Last summer, Ford-backed upstart EV maker Rivian announced that it would begin deliveries of its R1T pickup this June, with deliveries of the Rivian R1S SUV following in August. However, back in May, the automaker revealed that it would be delaying deliveries of the R1T Launch Edition until July. Then, in July, it announced that production had been pushed back yet again, this time to September. However, there won’t be any more delays it seems, as the Rivian R1T production has officially begun at the automaker’s plant in Normal, Illinois.
This news comes to us straight from Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe, who posted photos of the very first unit of Rivian R1T production rolling off the line on Twitter. It’s a big step for the upstart automaker and one that most never quite reach. It also means that the R1T has become the very first all-electric pickup to market, beating out the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, Lordstown Endurance, GMC Hummer EV, and a host of others currently in the works.
Much of Rivian’s success to this point can be attributed to its strong financial backing. Ford invested an additional $902 million into the automaker in Q1, which is just the latest infusion of cash made since FoMoCo’s initial $500 million dollar investment back in 2019. Rivian has raised a grand total of $10.5 billion from a number of other companies, including Amazon, through multiple fundraising rounds. Rivian also recently filed its initial public offering and is seeking a valuation of $80 billion.
The Rivian R1T recently received its official EPA rating, which beat the automaker’s original estimate of 300 miles with an official range of 314 miles and MPGe ratings of 74 in the city, 66 on the highway, and 70 combined. In January of 2022, Rivian will offer a larger max battery pack for the R1T that’s expected to achieve over 400 miles of range, while a less expensive 250-mile range model of both the R1S and R1T are planned for the future as well.
After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal! Our team’s collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers! pic.twitter.com/8ZidwTaXRI
— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) September 14, 2021
Rivian expects deliveries of the R1T Launch Edition to be completed by Spring 2022, while all Rivian R1S and R1T Launch Edition customers will hear from their personal guide by the end of November with expected delivery timing. Both the R1T and R1S will only be available in extremely limited quantities through 2023, due to supply constraints.