Rivian’s Amazon delivery van was spotted in Michigan, adding Detroit to one of the few cities the electric vehicle has been sighted and is undergoing testing.
A Rivian engineer accompanied the Amazon driver behind the wheel of the electric delivery van. The engineer told Automotive News that Amazon delivery vans undergoing testing in Detroit were assembled at Rivian’s engineering and design center in Plymouth, Michigan.
Amazon’s Rivian delivery van has been spotted in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Tulsa. Amazon wants to test Rivian’s all-electric delivery van in at least 16 cities before its official release.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe announced this month that production on the R1T pickup truck was delayed. He confirmed that the pandemic affected R1T production, including the construction of the facility in Normal, Illinois. He also suggested that Rivian was affected by the global chip shortage.
“Everything from facility construction to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic. Beyond these unforeseen challenges, launching three new vehicles while setting up a multi-vehicle manufacturing plant is a complex orchestra of coordinated and interlinked activities where small issues can translate into ramp delays.” Scaringe wrote in an email to Rivian reservation holders.
However, Rivian seems confident that R1T delays would not impact the release of Amazon’s delivery vans. On July 4, Scaringe shared a photo of some Amazon vans lined up at a factory. “I love these!” he noted in the picture.
Rivian plans to produce up to 10,000 electric vans for Amazon next year. Although, in 2019, Amazon announced it would be buying 100,000 units of Rivian’s all-electric delivery vans.