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Rivian Beats Tesla, GM, and Ford, Releases First EV Pickup



Rivian R1T Pickup truck is an all electric vehicle shown at the New York International Auto Show 2019 | Rivian Beats Tesla, GM and Ford, Releases First EV Pickup | featured

The winner to produce the first EV pickup isn’t Tesla, Ford, or GM. It’s a startup company called Rivian. If you haven’t heard about this company, you’re not alone. Despite its relative obscurity, the company managed to produce the first-to-market EV pickup, the R1T.  

RELATED: Electric Vehicles To Hit 66% Of All Car Sales by 2040

Rivian Who?

Rivian is an electric vehicle company founded way back in 2009. It’s based in Irvine, California but has its manufacturing in Normal, Illinois. They also have manufacturing facilities in California, Michigan, Canada, and England.

Without the necessary showrooms for in-store sales, Rivian can only accept orders for its EV pickup online. Initial costs for the R1T are at $73,000. The company said that it already sold out the entire batch for the launch edition. 

The company is now taking orders for January 2022 deliveries. It’s also planning to go public by November this year. Unlike other EV start-ups, Rivian will only go public after it generates revenue.

Ready For Delivery in All 50 States

Rivian managed to hit its target of releasing the R1T this year. CEO RJ Scaringe announced via Twitter that their finished models rolled off their Normal, Illinois plant last Tuesday.

He posted: “After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal! Can't wait to get these into the hands of our customers!”

In addition, Rivian also managed to secure the necessary clearances to allow the EV pickup on US roads. It got approval for the R1T from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Air Resources Board. This allows Rivian to deliver orders to all 50 states. 

EV Pickups Are The Rage

While electric vehicles have been the rage for a couple of years now, consumers regard EV pickups as a potential game-changer. Automotive giant Ford is currently building its Ford F-150 Lightning, an EV version of its popular F-150 series.

The Lightning will go on sale beginning 2022. Meanwhile, Tesla also said that it will finish the assembly of the initial batch of Cybertrucks later this year.

Then, GM said that the EV versions of the Hummer, Silverado, and Sierra will all be out in the market next year. Another EV startup, Lordstown Motors, is also building its own EV pickup. However, Lordstown has yet to announce production schedules. 

The lack of showrooms is currently handicapping Rivian over its biggest rivals such as Ford, GM, and Tesla. To back up its EV pickup, Rivian said they will hold events all over the United States.

Customers can see the vehicles in person. Meanwhile, buyers have seven days or 1,000 miles to return the EV pickup if they’re not happy with it. Rivian also needs to provide answers to questions about servicing R1T vehicles if there are no dealerships around.  

Traditional Truck Buyers Don’t Fit The Market

Brian Moody, the executive editor of Auto Trader, said the Rivian is bound to reap the rewards of being first in the market. “Electric trucks are a hot thing right now. They're going to have the advantage of being the first. But as time goes on, being seen as the best will be more important.” he said. 

There’s also the market to consider. Traditional truck owners don’t exactly fit the profile of an electric vehicle aficionado. However, Moody says that they will eventually realize the benefits of being all-electric.

Traditional truck buyers might not fit the profile of EV purchasers, but they will see their advantages of them. You can be in the middle of nowhere and you plug in your tools and you have a worksite,” he said. He referred to a common feature in EV pickups: it can also function as a power source for many electrical equipments. 

Watch the Fast Auto Track video reporting that the Rivian R1T finally goes into production, becomes the first American-made EV pickup of the modern era:

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