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Rivian teases pre-production manufacturing of electric pickup truck at factory

Rivian is pushing to be amongst the first electric vehicle startups to actually reach volume production and it is now teasing pre-production manufacturing of its electric pickup truck at its Illinois factory.

Over the last five years, there has been a lot of money pouring into the electric vehicle startup space.

However, it hasn’t resulted in many vehicles reaching production as the main EV startups, like Faraday Future and Lucid Motors, have been plagued by delays and other issues.

Rivian has differentiated itself by focusing on its core EV technology and manufacturing plans before ever unveiling and marketing its electric vehicles or even coming out of stealth mode.

The startup was founded by CEO RJ Scaringe, an MIT graduate, and it has been in stealth mode since its inception in 2009 up until 2017 when they took over a shuttered Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois.

They have since unveiled their R1T pickup truck and their R1S electric SUV built on the same platform, which they plan to bring to production by the end of next year.

We have heard similar claims before from other companies and it’s hard to believe EV startups on their timelines, but Rivian has more credibility since it has already been working on its factory for years now.

This weekend, the company teased some of its pre-production manufacturing with pictures of the first body parts of its electric pickup truck (via Twitter):

The images include the caption “Busy making metal!” and they appear to show Rivian producing some pre-production body parts ahead of the start of production next year.

Rivian also noted that they will be offering test drives closer to production:

“We’re not offering test drives yet, but we look forward to getting people behind the wheel closer to production!”

The company claims that it will be able to produce 250,000 vehicles per year at its factory.

Rivian also recently took a $500 million investment from Ford and it plans to help the Detroit-based automaker produce its own electric pickup truck.

Last year, we took a close look at Rivian’s electric platform, which the startup claims will enable a range of up to 400 miles.

Electrek’s Take

I feel increasingly confident about Rivian’s ability to bring its vehicles to production next year.

They appear to be making all the right moves and now that they also have deep pockets and access to Ford’s production expertise, it looks like everything is on track.

What I am more concerned about is the price.

We know the base price at ~$70,000, but I feel like the Rivian R1T will be significantly more useful as a pickup truck with the more expensive options like the bigger battery packs and I expect those will be much more expensive.

I wonder what the market will be like for the truck with the full-size battery pack if it exceeds $100,000.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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