COVID-19 pandemic halts Rivian EV truck launch

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With nearly $3 billion in investments from major corporations, the much-anticipated launch of the Rivian Automotive electric pickup truck was scheduled later this year. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Michigan-based company to delay its plans.

Amazon, Ford and Cox Automotive have combined for the impressive investments in the future of the innovative truck and sport utility vehicle.

The vehicle received global attention when prototypes were unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. With its investment, Amazon ordered 100,000 custom-designed EVs from the fledgling manufacturer.

The launch of the Rivian electric pick-up truck has been delayed until 2021.
The launch of the Rivian electric pickup truck and SUV has been delayed until 2021 because of the work stoppage due to the coronavirus. Image © James Raia/2018.

Industry analysts predict the R1T and R1S trucks, marketed with ranges of 400 miles per charge, the most in the industry, can challenge Tesla.

The trucks are scheduled to be priced at $68,000 and $72,500.

Rivian trucks will utilize a “skateboard” platform. It integrates the battery pack, drive components and suspension system.

Company spokeswoman Amy Mast said Rivian doesn’t have a specific date for a new launch, but it will not be until 2021.

Rivian had planned to begin production of the truck later this year at the former Mitsubishi assembly plant in Normal, Illinois.

Despite its production delays, the company reported its employees continue to work from home and will be paid during the stay-at-home orders at its facilities in Michigan, Illinois, and California.

Rivian notified customers by email it will detail a new production schedule when a clearer timetable for retooling the Illinois plant has been established.

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, Calif., offers a weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter, both available via free sign-ups on his website: www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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richard ackroyd
4 months ago

Looks like a Ford Flex to me. I would love one but $68 to $72.5K it’s not on my “must have” list. I suppose if you live in California it would look cool parked next to your Tesla .

Donald N Wright
4 months ago

Skateboard platform ? Sounds like the old dune buggies, they used a shortened VW floor pan & engine.