Rivian R1T
Source: Rivian

Rivian Is About to Start Production on Its Much-Hyped Electric Truck and SUV

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Feb. 23 2021, Published 1:53 p.m. ET

It’s a “critical year” for Rivian as the company prepares to start production on its highly anticipated all-electric truck and SUV after a landmark $2.6 billion investment round.

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The two EV models—dubbed R1T and R1S, respectively—were supposed to hit the market in 2020, but the timeline was delayed when the COVID-19 pandemic halted construction work on Rivian’s factory in Normal, Ill., according to The Chicago Tribune.

rivian rt
Source: Rivian
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Rivian hasn't started production yet.

Rivian will start production on its R1T all-electric pickup truck in the summer of 2021, according to a January 2021 TechCrunch report. The same website reported in July 2020 that Rivian had started a pilot production line to identify any potential problems before commencing full production.

In January 2021, Rivian announced a $2.65 billion investment round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., but also including Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners.

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“This is a critical year for us as we are launching the R1T, the R1S and the Amazon commercial delivery vehicles,” Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said at the time. “The support and confidence of our investors enables us to remain focused on these launches while simultaneously scaling our business for our next stage of growth.”

When will Rivian deliveries start?

rivian rs
Source: Rivian

The Rivian website reveals that deliveries of the R1T pickup truck will start in June 2021, while deliveries of the R1S SUV will start in August 2021. The R1T starts at $67,500, while the R1S starts at $70,000.

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The R1T and R1S models are available for pre-order. Rivian is offering an upgraded Adventure Edition and a limited Launch Edition version of both models. The Adventure Edition includes Rivian Elevation 360° audio, natural-grained ash wood interior finishes, ventilated seats, and Chilewich floor mats. The Launch Edition includes priority delivery, exclusive interior badging, a green paint color option, and an included 20” All-Terrain or 22” Sport wheel upgrade.

Meanwhile, the company is also working on custom electric vehicles for Amazon. In an October 2020 blog post, Amazon touted that 10,000 of the vehicles will be on the road “as early as 2022” with 100,000 in operation by 2030.

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Rivian's factories and employees

Rivian is based in Palo Alto, Calif., according to its careers website. The company also has locations in Irvine, Calif.; Carson, Calif.; Normal, Ill.; Plymouth, Mich.; Wittmann, Ariz.; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Woking, England.

The Illinois location—which Rivian calls the “beating heart” of the company—is a factory that once produced the Mitsubishi Eclipse before Rivian took it over and overhauled the site at a cost of more than $1 billion, according to TechCrunch.

In August 2020, The Chicago Tribune reported that the company had about 2,500 employees between its Illinois, Michigan, and California locations. A spokesperson told the newspaper that Rivian was anticipating a hiring surge to enlist about 600 additional employees at its Normal factory before production starts in earnest.

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