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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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

And beats Ford, GM and Tesla

The first production Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in “Rivian blue” rolled off the meeting line Tuesday morning at the firm’s manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, marking a milestone greater than a decade in the making for the automaker and its founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe.

The firm, which began in 2009 as Mainstream Motors earlier than adopting the Rivian identify two years later, has undergone explosive development by way of folks, backers and companions in the previous few years. Today, Scaringe tweeted the news and a photograph of the first production truck painted in Rivian Blue.

“After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal,!” he wrote. “Our team’s collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers!”

What isn’t clear is who will get this first buyer car.

Rivian operated in relative obscurity, aka stealth mode, for years earlier than it revealed 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 since 2019); expanded its Normal, Illinois, manufacturing facility; employed hundreds of workers; landed Amazon as a business buyer; and, most not too long ago, filed confidentially for an IPO. Today, along with its Illinois manufacturing facility, Rivian has services in Palo Alto and Irvine, California; and Plymouth, Michigan; and an workplace in the U.Ok.

When it first revealed the two electric autos in 2018, Rivian had about 600 workers. Today, it has 8,000.

Scaringe’s announcement Tuesday, which marks the official starting of R1T production for purchasers, comes after at the least two delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic and international chip scarcity. Earlier this summer time, Scaringe wrote in a letter to clients that R1T deliveries would start in September, with the R1S to observe “shortly.”

Rivian has been juggling the dueling priorities of prepping and finally producing the R1T and R1S for customers and business supply vans for Amazon. The Illinois manufacturing facility has two separate production traces producing autos. One is devoted to the R1 autos and the different line is for its business vans.

Amazon ordered 100,000 of those vans, with deliveries beginning in 2021. Earlier this yr, Amazon started testing the electric supply van in a number of cities, together with Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Earlier this month, Rivian introduced that the first version model of the R1T pickup truck has an official EPA vary of 314 miles, whereas its R1T SUV is available in at 316 miles.

The official vary and gas financial system values posted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency web site align with Rivian’s earlier estimates, which it marketed as 300 miles.

The second can be necessary as a result of it means Rivian has the advantage of being the first electric truck on the market. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which isn’t anticipated to return on the market till spring 2022, has a focused vary of 230 miles in the normal and as much as 300 miles in the prolonged model. The EPA has not issued official ranges for the Ford Lightning.

Rivian’s “Launch Edition” R1T truck and R1S SUV come outfitted with a 135 kWh battery pack that’s branded as the “large pack.” Deliveries of the Launch Edition autos are slated to start this month.

Clarification: Rivian has raised $10.5 billion since 2019, not in complete. Rivian has not shared the complete quantity however sources have mentioned it’s round $11 billion. 

#Note-Author Name – Kirsten Korosec

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