The thing about getting up to speed is that you can’t know how hard or easy the task will be until you do it, and the grander the endeavor, the grander the obstacles. Rivian’s doing all right so far, considering the scale of potential hiccups when creating what is intended to be a mass-market car company. In November, the company projected making 25 units of the R1S SUV by the end of the year, getting 15 in the hands of customers. Rivian confirmed that the first two sets of keys to the three-row haulers have given to two customers. According to Electrek, those buyers were Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe and CFO Claire McDonough. If true, this shouldn’t be a surprise, nor would we be shocked if every one of the 15 planned units goes to Rivian employees. The automaker began notifying non-affiliated reservation holders in September about when they could expect their vehicles. In a Rivian Owners forum poll, most respondents indicated R1S delivery dates between June and September of 2022, while the bulk of R1T respondents indicated deliveries from March to June.
The R1S in question is the Launch Edition, with a powertrain consisting of a 135-kWh battery and four electric motors good for a combined 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque. They’ll come dressed in Launch Green paint, Compass Yellow interior accents, the Adventure Package, heated and ventilated seats, and special badging among the exclusive combination of features.
Overall, Rivian’s road to full production hasn’t hit any major blocks. The company said it will miss its 1,200-unit vehicle production target by “a few hundred” units. In it’s quarterly report that covered the three months ending September 30, Rivian said it brought in $1 million in revenue delivering R1T pickups, and spent $82 million to make those trucks. An update this month said the company has delivered 652 vehicles as of December 15, two of those the aforementioned SUVs. It lost $1.2 billion in the quarter, but Rivian had about $8 billion in the bank, enough to cover its projected expenditures for the next two years. And that was before Rivian’s IPO put another $13 billion or so in the coffers.
The good news more than makes up for the hiccups, for now. The quarterly report said the year’s major goals were “certifying the R1T, R1S, and EDV 700 for sale and starting deliveries through our direct-to-customer operations,” all of which have been checked off. Speaking of that van, the target for this month is to hand 10 of them over to Amazon; we don’t know where Rivian is with that. Reservations for vehicles stood at about 48,000 units at the end of September, they’ve grown to 71,000 units as of December 15. The Service Support Center is apparently up and running to provide roadside assistance and 24/7 customer service, and Rivian said, “By the end of December, we plan to have over 60 mobile service vans in service and 8 service centers” in places like California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Utah, and Washington state.