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Rivian delays R1T and R1S electric vehicle deliveries as pandemic hurts production ramp-up

The first Rivian vehicles were meant to reach customers this month, but the soonest they're expected now now is September for the R1T electric truck.

Delayed. Sigh.

Those with a reservation for a Rivian received disappointing news this past Friday. According to an individual with a reservation who shared an email with Roadshow, the electric R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV are delayed once again. In an email from Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe, the executive told those patiently waiting for their vehicles that pandemic-related challenges forced the additional delay.

Originally, the first R1T and R1S vehicles were meant to start being delivered this month. However, "The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated," he wrote. Now, the company targets September deliveries for the R1T and the R1S will arrive later in the fall. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed a whole lot of plans and vehicle launches in the industry. Rivian was meant to start deliveries of its vehicles back in early 2020 before it delayed the vehicles to 2021.

Scaringe added in his email the company continues to produce R1T and R1S preproduction vehicles, which fans often see motoring around in special vinyl wraps on public roads. "I have been asked why we aren't delivering those vehicles or why we continue to test rather than deliver. We believe it is critical to both our long-term success and your ultimate satisfaction that the quality and robustness of our launch products truly set the tone for what to expect from us as a brand," he said.

Rivian plans two production lines at its former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. One will produce the R1-line of vehicles (the R1T and R1S) while the other churns out commercial vehicles for Amazon. The retail and tech giant placed a massive order for electric delivery vans, which started to hit the road for tests this year.

The company will continue communicating with reservation holders via the Rivian Guides program with all updates. For now, patience remains a virtue.