Electric vehicle startup Rivian is reportedly working on an e-bike. According to Bloomberg, CEO RJ Scaringe told Rivian employees of the project during a company-wide meeting the automaker held on Friday. He said the startup had a “small group” of engineers working on a bike.
Bloomberg couldn’t confirm if Scaringe was referring to an electric motorcycle or bicycle, but the outlet notes Rivian has patents for cycling components and designs. In the past, Scaringe has said Rivian wants to expand into the micromobility market eventually. Rivian did not immediately respond to Engadget’s comment request.
The news that Rivian could be working on an e-bike comes in the same week that the company announced layoffs that would affect six percent of its workforce. The cuts represent the second major restructuring Rivian has undertaken in less than a year. The company said the move was an effort to refocus itself on scaling production of its R1T and R1S EVs and, in turn, put Rivian on the path to long-term profitability. On Friday, Scaringe reportedly told employees Rivian had spread itself thin by trying to do too much at once.
Attempting to expand into the e-bike market when the company has yet to make a profit might not make much sense, but there’s a compelling reason for Rivian to pursue that strategy. Even before the pandemic, the cycling market was growing thanks to the popularity of e-bikes. In fact, electric bikes have consistently outsold electric cars and trucks. It’s no surprise since they’re significantly cheaper to produce and thereby cost less for consumers to buy. A bike then could be what Rivian needs to become profitable sooner.