On the cusp of the release of Rivian’s electric truck and SUV, the company has also been releasing a stream of details, the latest of which documents what is purportedly the industry’s best battery warranty. If all goes according to plan, Rivian will surpass industry leader Tesla at least in terms of battery warranties.
Rivian recently announced that its R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV will come with an eight-year, 175,000 mi (approximately 280,000 km) warranty which covers all components within the battery pack and guarantees an above-70% battery capacity.
Owners of the R1T and R1S will enjoy a five-year, 96,000 km new vehicle warranty and an eight-year, 280,000 km drivetrain component warranty.
Before Rivian’s arrival, Tesla had been offering eight-year, 240,000 km warranties for its high-end Models S/X. For the duration of the warranty, Tesla guarantees an above-70% battery capacity. In addition, the company provides a four-year, 80,000 km new vehicle warranty specifically for newly purchased Teslas.
One of the commonest considerations in purchasing an EV concerns battery life and battery maintenance, since these areas are not typically covered within the purviews of conventional automotive body repairs, to the point where they can be said to be complete unknowns for the average body shop. However, most EV warranties far exceed the average lifetime mileage for most drivers. Case in point, although Tesla owners in Taiwan are generally dissatisfied with their domestic aftersales services, they are generally covered with respect to battery health.
Rivian is offering its remarkable warranty as the company wants the warranty to match its EV’s premium US$70,000 price tag and as a means of promoting its battery to the world at large.
In comparison, relatively affordable models have relatively shorter warranties. Much like the Nissan Leaf and VW ID.3/4, entry-level Model 3s have a warranty of eight years, 160,000 km (whereas warranties for the Long Range and Performance variants cover up to 192,000 km). The only model whose warranty does not match its asking price is perhaps the Porsche Taycan, which, in spite of the price tag that matches its high-end status, has the same warranty coverage of eight years and 160,000 km as other, lesser models.
Apart from the distance and duration covered by the warranty, prospective EV buyers need also keep in mind that the official driving range claimed by automakers should be taken at a 20% discount once the EV in question is in use, and this figure may undergo an additional 30% drop after five to eight years of driving. For instance, an EV with 400 km of official driving range may end up with only 230 km or so of actual driving range after seven to eight years on the road.