Building cars is hard, like, monumentally difficult as the folks at Rivian are learning. Examples of the startup’s all-electric and much-delayed R1T pickup started trickling to customers in September, but if you reserved one of these cool trucks, you still may not get it until 2023.
As shared on the Rivian Owners Forum and reported by The Drive, the automaker confirmed its drawn-out delivery schedule in SEC paperwork dated Nov. 5. According to the filing, “Based on our current production forecast, we expect to fill our preorder backlog of approximately 55,400 R1 vehicles by the end of 2023.” Well, that sucks if you plunked $1,000 down as a (fully refundable) deposit on one of these exciting and altogether awesome electric trucks.
But why the languorous manufacturing pace? Well, you can blame a certain global health emergency. From the same SEC filing: “The cascading impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted our business and operations from facility construction to equipment installation to vehicle component supply.” The ongoing semiconductor shortage is causing issues and battery supply woes are a concern, as are myriad other risk factors.
The good news is, Rivian is aiming to ramp up production as quickly as possible. The automaker is aiming to increase the number of vehicles it builds at its plant in Normal, Illinois to 200,000 units by some time in 2023. That total will include the R1T truck as well as related models like the R1S SUV, which is expected launch next month, as well as the company’s Electric Delivery Van, of which Amazon has ordered 100,000 units.
Hopefully Rivian can sort out its production issues sooner rather than later and get R1Ts into the hands of customers that are no doubt champing at the bit. This all-electric pickup is the real deal, an extremely promising vehicle, one that proves the EV revolution is gaining steam.