You already know about this one. That’s the reason it’s number one on this list. Rivian’s approach has been to essentially make a Toyota Tacoma that is fully electric and from the year 2020. The Tacoma historically has been the truck for everyone who didn’t want to deal with mustering up the bravado of other truck owners. Basically normal people, like me. That’s why the Rivian has the same appeal, it feels familiar, and it feels approachable.
They didn’t get too far away from the typical styling of a truck but enough that we feel like it’s the evolved form of the Tacoma Pokemon. But besides the truck why should Rivian be something to watch? It’s because of the people behind the company. For instance, Mark Vinnels, the engineer of the Mclaren 720s, is the Chief Engineer. I used to skateboard, so I’m also partial to the skateboard platform -- it’s pretty cool. The optimistic future for Rivian is hopefully the same route that companies like Volvo or Mercedes developed; in not only making consumer vehicles but producing high-quality commercial vehicles. Rivian already partnering with Amazon last year is definitely a sign of this.
The idea is this, what if the car was a solar panel? I remember growing up having so much fun with my dad building those tiny solar kit cars. I also remember seeing those first prototypes of electric cars, a lot of them actually used solar, and they were really really ugly. This one isn’t that ugly, in fact, it’s really not ugly. The car looks a little bit like a fish, which must mean that it’s aerodynamic. It’s not that fast, in fact it’s probably gonna lose to my wife’s Prius Prime; the car goes 10-60 in 10 seconds.
The goal of the Lightyear One isn’t to be fast, to be a Tesla killer, or anything like that. The goal is really to be a Prius Killer, which is why the slower the better. If you’re a Prius owner like I guess I am, you know that your Prius will give your driving a score, and it always gives me a score of roughly 70 because it says I accelerate too quickly. Well perhaps with the Lightyear One I wouldn’t have that problem, which isn’t better for me but it is better for the environment. Lightyear has some pretty good claims as far as charging specs go. They say through fast-charging you can get up to 570km worth of charge in one hour. The range is 450 miles if you drive it right, where a Tesla will only get you 390. Their cars haven’t (at the time of writing this) gone into production yet, but you can pre-order one of these Gungan (star wars reference), land cruisers.