Rivian has started rolling its R1T electric pickup truck in the colour Rivian blue from its factory in Normal, Illinois. This marks an important point in the company’s decade-long history and also for its founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe. Rivian was earlier called Mainstream Motors and was started in 2009. The company has grown from a smaller company to a much bigger company in the past few years. Scaringe shared the news of the production in a tweet in which he also shared the photo of the truck that was painted with Rivian Blue colour.
He added that after months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning their first customer vehicle drove off their production line in Normal. He stated that it was the result of his team’s collective efforts. He is excited that the pickup is now reaching the hands of their customers.
Rivian was not popular or well-known in the market and kept a low profile. The company made a public appearance with its prototypes of all-electric R1T truck and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in 2018. Then on the company became popular and started raising funds. The company spent money on its Normal factory and hired many new employees. The number of employees it had increased from 600 to about 8000 in the last three years. It also had Amazon as a commercial customer. The company is also reported to have filed for an IPO recently. Other than the factory in Normal, it has similar facilities in Palo Alto, Irvine, Plymouth, Michigan, and an office in the UK.
The production of the R1T electric pickup truck was formerly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was also affected by the global chip shortage. Scaringe had clarified then that the R1T deliveries will begin in September and R1S will follow the suit.
Rivian was caught between the prioritization of the production of R1T and R1S for customers with the commercial delivery vans for Amazon. The company has made two production lines in its Illinois factory- one for the R1 series and the other for commercial vans. Amazon has begun the testing of the delivery vans in many cities. They had ordered around 100,000 vehicles.
The R1T pickup truck will have a range of 314 miles which is confirmed by EPA, while the R1T SUV will have it at 316 miles. The range is similar to what the company advertised earlier. Rivian is currently the only electric truck producer in the market. Ford will only launch its F-150 Lightning in spring 2022. Ford’s vehicle will have a range of 230 miles which will go up to 300 miles in the expanded version.
Rivian’s “Launch Edition” R1T truck and R1S SUV have a 135kWh battery pack. The deliveries of the Launch Edition vehicles are expected to begin this month.