EV Chief Compares Buying a Gas-Powered Car to 'Building a Horse Barn'

They will soon be "relics of the past."

The entire automotive industry is clearly trending toward electric vehicles but there are still lots of internal combustion cars and trucks being made. But one EV CEO has some strong opinions for anyone who’s considering buying one.

R.J. Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, spoke last month with Heatmap about his company’s progress and was asked if consumer confidence in EVs is growing. He admitted there are still lots of valid reasons for sticking with gas-powered vehicles for now but predicted that, in the next few years, those reasons will run out.

“Then I think the reality of buying a combustion powered vehicle, in light of the policy that's coming, is sort of like building a horse barn in 1910,” he said. “Like, imagine buying a Chevy Suburban in 2030. Like, what are you going to do with that, right? In 10 years? Yeah, like gas stations will be slowly disappearing. It's just weird.”

Scaringe added that internal combustion vehicles are heading toward becoming “relics of the past,” which he said will be a big factor in pushing consumers toward EVs.

“I think we're one product cycle away from that really driving consumer demand,” he said.

Rivian, which produces models including the R1T and R1S, has been pumping out more EVs lately. The company earlier this month said it increased production by about 50% during the second quarter as compared to the first quarter of 2023. It led Rivian to increase its total 2023 production guidance to 52,000 vehicles. The modest increase was attributed to progress Rivian has seen on its production lines, ramping up its in-house motor line, and supply chain outlook.

As production increases, so does Rivian’s monthly deliveries. The company said it delivered 12,640 vehicles during the second quarter, nearly three times as many as it did during the same quarter of 2022. Still, Rivian has a long way to go before it catches up with U.S. EV market leaders like Tesla and General Motors.

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