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Rivian has experienced production issues for a while. Some of those can be attributed to the ongoing semiconductor shortages that have plagued the automotive industry for months. However, they are also dealing with building a second factory, which comes with its own challenges.

If you are interested in buying a Rivian R1T truck, you will currently be put on a seemingly indefinite waitlist. However, if you are waiting to take possession of your R1T, an interesting workaround could get you behind the wheel of an R1T in the next six to eight weeks. 

Production issues cause pre-orders to be delayed for the Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T parked in front of a yellow Rivian SUV
Rivian R1T | Getty Images

The Rivian R1T was the first electric truck to hit the market. Sized somewhere between a full-size and mid-size pickup, the R1T boasts an 11,000 lb towing capacity and zero emissions. However, the truck has been mostly hype since very few customers have taken possession of their trucks.

Rivian has dealt with the same issues all auto manufacturers have over the last several months, the dreaded semiconductor shortage. The shortage has sent many well-established automakers into a tailspin. Rivian faces these challenges alongside the challenges many new startups face. Add to this that they are trying to build a second production facility, and you’ve got customers waiting months for their vehicles.

Rivian offers customers another solution

Rivian acknowledges customers’ frustration about the long wait times, so they have come up with a solution. If you already have a pre-order, Rivian provides a temporary key to a hidden “R1T Shop,” where you can choose a truck from the available inventory. This offer is only available to certain R1T reservation holders.

It may seem odd that Rivian would have a backlog of R1Ts, but the fact is that some customers didn’t follow through with their orders. Therefore, a small inventory of trucks is now available to customers who don’t want to wait on their custom orders. 

According to Auto Evolution, the downside is that there is no guarantee that anything will even be available when you use your special key. However, if you are lucky enough to snag one, you will take delivery of your new R1T in about six to eight weeks, far better than waiting in line for much longer.

What you get for the money with the Rivian R1T

According to Car and Driver, the first model year of the R1T will only be available with a quad-motor setup and a 128.9-kWh battery. Next year, a new dual-motor option with more than 600 hp is expected to be available, along with smaller standard batteries and larger batteries. The R1T produces up to 835 hp and does 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. 

The R1T can tow 11,000 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,760 lbs. As expected, towing will deplete the battery quicker, so it may be worth waiting for the next model year if you plan on towing a lot. It has an EPA-estimated driving range of 314 miles and a price tag starting at $79,500.

For those waiting months for their new R1T, Rivian has offered a workaround. This solution benefits both the consumer and manufacturer, but it also helps Rivian keep customers happy, so they will return when production is in full swing. With the revenue generated from the sale of the existing trucks, Rivian can then put more money into production and reduce wait times in the future.


Rivian Begins to Struggle With Another Delay Looming