Rivian has built its first-ever customer-ready R1T all-electric pickup truck after months of building pre-production vehicles, dialing in manufacturing accuracy.
Company CEO RJ Scaringe tweeted photographs of the first-ever R1T built for a customer on Tuesday. “After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal,” Scaringe said, referencing the company’s manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.
The R1T that rolled off the lines is in the almost-notorious Rivian electric blue colorway. After several delays in the production process due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global semiconductor shortage, among other things, Rivian has finally dialed in its production efforts, and deliveries will likely begin soon.
“Our team’s collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers,” Scaringe added.
Deliveries of the R1T are still expected to begin this month. They were initially planned for July, but production challenges pushed the company’s timeline back several months. In July, Scaringe wrote an email to reservation holders explaining the delays. The email stated:
“There are many reasons why our production ramp is taking longer than expected. The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated. 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.”
Arguably the most important point of Rivian’s launched production processes is the fact that it will beat its competitors to the market, delivering the first-ever all-electric pickup. Rivian is beating companies like Tesla, Ford, and General Motors to the finish line in this race. The other automakers are currently attempting to race through manufacturing bottlenecks and supply chain challenges. Tesla recently delayed its pickup, the Cybertruck, to late 2022. According to the company’s website, Ford’s F-150 Lightning is not scheduled to be delivered until Spring 2022. GMC said its Hummer EV would begin production this fall.
Rivian plans to launch the R1S all-electric SUV later this year as well. There is no indication of when the R1T produced at the Illinois factory would be delivered.