A long-awaited electric pickup truck by Rivian has once again hit a roadblock. The electric pickup maker has once again delayed deliveries of its debut vehicle. The company said that the delay is because of a shortage of component supplies. Chief executive officer RJ Scaringe shared the news with buyers via email. Rivian, an electric vehicle startup which is backed by Amazon and Ford, had initially planned to deliver its electric pickup R1T in 2020. The company was also scheduled to deliver its first SUV last year. But the pandemic forced the company to change its plan. Rivian said at the starting of the coronavirus pandemic that it would start delivering electric pickup in 2021 instead. Eventually, the company fixed the month of June this year for deliveries of the R1T. It was then pushed to July and now to September. Scaringe said that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted everything which has delayed the deliveries. “We know that you guys are eager to get behind the wheel of R1T. Earlier this year, we told you that the vehicle will be delivered to you in July. But the timing for the first deliveries has now been shifted to September. Also, R1S will be delivered to you shortly after fall. I am sharing this news as I wanted to make sure that you get this from me directly,” the CEO said in the mail.
“The coronavirus pandemic impacted us more than anybody had anticipated. From equipment installation to the supply of components for the vehicle, the pandemic has impacted everything.” He also said that the manufacturing facility in Illinois along with launching three vehicles in a go makes things more complicated. “Even the smallest issue translates into ramp delays,” Scaringe said. The electric vehicle startup has already delayed mass production. But the CEO said that the company has already produced hundreds of vehicles under the validation process. The process is necessary to make sure that everything is running efficiently and vehicles manufactured are meeting all the required specifications among other factors. Scaringe also touched upon the topic of poor communication with reservation holders. “I have had interacted with some of you. But I know this needs to be improved. There should be better communication around deliveries. We will try to meet the new deadlines and our Guides will be there for any questions you have in mind in between,” The CEO promised that all reservation holders will get more updates in the coming weeks.
Despite all these things, the company has said that the deliveries of electric vans to Amazon will not be delayed. Amazon is a partner and investor in the electric startup and it has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric vehicles in 2019. Amazon signed this deal with the ambition of reducing carbon emissions. The e-commerce giant wants to make its entire fleet run entirely on renewable energy at the earliest. The company hopes that it would get to test these vans in at least 16 cities by the end of this year. Spokespersons of both the companies have confirmed that Rivian is still hopeful of starting deliveries on time. Rivian is planning to start the production of electric delivery vans this year. It has set the goal of delivering at least 10,000 vehicles as early as 2022. Rivian was founded more than a decade ago but kept a low profile until 2018. People got to know about it when the company debuted the R1T and R1S at the Los Angeles Auto Show that year. There was no looking back since then and the company has raised over USD 8 billion. Among those who have funded the startup are Amazon, Ford, and other institutional investors. The company is likely to have more money in its war chest as it is working on going public. The strength of its employees has also ballooned to over 7,000.