, and it gives the Model S and Model X Plaid some notable advantages over their equally priced rivals. Lucid is the same way, with the company taking special care to ensure that its engines are as compact and efficient as possible. This is a strategy not shared by some seasoned automakers like General Motors, some of which have chosen to source electric motors from Tier 1 suppliers like Bosch.

Rivian could be seen as something of an outlier in IHS Markit’s analysis. Indeed, the electric truck manufacturer initially completely outsourced its electric drive units, which allowed the company to accelerate its product launches. However, it’s worth noting that even Rivian is also developing its own electric motors, meaning the company will likely adopt an in-house strategy in the future as well, similar to rivals like Tesla and Lucid. IHS Markit, for its part, noted that insourcing is likely to be more prevalent over the next decade.

“We expect a steady move toward insourcing electric motors over the next decade, driven in part by US OEMs. However, there will be many situations where outsourcing will continue to make sense. For example, Rivian initially outsourced its electric drive entirely, which helped accelerate the launch of its first product, while later developing its own. BorgWarner’s recently announced acquisition of engine supplier Santroll shows that Tier 1s are still experiencing significant volume growth in this area. Automakers may never fully outsource electric drives. As mature as the internal combustion engine is, this industry is 90% internal, while 10% of engines are externally sourced,” noted IHS Markit.

Rivian may still be ramping up vehicle deliveries, but the company has already shown signs that it would be ready to adapt to the market. Just recently, and as nickel prices soared amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, CEO RJ Scaringe said during the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings call that Rivian is reportedly using nickel-free lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells for its Amazon delivery. vans. That’s pretty impressive from the company, given that its Amazon delivery vans will likely make up a substantial portion of Rivian’s output in the near future.

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Rivian is one of the few pure electric vehicle manufacturers to have outsourced its electric motors