The friendly rivalry between Tesla and Rivian is not so friendly anymore.
Tesla filed a lawsuit against Rivian last week in California. Tesla claims Rivian poached its employees and stole trade secrets. Bloomberg first reported the lawsuit.
Rivian called the allegations baseless.
“We admire Tesla for its leadership in resetting expectations of what an electric car can be,” the company said in a statement. “Rivian is made up of high-performing, mission-driven teams, and our business model and technology are based on many years of engineering, design and strategy development. This requires the contribution and know-how of thousands of employees from across the technology and automotive spaces. Upon joining Rivian, we require all employees to confirm that they have not, and will not, introduce former employers' intellectual property into Rivian systems. This suit’s allegations are baseless and run counter to Rivian's culture, ethos and corporate policies.”
Until now, Rivian and Tesla have been cordial competitors, at least publicly. Rivian is planning to make electric pickup trucks. So is Tesla.
Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe’s go-to line about Tesla’s Elon Musk is that he “made electric cars cool.”
“They took the untruth that electric cars are boring and slow and flipped that,” Scaringe told WGLT at the LA Auto Show in 2018, before Tesla's Cybertruck announcement. “But they’re focused on a different space than we are. And it’s a great company. We feel the world needs multiple, many different avenues to build vehicles. It’s not just one flavor, and that’s of course what we’re working toward.”
Rivian is not the first company Tesla has sued over trade secrets. It sued Chinese EV startup Xpeng Motors over alleged theft of intellectual property related to driver assistance. And just this year Tesla won a settlement against self-driving startup Zoox.
Delivery dates released
Rivian plans to make its electric vehicles in Normal, starting next year. It already has 350 employees in Normal, with plans to hire hundreds more.
Rivian on Friday announced that deliveries of its R1T pickup truck would begin in June 2021, with sport utility vehicle (R1S) deliveries starting in August 2021.
Our pilot production line is now running at our Normal, IL plant, bringing us another step closer to full production launch. Expect R1T deliveries to begin June 2021, with R1S deliveries beginning August 2021. pic.twitter.com/QXIt9jIFH1
— Rivian (@Rivian) July 24, 2020
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