Rivian is finally fulfilling pre-orders for its R1T electric pickup truck, an off-road beast and the first fully-electric pickup to hit the market. But Rivian has a big problem that nobody’s talking about—it’s building just two R1Ts per day.
Production of the R1T began about five weeks ago. But according to a filing made with the SEC on October 22nd, Rivian has only finished manufacturing 56 of its R1T electric pickup trucks. That’s a shockingly low production volume, given that Rivian has around 50,000 orders to fulfill. (At the company’s current pace, it would take over 60 years to complete these 50,000 pre-orders.)
While Rivian will almost certainly increase its production volume, this slow start is not a good sign for a relatively small automaker. We’re in the middle of a global chip shortage that’s dramatically slowing EV production from major manufacturers like GM. If Rivian isn’t prepared to deal with supply chain issues (or just doesn’t know how to enter a full-scale production phase), it may run out of money.
And that brings up an interesting point—what if Rivian is intentionally sticking with a low R1T production volume to accommodate a more lucrative deal? The company is currently developing electric delivery trucks for Amazon, a task that could be a lot more profitable than manufacturing electric pickup trucks.
Either way, it’s been five weeks and Rivian has manufactured less than 1% of its R1T pre-orders. And of the 56 electric pickups produced by Rivian, only 42 have been delivered (mostly to Rivian employees, it seems). If you’re one of the 50,000-ish people to pre-order an R1T … well, I hope that you’re a patient person.