Rivian vs. Tesla: The Battle for Power

November 13, 2021
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Tesla has long been the leading name in electric vehicles. But Rivian has come along to challenge Tesla’s place in the electric vehicle world. What’s the difference between these two options? Which one is the best one for your needs? There are a lot of things to consider when you are thinking about spending the money on one of these electric vehicles. This article will take a look at the key differences between the options so that you can make an informed decision about which one is the best choice.

The Body

One of the first things that you will notice about these options is the significant difference in their appearance. Tesla has always focused on having futuristic and edgy aesthetics, while the Rivian has a more simplistic style to them. Rivian is specifically marketing their products towards those people that would normally go for a Chevy Suburban or a fully loaded Ford F150. It can be hard to overlook the initial designs of these cars, particularly if you are a fan of one aesthetic over the other.

Mechanics and Powertrain

Tesla and Rivian both utilize what’s known as a “skateboard” chassis. This means that many of the drive components and battery are incorporated into a single unit, with a design of body-on-frame. One difference between the Rivian and the Tesla is that the Rivian has a quad-motor drive with 200 HP delivered to each individual wheel, the Tesla only offers up to 3 with their tri-motor AWD package.

Another difference comes in method of cooling their battery cells. Tesla utilizes a combination of water and glycol, which runs through a pipe that is carefully snaked through the cell stacks. Rivian, however, has created a new method of cooler that they have integrated into their system. This system uses a traditional mixture of water and glycol like Tesla uses, but these are placed inside of “cold packs” that are found in between the cells. This makes the flow optimized to ensure that the maximum temperature difference between the highest and lowest temperatures is no more than 3 degrees.

One of the common elements of both of these companies is the fact that they use the typical cylindrical cell type options in their packs. What can make Rivian stand out is the fact that they have a larger volumetric energy density. This means that the power offered is far more efficiently packed into a smaller area. It is believed that the Rivian is able to store around 25% more energy per unit of volume when compared to the Model X from Tesla.

Durability and Design

Among the primary reasons behind the R1T from Rivian is for the purpose of off-roading. As a result, the brand incorporated some extra durability features into its design. This includes a ballistic-strength battery protection shield, as well as a waterproofing case, to ensure durability in various situations. This can be a great option for off-roading, but the issue becomes being able to charge your vehicle if you need to when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

The Cybertruck, on the other hand, may not have been specifically created with off-roading in mind, this was also created with high-quality durable materials. The Cybertruck was manufactured using the Ultra Hard 30x Cold Rolled stainless steel and Armor glass. These materials are promised to eliminate issues like dents, long-term corrosion, and other damage. This offers users inside of the vehicle the highest level of protection.

Primary Technologies

It’s also important to take a look at some of the important technologies for these different vehicle options. Tesla’s biggest and most integral features is the self-driving package option that you can get with their vehicles. This is a package that perfectly highlights the autonomous technology that their vehicles have to offer, working on this technology for years. For instance, Tesla has a feature named “Summon”, which is able to autonomously drive the vehicle to you.

In 2018, Rivian filed their own patent application for their self-driving technology. This technology, which is called “Systems and Methods for Operating an Autonomous Vehicle in a Guardian Mode”, will be a unique approach to self-driving technology. The idea of this technology is to allow the vehicle to drive autonomously for those users who may not be deemed completely competent to drive the Rivian vehicle.

Their idea behind this is that it can help, just as an example, a child who needs a ride to get somewhere. The systems that the actions take can are able to be routed to the parent or guardian for their approval. Any motions, such as bumping the steering wheel, which can be detected by the system as unintended or accidental will be ignored by the system. However, the concern with this is if the system makes an incorrect determination about whether or not a motion was unintended.

Which One is the Best Choice for Power?

While Tesla has years of hype on its side, Rivian is arguably one of the most promising names coming up when it comes to electric vehicle manufacturers. It’s hard to give a definitive answer until there can be a side-by-side comparison done on these vehicles. So, this section will cover information based on what is currently known about these vehicles.

The Cybertrucks will likely feature the “Raven” drivetrain, which is comprised of a Model 3 motor in the front and a Model S motor in the rear. With the dual-motor AWD, there is the potential for around 690 HP and 824 pound-feet of torque. With the single-motor option, it will likely only have a Model 3 motor in the rear. The Cybertruck could hit 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds with their mid-range option.

The Rivian might have a 764 HP potential, but it does seem slower than the Cybertruck. With the fastest version of this truck, you could potentially go from 0-60 MPH in 3.2 seconds, but it could take 5 seconds with the entry model.


There are a lot of things to consider when you are deciding on which of these options is the best one for you. It seems as though you might get more power and off-roading capabilities with the Rivian, but you may want to stick with the trusted name of Tesla for their Cybertruck. It all depends on what you’re looking for.