Rivian R1T and R1S production delayed until 2021 over COVID-19 interruptions

(Photo: Rivian)

American electric vehicle startup Rivian has confirmed that the start of its electric vehicle production at its factory in Normal, Illinois has been pushed back to 2021 as a result of the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rivian released a video in early April updating the public on the progress of its ongoing revamp of the former Mitsubishi production plant in Normal. The Normal, Illinois Fire Department also released a humorous April Fools Day joke on the same day.

“We can’t wait to get back in there,” the video’s description states.

Rivian has sent an email to reservation holders explaining that the shutdown of the plant would delay production at “some level.” The company clarified that it would minimize the disruption to the launch schedule, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The construction process in Rivian’s plant was halted after the video was produced to maintain the health and safety of those involved in the project. This shutdown has delayed construction at the plant and, in turn, pushed back the launch of the company’s vehicles. “It will be 2021,” Amy Mast, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Currently, a “skeleton team” comprised only of essential employees remains on the site installing mostly electric infrastructure at the site. Mast added that the current electrical team that remains in the facility is made up of about 11 people.

Rivian has spent the last few years introducing its vehicles to both reservation holders and the general public through a series of “Open House” events across the country. Recently, the company announced it would be adding several locations to its “US tour” to broaden the reach of the company’s all-electric and outdoor activity-geared vehicles throughout various cities. These dates were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The company has plenty of money as some of the largest and most notable businesses in the world, like Amazon, Ford, and Cox Automotive, have invested large sums of cash into the company. Rivian rounded out the end of last year with a final round of investments that came to the amount of $1.3 billion. They also launched a partnership with Amazon and announced they would be building 100,000 electric vans to assist the e-commerce giant with its goal of a more sustainable business model that included the phase-out of its petrol-powered delivery vehicles.

Additionally, the 11-year old Rivian has filed for several patents for its all-electric truck and sport utility vehicle. The potential development of the tech described in these patents hint at the company’s ultimate goal of rolling out semi-autonomous vehicles that will need minimal human interaction to operate.

Rivian R1T and R1S production delayed until 2021 over COVID-19 interruptions
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