Rivian targets gas-powered Ford and Toyota trucks and SUVs with $5,000 ‘electric upgrade’ discount

2022 Rivian R1S 10

Rivian is offering discounts up to $5,000 on its EVs — and a year of free charging — to customers willing to trade in their gas-powered trucks and SUVs.

The deal, which kicked off April 22, is aimed directly at some of the best-selling and most ubiquitous gas-powered trucks and SUVs on the market today, including the Ford F-150, Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Wrangler. Rivian is even going after German automakers Audi and BMW. The price cut varies between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the model. Rivian is offering discounts on three R1T pickup truck trims and one R1S SUV model.

The company promoted Monday the “electric upgrade offer” in an email to prospective customers as well as posts on social media. The discounts come as demand for premium and luxury EVs has softened across the industry, prompting automakers such as Ford, Lucid and Tesla to reduce prices. Faced with uncertain demand, many legacy automakers have also pared down plans to shift their portfolios to only battery-electric vehicles. Gas-powered vehicles and hybrids are back en vogue, thanks to the steady sales and profit margins they provide.

Rivian, which is only expected to produce about 57,000 EVs in 2024, won’t unseat the best-selling trucks on the market. But the approach could help it win over a new batch of customers.

Only owners of specific gas-powered vehicles will be eligible for the trade in. Those include 2018 or newer Ford F-150 trucks, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition and Bronco, with the exception of the Bronco Sport. Other eligible trade-ins are 2018 or newer Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Tundra, Toyota Highlander, Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator. The Audi Q5, Q7 and Q8 as well as the BMW X3, X5 and X7 also qualify.

The deals applies to customers who want to lease or buy a vehicle, although they must take delivery by June 30. Rivian is also throwing in a year of free charging at any Rivian-owned charger in the United States as an added sweetener. Rivian fast-chargers, which are branded the Rivian Adventure Network, are not nearly as plentiful as the Tesla Supercharging network. The company has installed 433 fast-chargers at 71 stations, including in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and along the East Coast. Rivian has also installed 482 Level 2 chargers (called Waypoints) at 180 lives sites throughout the United States.

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