The automotive industry is – generally speaking – all about making money. Even the most expensive car brands out there selling $200,000+ models will look for ways of cutting manufacturing costs as much as possible, so their profit is as big as possible.
That’s how you get BMW parts in a Rolls-Royce, for example, or Volkswagen components in a Porsche. And the world of electric vehicles is no different; the brands trying to make a name for themselves in this space are still businesses that need to make money in order to survive, so they adapt.
Case in point: did you know that the front seat frames of the Rivian R1S and R1T are basically the same as those found on the Hyundai Ioniq 5? Because I didn’t know, until I watched the video embedded at the top of this page, where Carl from the Munro Live team compares how the seats on the Tesla Model S, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Rivian vehicles are made.
It’s quite an interesting analysis, going as in-depth as one can, showing how Rivian chose to modify the basic design of the Hyundai seat, which ultimately led to a much higher manufacturing cost.
The plastic trims that come at the base of the seat are painted on a Rivian, while the ones used by Hyundai are unpainted, but the difference is almost impossible to spot between the two. Also, Rivian added a lot of other plastic bits and pieces to make the seatback look original, but this raised the cost even further.
Another interesting discovery is that the Ioniq 5 seatbacks seem to have been designed to have a tilting headrest, which is not offered as a feature in the all-electric Hyundai.
Tesla, on the other hand, used a rather expensive solution for channeling the air for the cooled seat function by using a standalone plenum and two types of foam, compared to Rivian and Hyundai, who went on a more cost-effective route.
All in all, it’s a nice deep dive, so go ahead and watch the video at the top of the page. Then, we’d like to know what you think about it, so head over to the comments section below to give us your thoughts.