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It’s been some time since we talked about the all-electric automaker startup Rivian. Known for its very popular all-electric truck that was a whole lot more than just a pickup truck, the RT1 electric truck wowed consumers with every teaser and reveal. A little over a year later, even with semiconductor chip shortages and a pandemic still making rounds around the globe, the startup is going strong despite a small shortage in production. There was a small net loss of $1.7 billion, but with $14 billion in cash, the company has not only been able to see an expansion, but it will be able to fund operations through the next three years. Check out what Rivian will be working on next.
"We continue to see strong demand for our product…The second shift is now up and running," Scaringe said. "We're going through the ramp now and it's going well." - CEO RJ Scaringe
After the COVID-19 pandemic and the semiconductor chip shortage that followed, many automakers were facing challenges with their model lineup offerings. Some had to cut back on unit production whereas others couldn’t offer features promised in earlier press releases. Rivian also saw some of the effects the pandemic had on the auto industry. Although the Rivian CFO Claire McDonough didn’t exactly name any names in terms of suppliers, nor clarified the key vehicle component that caused five days of production line downtime, there was definitely a shortage of parts that caused the startup to lose a little money in the long run.
Most notably, Rivian had to scrap some plans for production. With a target goal of delivering 50,000 units between last year and now, that number was cut in half in March 2022. This is a little troubling for a production plant with an official capacity of 150,000 units per year. Thus far, only 25,000 units of its three vehicles — the R1T, R1S, and EDV delivery vans - have made it to consumers who preordered one back in 2021. However, the shortage of deliveries isn’t going to stop Rivian any time soon. With a total of 114,000 vehicles preordered for the RT1 (up from 98,000 in Q2) and an additional 100,000 electric van orders by Amazon, the all-electric startup is still going strong.
The extra cash will help Rivian coast throughout 2025 and reintroduce its new R2 platform in 2026. Designed for smaller, less expensive vehicles, pickup trucks and SUVs still seem to be the main focus of the startup, but with how amazing the first electric truck looked, we can’t really blame them for milking their prime cow. Just look at some of the things that popped up for the Rivian RT1 in a matter of several months.
Meeting competitors with customization options, the Rivian RT1 came with a removable roof option with multiple styles, including a fixed glass panel, a two-piece removable composite roof, and a standard fixed roof. Not very common in the auto industry, with Jeep being the main competitor with its Wrangler and Gladiator models. What really blew consumers away was a built-in miniature kitchen in the RT1. Complete with a stovetop big enough for two pots or pans; a sink next to that with a built-in water reserve; a 30-piece kitchen set that comes with pots, pans, a cutting board, and the usual utensils; the final piece was a coffee pot plus a bean grinder. Finishing the camping setup on the RT1 was a pop-up tent that expanded from the truck bed. No wonder Jeep is trying to come out with its first all-electric SUV within the next few years – this electric startup is almost putting it to shame with all the customization and available options.
Rivian is expanding and picking up production for its lineup of three models, two for personal use and one for commercial. Want to learn more about new startups and tech being introduced to the auto industry? You can follow along any time with us on NowCar social media.