Rivian has announced that its electric pickup truck with a bigger battery pack is delayed till 2023, to the disappointment of folks with preorders.
If you had been looking forward to taking delivery of Rivian’s R1T electric pickup truck with bigger batteries, you would have to adjust your expectations. The truck will now come in 2023. It would have offered a 400 mile range on a 180 kWh battery pack, significantly more than the 314 miles that you would get from the standard version.
The electric vehicle company managed to meet its target this year by starting deliveries of the R1T in September. By December 15th, the company had got 652 units into customers’ hands. While it began with deliveries to its own staff, Rivian eventually got some units to non-staff buyers. The company also delivered two units of the R1S SUV, with one going to the CEO RJ Scaringe and the other to another company executive.
The R1T has been positively received, with many reviewers raving about its raw power, practical features, and build quality. However, it is no secret that Rivian is working through issues as it tries to ramp up the production of its vehicles. This is not surprising as Rivian is a new company. It has admitted it will produce fewer vehicles than it planned.
Now, the company has to prioritize which of its models to make while it tries to fulfill all preorders. The R1T and R1S gathered about 71,000 preorders in North America alone, making sure Rivian will be busy for months to come, if not years.
CEO, RJ Scaringe, who often communicates with customers via email, broke the news of delay to holders of preorders, saying in part:
“As of December 15th, we had approximately 71,000 preorders for the R1T and R1S in the US and Canada, with the large majority having configured an Adventure Package with a Large pack battery (our Max pack represents approximately 20% of our preorders). In order to serve the largest number of preorder holders, we will be prioritizing building the Adventure Package with Large pack battery during the next year. Explore Package preorders and vehicles with a Max pack battery configuration will follow in 2023. In setting our delivery timing, we optimized our build sequence around the build combination that would support us ramping as quickly as possible and therefore have the largest possible positive climate impact.”
Updated delivery times will be communicated to customers early next year, but Rivian will allow people who want to modify their others to the standard range models to do so.
Rivian will focus on delivering the higher-trim Adventure Package trucks first. The Max battery pack option, which costs $10,000 extra, would have come in handy for adventurers who intend to go where charging options might not exist or be adequate.
It remains to be seen what the holders of the Max pack reservation will do. About 14,000 of them will have to decide whether to cancel, accept the standard range option, or wait it out.
Rivian is preparing to build a second plant, which is expected to boost its battery production capacity apart from actual vehicle manufacturing. However, the first production in the new plant will be in 2024, barring any delay.
The company is also committed to delivering 100,000 units of its electric van to Amazon for making package deliveries. It has to supply 10,000 units in 2022. Amazon is also an investor in the EV company.
By 2023, Rivian wants to sell the vans and fleet versions of the pickup truck and SUVs to non-Amazon customers.