After several weeks of reduced productivity due to COVID-19, the Illinois-based company made a difficult announcement earlier this week. Their debut electric pickup, the R1T, which was expected to launch later this year, will now have to wait until 2021.
The adaption of their factory, a 2.6 million-square-foot former Mitsubishi plant, has been considerably encumbered by the threat of the virus. Even though they had all of that space to social distance between some 70 employees and contractors, it wasn’t enough to keep business going as usual. Now they are having to adapt and overcome, albeit with a more drawn out and ambiguous timeline.
This pushback comes after 10 years of development, with billions of dollars invested from the likes of Amazon and Ford; both of whom expected to piggyback off of Rivian’s tech for their own ventures. The much-anticipated vehicle would be the first in a potentially enormous market segment, finally connecting truck buyers with a 400-mile range EV. Of course, this development will provide Tesla with an opportunity to close the gap between the release of the R1T and their Cybertruck competitor.
Amy Mast, a spokesperson for Rivian say that all of the company’s employees are still getting paid during the delay. Reservation holders were all notified of expected delays via email prior to the announcement. It looks like now we will all have to wait a bit longer before taking those guiltless drives into the remote wilderness of Wyoming.