Electric vehicle manufacturer, Rivian, completed its first truck destined for consumers on Tuesday, September 14th. Therefore, Rivian brings the first electric truck to market. The start-up beat out GM, Ford, and Tesla. With its technologically advanced R1T electric pickup and high investor confidence, Rivian may dominate this important market segment.
The Rivian R1T Beat The Cybertruck, Hummer EV, and Ford Lightning To Market
At 2:16 PM on Tuesday, Rivian founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, tweeted that the first customer electric pickup had driven off the production line. The Rivian factory is in Normal, Illinois.
Rivian spokespeople have not confirmed when the company will deliver this truck or how many trucks it produced Tuesday. However, the pictures in Scaringe’s tweet show more Rivian R1T trucks on the assembly line, behind the first.
Rivian only plans to deliver Launch Edition R1T’s this year. The Rivian website assures customers a representative will reach out “by November” with updates.
GM unveiled its Hummer EV last spring and announced plans to deliver the first 2022 models as soon as October 2021. The new Hummer Sport Utility Truck shares Ultium battery components with the Chevy Bolt. But, there is no word whether the Bolt recall will affect Hummer production. Ford plans to deliver its 2022 F-150 Lightning in the spring of 2022. Tesla has delayed Cybertruck production, again, into late 2022.
The R1T Difference
Rivian is far from an overnight success. This start-up has been engineering, and testing, its electric R1T truck for over seven years.
When Motor Trend drove the new R1T, they said it “changes everything.” To clarify, reviewers identified several distinguishing technologies.
Unlike all its rivals, Rivian insists on building its R1Ts with an electric motor to power each wheel. In addition, the R1T features adjustable air suspension, the entire system tied together with hydraulics for ride damping.
Quad-motor drive and a torque-vectoring program means the Rivian, “drives over whatever you point it at” while off-road. In addition, the revolutionary drivetrain delivers on-road performance akin to a “sports sedan.” Motor Trend concluded that the sporty sensation “in a heavily laden pickup truck” is entirely unprecedented.
What’s next for Rivian?
Amazon awarded Rivian a 10,000 vehicle delivery van contract. Jeff Bezos was so impressed by the company, he has invested heavily and ordered an R1T for himself.
Rivian’s stated mission is to “Keep the world adventurous forever.” This goal of sustainable off-roading has attracted countless devotees. Free-climber Alex Honnold and singer Rihanna have added to the Rivian buzz. Preorder customers are already holding Rivian community events.
RJ Scaringe filed for an upcoming IPO. Then, sources close to Rivian’s revealed the company will set its valuation around $80 billion. With Ford’s current market cap at $53 billion, some investors scoffed at Rivian’s number. But Tesla is hovering around $700 billion. This value reflects many investors’ confidence that Tesla is better suited to build automobiles for the 21st century than any of Detroit’s Big Three. The Big Three’s biggest mistake was to allow enough customers and talent to escape that Tesla–and now Rivian–can exist.
Rivian has beat everyone to market with an electric pickup. The R1T is shaping up to be a superior vehicle, capable of dominating its market segment. The automotive landscape has changed forever.