The Rivian R1T was the first all-electric pickup truck to make it to market. That’s right, even though Tesla announced its Cybertruck first, and both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors have viable electric trucks on the way soon, this upstart American automaker hit the finish line first.
We saw the first R1Ts in market late last year — albeit in limited numbers. In fact, until just recently, Rivian was manufacturing just 50 units per week. In comparison, Ford is promising 150k units annually of the F-150 Lightning when it comes out later this year.
However, according a report from Teslarati, Rivian is increasing production from 50 units a week to 200. For those mathematically challenged people, that’s a 300% increase.
At 200 units a week, Rivian could easily surpass 10,000 R1Ts by the end of this year. Because Rivian doesn’t have 100 years of automotive manufacturing experience like Ford and GM, it has to walk before it can run, gradually ramping up production. The R1T and its SUV counterpart, the R1S, are made a manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, which formerly belonged to Mitsubishi. So, the ability to ramp up capacity is there, and Rivian expects to hit 150,000 electric vehicles produced at the Normal facility in the next two years.
Additionally, the manufacturer said it will open a second facility near Atlanta, Georgia, to increase its capabilities further. But that plant is not yet open and may not be operational until 2024.
Initially, Rivian said its year one manufacturing goal was 1,200 units, and the year-end tally according to Rivian was 1,015 vehicles.
A quick look at the R1T shows a truck that is everything you’d expect from a new manufacturer of an electric vehicle – it’s youthful, different and stylish.
Range – The Rivian website states its battery system was built to explore, delivering an EPA estimated 314 miles of range when paired with 21-inch wheels. For 20-inch wheels, estimates show a range reduction of 10-15%, with an additional 5-10% reduction for 22-inch wheels.
Performance and towing – The R1T has a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. Rivian says the electric truck will deliver nearly 750 horsepower and a crazy amount of torque, and the 0-to-60-MPH time is 3 seconds.
Price – The starting MSRP is $69,000. There are three trims: Explore, Adventure, Launch. All-wheel drive comes standard, and the R1T comes only as a crew cab with a 4.6-foot bed.
If you’re curious about how the R1T drives, be sure to check out our first drive review.
I have a great deal of respect for Rivian. It is a company that is living in the shadow of Tesla and the spotlight-loving Elon Musk. And despite the growing pains of a new automaker figuring out the manufacturing process, Rivian has managed to be the first out of the gate with its electric truck.
While others (ahem Tesla) have made big promises, and still don’t have an electric truck to show for it, Rivian has quietly managed to get a quality, segment-leading electric pickup truck made.
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