Rivian’s all-electric R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV won’t find their way into customers’ hands until late next year, but the startup looks to be well on its way to a full production line. Over the weekend, the company’s official Twitter account teased its manufacturing progress with photos of several stamped metal frames hanging on racks inside one of their facilities.
“Busy making metal!” the company posted as a caption alongside the three images. Also revealed in the photos was Rivian’s logo stamped on the parts, assumingly for the R1T due to the gear tunnel opening, further confirming the automaker’s attention to detail.
The shared images are a welcome update on Rivian’s progress towards bringing its upcoming lineup to market. Several publicity campaigns to boost the brand have been carried out in recent months, altogether expanding anticipation for the company’s vehicles. However, that same anticipation can quickly transform into impatience. Releasing these production photos looks to be a nod towards that risk.
Manufacturing progress wasn’t the only thing Rivian shared with its recent tweet. In response to a question about the company’s plans for a charging network, the company responded, “Rivian vehicles will utilize the CCS (Combined Charging System) standard charging network which is rapidly expanding.”
This detail was already assumed given the CCS port included on Rivian’s vehicles. Additionally, the confirmation doesn’t exclude any plans for a Rivian-produced network in the future, specifically ones located in remote locations that are popular for the adventure travel crowd. It does seem to indicate the company isn’t looking to create something akin to Tesla’s Supercharger Network, though.
During Rivian’s attendance at the New York International Auto Show in May this year, CEO RJ Scaringe reportedly discussed the possibility of an upcoming roadshow tour throughout the US with test drives to present the R1T and R1S to a nationwide audience. Further evidence of such a tour was indicated by Rivian’s job listings, one specifically for a “Test Driver” that would be tasked to perform “over the road durability testing” and “ride and drive demos of Rivian vehicles (Marketing Events, Customer Trade Shows),” among other responsibilities. That idea doesn’t look to still be in the works, however, according to Rivian’s tweets in the same thread about the manufacturing photos.
“We’re not offering test drives yet, but we look forward to getting people behind the wheel closer to production!” the company stated.
Whether or not test drives will be available in the near future, Rivian still has plenty of exciting things to look forward to like vehicle-specific camping accessories, self-driving software developments, and microgrid solar projects utilizing its expended batteries. Hopefully, more manufacturing-related images and news will continue to be shared by the company over the next year as production and delivery dates approach.