Rivian EV debut delayed by Covid-19 crisis

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The debut of the Rivian Automotive pickup truck, the much-anticipated and hugely financed potential competitor of Tesla, has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon, Ford and Cox Automotive have combined for nearly $3 billion in investments for the innovative truck and sport utility vehicle. And the unveiling was scheduled for later this year, perhaps at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

The Rivian Concept electric trucks and SUV are potential competitors for Tesla and were featured at the LA Auto Show.
The Rivian Concept electric trucks and SUV are potential competitors for Tesla and were featured at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Images © James Raia/2018

The vehicle received global attention when prototypes were unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. With its investment, Amazon ordered 100,000 custom-designed electric delivery vehicles.

Rivian has best EV range

Industry analysts predict the R1T and R1S trucks, marketed with a range of 400 miles per charge, can challenge Tesla. The efficiency estimates would be the most of the EV industry. The trucks are scheduled to be priced from between $68,000 and $72,500.

Rivian trucks will utilize a “skateboard” platform. It integrates the battery pack, drive components and suspension system.

Company spokeswoman Amy Mast said the company doesn’t have a specific day for a new launch, but it will not be until 2021.

Rivian had planned to begin production of the truck later this year at the former Mitsubishi assembly plant in Normal, Illinois.

Despite its production delays, the company reported its employees to continue to work from home and will be paid during the stay-at-home orders at its facilities in Michigan, Illinois and California.

Rivian notified customers by email it will detail a new production schedule when the company has a clearer view of the timetable for retooling the Illinois plant.

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