Rivian is telling R1S buyers when their electric SUV should arrive


Rivian preorder customers continue to receive their R1T and R1S delivery estimates, and despite some indications to the contrary, it seems the all-electric SUV is still on track for an early 2022 arrival. Deliveries of the R1T – Rivian’s zero-emission pickup – began earlier this year, albeit in small numbers, as the startup began to produce what has become one of the more eagerly-anticipated EVs.

Not every Rivian reservation holder, however, was expecting the electric pickup. At the same time as it announced the R1T in late 2018, Rivian also revealed the R1S SUV. It would use the same “skateboard” architecture as the pickup, but with a fully-enclosed body and up to three rows of seating.

A spate of delays, for multiple reasons not least the global semiconductor crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, meant Rivian missed its original late-2020 launch estimate. Several push-backs saw the SUV finally pegged at around December 2021.

With the first R1S Launch Edition delivery window notifications now headed out to preorder customers, however, there were concerns from some that Rivian had seen another slip. Screenshots shared in the RivianOwnersForum suggested June – July 2022 was now likely, InsideEVs spotted, with the earliest shared being May – June 2022. Rivian has previously confirmed that it is building the R1T and R1S alongside each other on the same production line at its Normal, IL factory, while its electric delivery vans destined for Amazon are built on the second line.

Delivery notifications viewed by SlashGear, meanwhile, suggest a slightly earlier timeline, with one preorder customer warned to expect their R1S between March and April 2022. R1T production continues, with a second message suggesting a Launch Edition version of the pickup could be expected between February and March 2022.

Rivian has not said how many of the consumer EVs it’s capable of building each month. However the automaker did confirm it had more than 48,000 reservations for the R1T and R1S prior to its IPO earlier this year. Reservation holders put down a $1,000 refundable deposit to stake a place in line, though the expectation is that not all will convert into actual buyers.

Come the IPO in early November, meanwhile, and demand for Rivian stock seemed strong. The automaker priced $RIVN at $78 ahead of their Nasdaq debut, but the shares opened at almost $107 apiece. Today, they’re sitting at approximately $115 apiece, dampened somewhat by the news that Ford would no longer be co-developing an EV on Rivian’s skateboard architecture.

Credit: Rivian

While that may be a blow, the bigger impact is likely to be the fast-approaching Ford F-150 Lightning. The automaker’s first all-electric F-Series truck is set to go into production in spring 2022, having already secured more than 160,000 reservations. Significantly cheaper – in some configurations – than Rivian’s R1T, the F-150 Lightning will also take full advantage of Ford’s manufacturing heft.

Indeed, Ford plans to build 80,000 of the trucks each year, once its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan is up to speed. Even with that pace, it could still take up to two years for the automaker to work its way through its reservations backlog though – like Rivian – Ford prefers not to discuss exactly what percentage of reservation holders actually convert to full customers.

What Ford doesn’t have, at least for the moment, is an all-electric three-row SUV. An Explorer EV is in the pipeline, though it’s unclear when that might arrive.



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