Rivian has started to run a pilot production line at its factory in Normal, Illinois, as the electric vehicle startup prepares to bring its pickup truck and SUV to market in summer 2021.
In an email sent to prospective customers, Rivian said deliveries of its R1T electric pickup truck will begin in June 2021. Deliveries of the R1S electric SUV will start in August 2021.
Rivian said in May that deliveries of the R1T and R1S would be pushed to 2021. It wasn't clear — until today's email — exactly when deliveries would begin.
Running a pilot production line is a critical step necessary to root out potential problems ahead of a full production launch. The two vehicles were supposed to come to market at the end of 2020. That timeline was extended to 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Rivian to suspend construction work on the factory, a former Mitsubishi plant that the company acquired in 2017. The factory was where Mitsubishi in a joint venture with Chrysler Corporation called Diamond-Star Motors produced the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Plymouth Laser and Dodge Avenger, among others.
The factory will produce its R1T and R1S electric vehicles for consumers, as well as 100,000 delivery vans for Amazon . Rivian has said it is still on track to begin deliveries of electric vans built for Amazon in early 2021. About 10,000 of these electric vans will be on the road as early as 2022, and all 100,000 vehicles will be on the road by 2030, Amazon previously said.