Rivian says that its R1T electric pickup is basically ready for production and it is now waiting for government approval to start deliveries.
The R1T was supposed to be delivered earlier this summer, but Rivian has run into some production issues as is to be expected when launching a new vehicle program and especially from a new startup that hasn’t delivered a consumer vehicle before.
The company has since been guiding a start of deliveries in September.
Now just a week away from September, the company released an update to reservation holders with some good news.
CEO RJ Scaringe says that the latest R1T production units satisfy Rivian’s standards of quality and now they are waiting for regulatory approval to start deliveries:
“Over the last several months we have been focused on not only ramping our production rate, but also dialing in our quality across each of the five areas of our plant: stamping, body, paint, assembly and propulsion (battery and drive units). This challenging process involves multiple build phases – many of the vehicles from these non-customer build phases have been seen out testing across a range of environments during the last year. These validation, tooling tryout and pilot build vehicles are critical for our ongoing mileage accumulation program that has helped us drive refinements to the product. With all of this, I am excited to report we have started producing vehicles that reflect all of our quality iterations and design refinements. We are currently working with various governing agencies on the final approvals needed for us to make the first deliveries to preorder customers in September.”
It sounds like the company is mainly just waiting for the green light from the EPA and NTHSA.
If deliveries are to start, Rivian needs to have some service capacity in place, and Scaringe did release an update on that front.
He confirmed that the automaker currently has five service centers in operations with more to come:
“Rivian Service Centers are now in operation in Brooklyn, NY; Bellevue, WA; Normal, IL; San Francisco and El Segundo, CA. This is just the beginning of our growing Service Center network, which also includes a large fleet of mobile service vans for performing onsite vehicle repairs. We are planning to open over 100 Service Centers by the end of 2023.”
The CEO also gave an update on Rivian’s effort to deploy its own charging network:
“We also remain focused on building out our charging network – this includes our fast DC chargers that are part of our Rivian Adventure Network as well as our Level 2 AC chargers/connectors that are part of our Rivian Waypoints network. Key to delivering on our goal of more than 3,500 DC chargers (at 600 sites) and 10,000 Waypoints is securing a portfolio of great locations for these chargers. You will start to see more of these pop up over the next few months, and by the end of the year the buildout will start expanding quite rapidly.”
Scaringe also said that reservation holders are going to be able to complete their orders next month and a Rivian mobile app is also coming in early September.