Rivian Reduces Delivery Times for Some Customers, Is Hiring and Has Big Plans for 2023

Rivian customers, investors, and prospective buyers can now rejoice. The automaker plans on continuing manufacturing the R-series vehicles, including the commercial version of Amazon’s all-electric van. It also found renewed strength to start serious talks with fleet owners and is looking for almost 600 new employees. Here’s what you need to know.
2023 Rivian R1T 9 photos
Photo: Rivian on YouTube
Rivian R1TRivian R1TRivian R1TRivian R1TRivian R1TRivian R1SRivian R1SLeaked Email Showing Plans for Commercial Customers
First things first, Rivian started to get in touch with prospective commercial buyers who contacted the automaker last year. In an email shared on a public forum, the EV maker told one enquiring customer that ordering multiple R1T or R1S units can lead to impressive delivery times – one month for the pickup truck and three to six months for the SUV.

The weird part about this piece of information is not that Rivian may ramp up production or prioritize large orders, but the fact that the same email says the R1T has a starting price of $85,000, while for the R1S it’s $90,000.

At the time of writing, the cheapest Rivian R1T costs $73,000, while the R1S is $78,000. Both vehicles have the same spec – adventure pack, dual-motor all-wheel-drive system, and the standard battery pack.

Rivian R1T
To arrive at somewhat similar price points to those expressed in that email, the R1T would have to be ordered with the quad-motor all-wheel-drive system and the large battery pack. This would increase the pickup truck’s price to $87,000. The same configuration applied to the SUV would make it cost $92,000. This might indicate that Rivian is willing to apply a $2,000 discount per vehicle for fleet owners.

Progress is the name of the game

However, more important is that the Irvine-based manufacturer said the all-electric van currently used by Amazon employees – the EDV – which is making delivery drivers content about the whole driving and shipping experience might be delivered in small batches starting next year in its commercial form to a couple of unnamed companies. It will be known as the RCV and it might be sold together with the FleetOS management software, which we told you about last year.

Besides this interesting manufacturing and delivering update, Rivian is also hiring. It needed a lot of new employees since production has been ramped up, but it quickly filled those roles. Now it needs workers in various departments like logistics, service, finance, detailing, mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, IT, and deep learning. Rivian will even hire interns who can gain valuable experience by starting their career with a very promising EV maker. Most job openings, however, are full-time positions.

By now, we can safely assess that the future looks bright for the young and hopeful EV maker. It’s not giving up, even though it cannot slash prices as Tesla did - for now.

But it gets even better. Rivian’s Vice-president of Manufacturing, Tim Fallon, enthusiastically announced in a recent video that they managed to build a little over 25,000 all-electric vehicles in 2022 and now, there are over 6,000 employees at the Normal factory on any given day. It makes sense because the automaker added a night shift and is keen on churning out as many vehicles as possible. That may be also the reason why the company reached the 200 vehicles-produced-per-day milestone.

Rivian R1T
Photo: Rivian on YouTube
But it’s unclear if it happened only once or is slowly becoming a common occurrence.

The next 12 months

Rivian recently restarted its “In the Wild” events, which signal that the company wants to show off its vehicles to more and more Americans. This might be a good sign for investors as well. It looks like the company found enough energy, manpower, and parts to accelerate manufacturing and maybe even deliveries.

Fallon said increasing the output in 2023 is achievable thanks to starting the night shift and intensifying training for new hires. “Once the nightshift is fully staffed and running smoothly we will see a significant jump in our numbers,” added the executive.

The VP also confirmed that a couple of changes are coming for the popular EDV, and the Enduro drive unit is expected to appear by the end of March. He also mentioned the new C2-rated battery, which technically should be able to withstand faster charging times.

Fallon addressed workers directly and assured them that at Rivian everyone will be treated fairly, while also announcing the RIOS, which stands for Rivian Integrated Operating System. This set of principles should allow the output to grow while not compromising on quality.

Finally, the only thing that floats over Rivian’s head right now is the development of the new plant in Georgia, which faces some opposition from a couple of citizens. Other than that, we might soon witness the meteoric rise of a Tesla competitor that may even end up being a threat to the likes of Ford or Toyota. Time will tell and we’ll be here to witness it all.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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