The first production Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in “Rivian Blue” rolled off the assembly line at the company’s factory in Normal, Illinois, on Tuesday morning, marking a more than a decade-long milestone in the creation of the automaker and its founder and CEO, RJ. to scare
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, supporters and partners over the years.
Rivian worked in relative obscurity, aka stealth mode, before revealing prototypes of its all-electric R1T truck and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in late 2018.
Since then, Rivian has raised billions of dollars ($10.5 billion in total); expanded its General, Illinois, factory; Hired thousands of employees; landed Amazon as a commercial customer; And, recently, filed for an IPO confidentially. Today, in addition to the 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 about 600 employees. Today, it is 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 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global chip shortages. Earlier this summer, Scaring wrote in a letter to customers that while R1T deliveries would begin in September, the R1S would follow “soon”.
Rivian is grappling with the dual priorities of prepping and ultimately producing the R1T and R1S for consumers and commercial delivery vans for Amazon. The Illinois factory has two separate production lines producing the vehicles. One is dedicated to R1 vehicles and the other line is for its commercial vans.
Amazon ordered 100,000 of these vans, with deliveries starting in 2021. Earlier this year, Amazon began testing electric delivery vans 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 comes in at 316 miles.
Official range and fuel economy values posted on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website align with Rivian’s previous estimates, which it advertised as 300 miles.
This moment is also significant because it means that the 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 the spring of 2022, has a target range of 230 miles in the standard and 300 miles in the extended version. The EPA hasn’t released an official range for the Ford Lightning.
The “launch version” of the Rivian R1T truck and R1S SUV is equipped with a 135-kWh battery pack that is branded as the “big pack”. The deliveries of the Launch Edition vehicles are slated to begin this month.