Rivian Hits 71,000 Pre-Orders; Delays Delivery of Some EVs to 2023

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Electric vehicle (EV) startup Rivian sent out the first deliveries of its Launch Edition R1T pickup truck in October, and its Launch Edition R1S SUV is on its way out the door.

Rivian is now shifting its focus to producing Adventure and Explore Package vehicles. The company gave reservation holders an update on estimated delivery timelines in an email sent out on Tuesday, which included disappointing news for some of them — reports InsideEVs.

According to the email, Rivian has delayed production of Long Range R1T pickups with the Max pack battery option and the Explore Package for both the R1T and R1S to 2023, choosing instead to prioritize fulfilling orders for Adventure Package vehicles with a Large pack battery next year.

“As of December 15, we had approximately 71,000 preorders for the R1T and R1S in the US and Canada, with the large majority having configured an Adventure Package with a Large pack battery (our Max pack represents approximately 20% of our preorders),” wrote Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe in the email.

“In order to serve the largest number of preorder holders, we will be prioritizing building the Adventure Package with Large pack battery during the next year.”

All of Rivian’s production currently takes place at its lone factory in Normal, Illinois. Rivian already has plans for a second assembly plant in the U.S. (possibly in Atlanta) to help increase output, but it’ll be at least a year or two before the now publicly traded EV maker can bring a second manufactory online.

However, limited fabrication capacity isn’t how Scaringe explains the decision.

“In setting our delivery timing, we optimized our build sequence around the build combination that would support us ramping as quickly as possible and therefore have the largest possible positive climate impact,” reads the email.

As consolation for the delay, Rivian will offer reservation holders who pre-ordered the now delayed models in 2018 and 2019 to switch their order to an Adventure Package vehicle with a Large pack battery.

For the R1T, Rivian expects the Max pack to deliver over 100 miles (161 km) of additional range over the standard Large pack. The company is still working on incorporating the Max pack into its R1S SUV.

Explore Package pre-order holders should start hearing from Rivian in January with an option to switch their order over to an Adventure Package vehicle. Both Adventure and Explore Package reservation holders will start getting their estimated delivery window anytime now.

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