Electric vehicle maker Rivian isn't satisfied just manufacturing passenger trucks and SUVs and has its sights set on creating electric-powered bicycles.
Rivian anticipates a multimodal approach to transportation will be beneficial and that's why there isn't a single focus on just developing consumer EVs.
Rivian's ambitions related to e-bikes aren't necessarily new, as the company has had a rather busy 2022 in preparation for the future. In January, the company filed a patent related to e-bike manufacturing, with CEO RJ Scaringe implying e-bikes could have a major role.
Following the patent filing, Rivian recruited Chris Yu, former chief transformation & innovation officer at Specialized Bicycles, to become its VP of future programs.
Here is what Scaringe recently had to say to Electrek during TechCrunch Disrupt 2022:
"The e-bike space is something we're super excited about. We haven't announced anything or said anything there. But I do think it is going to play an increasingly important role for transportation, both in the movement of goods for commercial purposes, but also for the movement of people."
In a similar manner to the disruptive nature of EVs in the auto industry, bike manufacturers also have noticed a greater interest in e-bikes. German luxury carmaker Porsche unveiled two e-bikes last year, while BMW also is working on e-bikes for customers. Automakers should find e-bike R&D to be easier than manufacturing EV cars and trucks, serving as another method to gain attention to their main product portfolios.
It's perfect timing as e-bike sales are increasing, with riders getting some fresh air and exercise, or e-bike commuting. Ideally, more people in urban areas will rely on e-bikes to help make short-distance deliveries, adding another possible customer base. The US market had 463,000 e-bike imports in 2020, though that drastically climbed up to 790,000 units imported in 2021 - and there is no shortage of e-bike models to choose from.