Rivian Delays Long Range SUVs, Pickups To 2023

Customers of Rivian Automotive have been informed of more delays for certain long-range electric vehicle (EV) models.

Reuters reported that Rivan chief executive RJ Scaringe had emailed customers on Tuesday, to say that the firm will delay deliveries of its electric pickup truck and sports utility vehicle with big battery packs to 2023.

It comes after the Amazon-backed electric car start-up in November enjoyed the biggest public listing in the United States since Facebook back in 2012.

Rivian’s R1S electric SUV. Image credit: Rivian

Big name backers

When it announced its IPO intentions in August, it sought a valuation of more than $70 billion (£50bn).

However Rivian actually raised more than $11bn in a stock market listing, that briefly valued the company at more than $100bn in one of the world’s biggest ever floats.

Rivian was founded in 2009, and besides Amazon, also counts Ford as a major backer.

Indeed, the car firm has raised more than $10bn from Amazon, Ford, T Rowe Price and others, including a $2.5bn investment led by Amazon in July and a $2.65bn round in January that valued the company at $27.6bn.

Rivian manufactures its vehicles in a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, and it has begun slowly to ship pickup trucks, with an SUV to follow.

Back in July Rivian said it’s looking to build a second US plant and is also reportedly considering a European facility.

Amongst its smaller facilities is an engineering office in Woking in the UK that handles “advanced concepts, body and lighting”.

EV delays

Now according to Reuters, RJ Scaringe said the majority of Rivian’s roughly 71,000 preorders for its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV in the United States and Canada were for a version of the vehicles with a small battery pack option, which provides 314 miles of range on one charge.

Rivian’s R1S electric SUV. Image credit: Rivian

“In order to serve the largest number of preorder holders, we will be prioritising building the Adventure Package with Large pack battery during the next year,” Scaringe said in the mail that was posted by a Rivian customer on Reddit.

Shares of Rivian closed down 3.9 percent at $102.87.

After the electric vehicle maker reported its first quarterly results as a listed firm earlier this month, Scaringe had again outlined production challenges citing global supply-chain constraints, the Covid-19 pandemic, a tight labour market and short-term issues around building electric battery modules.

Rivian has so far delivered 386 of the 652 vehicles it has built, including its pickup and SUV.

The bigger battery pack, called the Max pack, is expected to give a mileage of 400 miles on a single charge. Only 20 percent of the preorders were for the Max pack.

Rivian said that in early 2022 it will introduce a feature for customers on their Rivian accounts that will display their current delivery timing estimate.

The company is also developing 100,000 custom delivery vans for Amazon, with the first models being added to Amazon’s fleet this year and at least 10,000 due on the roads by the end of 2022.

When Amazon’s Jeff Bezos rode into space aboard his Blue Origin rocket in the summer, he and the crew travelled to the launchpad in a Rivian vehicle.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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