Skip to main content

Rivian won’t start delivering its electric pickup truck until 2021

Motorists waiting to receive one of Rivian’s first electric trucks will need to muster more patience. The Amazon- and Ford-funded company announced it won’t begin delivering the R1T and the R1S until 2021 at the very earliest.

Rivian, like a vast majority of the automakers operating in the United States, idled its entire manufacturing network in March to fight the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. The stay-at-home order came at the worst possible time for the relatively young firm. It was in the process of retooling the factory it purchased from Mitsubishi in Normal, Illinois, to convert it into a state-of-the-art plant capable of churning out thousands of battery-powered off-roaders annually.

The company stressed that it’s working to minimize the disruption to its launch schedule, but it also confirmed it won’t start series production of the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV in 2020 as originally planned. Both are now scheduled to reach reservation holders in 2021, though there’s no word yet on whether deliveries will start early or late in the year.

Progress Report | Normal | Rivian

The retooling process continues at a snail’s pace. “There are 11 Rivian employees there in 2.6 million square feet,” company spokeswoman Amy Mast told The Chicago Tribune. She added there are also about 60 contractors performing electrical work in the plant while maintaining proper distance. The good news is that every employee regardless of whether they’re on salary or paid hourly is receiving full pay during the shut-down.

Rivian published a progress report on its official YouTube channel in early April, though it shot the footage before it sent its workers home. The three-minute flick suggests the scope of the remodeling project is huge; nearly every part of the factory is getting a complete makeover. The empty halls visible in the video will soon house heavy machinery capable of shaping metal and plastic into a truck, and I expect pre-production will begin before the end of 2020.

Ford-owned Lincoln plans to release a Rivian-based electric SUV in about 2022. There’s no word yet on whether the yet-unnamed model has been delayed, too, or if it’s not affected because it’s not due out for several years. Similarly, it’s too early to tell whether Amazon will need to wait longer than planned to receive the 100,000 vans it ordered.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
2022 Rivian R1T first drive review: The first EV pickup sets a high bar
2022 rivian r1t review front three quarter view

Many startup automakers have tried to repeat the success of Tesla, but the 2022 Rivian R1T is something different. This burly pickup truck aims to take EVs into the wilderness.

When it unveiled the R1T at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Rivian made some bold claims, boasting of Jeep-like off-road capability, sports car-like acceleration, and enough range to get you to the trail and back.

Read more
Tesla Cybertruck delay means it won’t hit the road until next year
Tesla's Cybertruck.

Tesla’s all-electric Cybertruck -- yes, the one with the unspeakably wacky design -- has suffered a production delay that means it won’t start shipping until 2022.

The original plan had been for large-scale production to begin by the end of this year, but a recent change to the Cybertruck’s listing on Tesla’s website, spotted by Electrek, reveals a new launch schedule.

Read more
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning: America’s bestselling vehicle goes electric
Ford's F-150 Lightning pickup.

Electric cars are a powerful weapon against climate change, but most Americans don’t buy cars, they buy pickup trucks. The Ford F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in the United States for decades, and now Ford is making it electric.

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning borrows its name from a performance version of the F-150 sold in the 1990s and early 2000s. Instead of chasing speed records, the reincarnated Lightning’s mission is to convince truck buyers that electric power is the future, as well as maintain Ford’s truck dominance in the face of competition from old rivals and new startups alike. It’s a hugely important vehicle for Ford -- and for the future of EVs.

Read more