Back in 2018, RJ Scaringe, the CEO of Rivian showcased the prototype of an all-electric pickup truck and SUV. After that, we had seen some more prototypes and many promotional videos but nothing tangible. Now, three years later, the company has rolled the first customer vehicle off its production line, Scaringe tweeted.
After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal! Our team's collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can't wait to get these into the hands of our customers! pic.twitter.com/8ZidwTaXRI— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) September 14, 2021
The tweet will come as a huge relief for 30,000 early adopters, who are believed to have placed pre-orders for the Rivian trucks in the last few years. The trucks that were originally scheduled to be delivered in late 2020 have faced multiple delays and now, with the production of customer vehicles, deliveries are expected to begin soon.
Earlier in April, InsideEVs reported that the pre-order date alone would not determine the order of deliveries though. Your location and the color you chose would also determine where you lie on the waiting list. So, those who chose Rivian Blue and placed early orders are likely to get a call from the company soon. Behind the pick-up CEO Scaringe was seated in, is a long queue of Rivian Blues.
Rivian assembles their trucks in Normal, Illinois, which may have led some customers to think that the Normal mentioned in the press release is a new feature and that there must be a Hyper option as well -- we can assure you that there isn't. The Drive reports that the facility was built way back in 1988, not for Rivian, of course. The facility produced gasoline-powered cars for a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler until 1995 and then served Mitsubishi till 2016. The Japanese carmaker rolled up the operations that year and Rivian bought the unused assembly line in 2017.
Missing in the pictures is Jeff Bezos, who has backed the company financially and will also be expecting the roll-out of the custom-designed carbon neutral delivery trucks for Amazon. Rivian has a 2030 deadline to deliver 100,000 of these trucks and will soon need more production lines.
As Tesla CEO Elon Musk often points out, the challenges of car making begin here.