Rivian’s first-production R1T electric pickup truck rolls off the line – TechCrunch


The first-production Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in “Rivian blue” rolled off the assembly line Tuesday morning at the company’s factory in Normal, Illinois, marking a milestone of more than a decade in manufacturing for the manufacturer. of automobiles and its founder and CEO, RJ. Scaringe.

The company, which started in 2009 as Mainstream Motors before adopting the Rivian name two years later, has seen explosive growth in terms of people, sponsors and partners in recent years.

Rivian operated in relative darkness, also known as stealth mode, for years before unveiling prototypes of its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show in late 2018.

Since then, Rivian has raised billions of dollars ($ 10.5 billion total); expanded its Normal, Illinois factory; hired thousands of employees; landed Amazon as a business customer; and, more recently, submitted confidentially for an initial public offering. Today, in addition to its Illinois factory, Rivian has facilities in Palo Alto and Irvine, California; and Plymouth, Michigan; and an office in the UK

When it first revealed the two electric vehicles in 2018, Rivian had around 600 employees. Today it has more than 7,000.

Rivian’s announcement on Tuesday, which marks the official start of R1T production for customers, comes after at least two delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and global chip shortages. Earlier this summer, Scaringe wrote in a letter to customers that deliveries for R1T would begin in September, and that R1S would follow “shortly.”

Rivian has been juggling the grieving priorities of preparing and eventually producing the R1T and R1S for consumers and commercial delivery trucks for Amazon. The Illinois factory has two independent production lines that produce vehicles. One is dedicated to R1 vehicles and the other line is for your commercial vans.

Amazon ordered 100,000 of these vans, with deliveries beginning in 2021. Earlier this year, Amazon began testing the electric delivery van in several cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Earlier this month, Rivian announced that the first-edition version of the R1T pickup truck has an official EPA range of 314 miles, while its R1T SUV hits 316 miles.

Official range and fuel economy values ​​posted on the US Environmental Protection Agency website align with previous Rivian estimates, which advertised as 300 miles.

Timing is also important because it means that Rivian has the advantage of being the first electric truck on the market. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which isn’t expected to hit the market until spring 2022, has a target range of 230 miles in the standard trim and up to 300 miles in the extended trim. The EPA has not released official ranges for the Ford Lightning.

Rivian’s R1T “Launch edition” pickup and R1S SUV come equipped with a 135 kWh battery pack called a “big pack.” Deliveries of the Launch Edition vehicles are scheduled to begin this month.


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